Sorry to break it to you…you’re not in control



Here’s something you probably already know:  you’re not in control.  You don’t control when you get sick, when a relationship ends or a new one begins, when there’s an earthquake or a hurricane, or when a loved one dies.  You’re not in control of traffic, and you can’t control what other people think, say or do.  If you thrive on feeling “in control” – I’m going to lovingly suggest you rethink that.  You’re not.

A friend pointed out last week that I use this word a lot – control. (And yes, this blog post is a case in point of me teaching what I need to learn – big time). And then she said, “the control that you have is choice.”  I haven’t stopped thinking about that.  Because, even though I don’t have control, I do have choice.  And so do you.  That’s the difference between being in control and being empowered.

It’s arguable that control is an illusion.  There are tangible manifestations of control – a political party being in control (or in power) is an example that comes to mind.  I’d argue, however, that control is always fleeting.  It’s never permanent, and therefore it can be unsustainable. The conditions of being in control depends on externalities.  Even the language “in control” suggests an impermanence, a time-limited nature, because being in control implies that being out of control is an inevitability.

Having said that, I know you might want to throw up your hands.  If you’re not in control, what’s the point of doing anything, what’s the point of having goals, of dreaming dreams?  But, don’t throw your hands up!  As my friend reminded me – the control you have is choice.  Or, another way of putting it is that you can always choose to come from a place of empowerment.  Empowerment is our stable, unflappable form of internal control.  Being empowered is always possible.  Being empowered means you know you have choices, and that comes from within.  We feel most powerless when we feel we don’t have choices.  But the feeling you don’t have choices is just an illusion – and coincidentally, it’s often people who want to exert control over you that make you feel you don’t have choices.  You always have choices (even if it’s simply choosing your thoughts) and empowerment is always accessible.

But here’s the thing.  It’s really easy to feel like you don’t have choices when the rug gets pulled out from under you, when something unexpected happens in your life, or when you’re in the middle of a tough transition around something like your health, your career or your key relationships.  No matter what the curveball – you have the ability to choose empowerment and more importantly – feel it in your bones!  One of the things I’m really good at is supporting you to find the brilliance, wisdom, power and joy that exists within you all the time, and is accessible whenever you want it, no matter what….even in the midst of pain, chaos, rapidly changing conditions that you can’t – and don’t control.

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