Everyone likes to feel like they have everything under control. We plan, put in effort, and then expect the perfect end result. However, it doesn’t always work out in the perfect way, and it kills us. “But I worked so hard. This should not have happened.” We struggle with accepting that not everything is in our control, and give a lot of power to unavoidable situations. Thus, creating reactions to everything rather than creating reaction from
It’s an important practice to try and differentiate between what we can change and what we can’t. What we have influence over and what we do not. If we can focus on making clear what parts of our day are within our control and what parts are not, we will not only be happier, we will have a distinct advantage over other people who fail to realize they are fighting an unwinnable battle.
30 Things you can fully control
- How you perceive things
- Your beliefs
- Your thoughts
- Who you surround yourself with
- How often you exercise
- What you eat
- How kind you are to others
- How kind you are to yourself
- How you express your feelings
- Whether or not you ask for help
- How often you smile
- How often you express gratitude
- The amount of effort you put in
- How much time you spend worrying
- How much you think about the past
- Whether or not you judge others
- Whether or not you try again after a setback
- How much you appreciate
- Your actions
- Your behaviors
- How well you prepare
- Your honesty
- How much of what other people say you believe
- How much you pay attention to those around you
- How much you say ‘I love you.”
- How often you listen and wait to talk
- How much money you spend
- Whether or not you give someone the benefit of the doubt
- How many new things you try
It’s not always easy to do this. It essentially comes down to learning how to let go. By acknowledging that we don’t have control over much, and working full force on what we do have control over- we’re able to move forward in life a lot quicker when things don’t go to plan. Here are some things that have helped me just let go.
Step 1: Let go of attachments and labels
Stop telling yourself what you can and cannot do. For instance, I want to get better at yoga. However, I have always said “I’m just not a flexible person. Yoga is just not for me.” The thing is it all comes down to practice, effort, and time. I have been taking one yoga class a day for a while now and even doing that has improved my practice. I am starting to practice daily, and the confidence is increasing. Don’t box yourself into one thing. Let yourself try and grow.
Step 2: Understanding that you are always choosing
Make conscious decisions about your feelings, behaviors, and actions. Let’s say you are running late to work and you are speeding down the highway and someone cuts you off causing you to spill your coffee. You could get mad, curse, tell everyone at work how upset you are, feel upset, and spend the whole day in a negative mindset. Or, you can just take a breath, put on your favorite song, and move on.
Step 3: Take Action
Choose to be proactive and put in effort in whatever it is that you do. That’s really all that you can control. In addition, action creates outcomes and that can lead to opportunity.
Step 4: Learn
Learn from mistakes and from success. See everything as a learning experience and accept that you won’t be perfect at anything right away. When you look at life as just a bunch of chances to learn it becomes a lot less threatening and definitely helps to let go of what we cannot change.
All the best,