What can you control? Honestly, it’s a VERY short list.
To sum up — you.
You have the power to control your appearance — what you wear, how you cut your hair, piercings, tattoos, and so on. Beneath the surface, you can control your thoughts, feelings, actions, and intentions.
Underneath that, you have control over your mindset/headspace/psyche. How you perceive reality is entirely yours to control — but that does take effort.
That’s pretty much it. All the things over which you can exert control.
Doesn’t seem like much, does it? Truth be told, it is.
But first, you need to let go of all the subconscious messages, beliefs, and habits you hold which tell you that you have no control whatsoever.
Releasing the subconscious
Step One: Identify the beliefs and habits
Over your lifetime you have been bombarded with information. That information has been the equivalent of the programming coded into any computer, tablet, or smartphone. And like these — it can be updated or outright replaced.
As children, we are programmed with the beliefs we witness and are taught. This comes from parents, teachers, religious leaders, other family, friends, and so on. Because they are learned as children, they tend to be planted pretty deeply into the subconscious.
These beliefs include things like: money doesn’t grow on trees, love equals hitting or emotionally abusing, food is comforting, someone is always better than you, and so on.
These, over time, create habits. Overeating, overworking, poor relationship actions, always working to outdo others, and so on. Most of these don’t feel like habits — but this is due to their subconscious nature.
Identifying these beliefs and subsequent habits allows them to be reprogrammed, removed, and replaced. How you identify them can be challenging — this might be where therapy is necessary. Meditation is also a way into this level of your psyche.
Just remember, you can’t let go of what you can’t see. Hence, identifying beliefs and habits is imperative.
Identifying these things gives you control of them.
Step two: Identify the outside influences
The upside to the information age is how readily you can learn ANYTHING at all. Information is at your fingertips. The whole world can be virtually explored instantly.
The downside to the information age is how readily false information is available. Hearsay, rumor, gossip, opinion stand nearly equal to investigation, fact, truth, and scientific knowledge. A whole picture of the world can be laid out before you that is utterly divorced from reality — collective or individual.
Spend two minutes on Facebook and you will be inundated with all of this. Good, bad, indifferent, information is poured into your subconscious. Since your subconscious is unfiltered, some of that info gets embedded and becomes a belief.
Borrowing an analogy from my late friend Chuck — you may have the capacity to receive an eyedropper full of info — but then got a bucket’s worth.
As such, it is all too easy to be impacted by these outside influences. They can cause you to yield your control because it feels easier than resisting. Subconsciously, you may accept without even realizing that’s what you have done.
This is why identifying what the outside influences that impact you help you wrest control from them.
Step three: Release and replace
Once you have identified all the bits in your subconscious that have taken control away from you — now you get to replace them.
This is where control comes in.
At the base of all that you can control is your ability to control your mindset/headspace/psyche. Once you identify the things you don’t want — usually buried well beneath the surface — you get to deal with them.
This can be done in one or a combination of the following ways:
- Reprogram. When you know that a belief or habit is stealing your control, you can alter it. Do you automatically assume the worst in a new situation? Reprogram that so that you either enter neutrally or with a positive approach — assuming the best.
- Replace. When you have a belief or habit that doesn’t serve you, you can replace it with something else. Do you think you are short and fat? Replace that with thinking you are compact and stocky. It never ceases to amaze me how changing your language can change your mindset.
- Repair. When you half-believe something, and it’s not entirely unwanted — you can repair it. This tends to apply to skepticism and cynicism. When you constantly need proof — often to an unrealistic extreme — the belief needs to be repaired.
Once you have taken one or any combination of these steps — now you can release it. Release that belief or habit that is not serving you. It’s not necessary to who you are — and steals away some of your control.
Releasing it lets you replace it with a belief or habit that is under your control. Which leads to a complicated, but important fact:
Forgiving yourself is a matter of control
The person who is harshest on me is me. I am my own worst critic. When it comes to judgment, I am the harshest, more unforgiving judge of myself.
This manifests itself into notions and ideas that are the opposite of control. How many of these are familiar to you?
Every one of these statements is disempowering. Thus, they remove all your power. Or in other words, your control.
Forgiving yourself for being imperfect is a huge step in giving yourself control. It is the equivalent of taking the plane off autopilot and doing the flying yourself.
Forgiveness doesn’t come easily. But you have the power to release yourself from loathing, dissatisfaction, and negative thinking.
This is not going to be a one-time thing. That’s because you will get it wrong. You will fuck up, make mistakes, cause other people to feel hurt, and upset yourself along the way. Congratulations, you are a human being. It comes with the territory.
But when you recognize and acknowledge this, it empowers you and opens you to take control over the one thing you CAN control. YOU.
What you can’t control
Finally, let’s clarify what you cannot control.
Simply put — anyone or anything that is not you is not within your control.
This includes things like:
- The weather
- Family, friends, coworkers
- Opinions other than your own
- Animals — even your pets
- Actions other than your own
Recognizing this is surprisingly important to taking control. Why? Because it will allow you to shift your focus inwards.
You cannot control anything outside of yourself. PERIOD.
Let me say that again. No, actually, let me shout that. YOU CANNOT CONTROL ANYTHING OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF.
Recognize and acknowledge this. Because when you do, you can turn your focus inwards towards what you CAN control.
What can I do to take control? Get to know yourself. Explore your mindset/psyche/headspace and perception of reality. Learn what you truly believe and what habits you have. Then, be mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. That will empower you to change.
This is much easier than you think it is — but — taking control requires some hard work on your self. This is not just empowering — it’s amazingly positive. And the world needs more positivity right now.
Taking control isn’t hard
But it does require mindfulness of your thoughts, feelings, actions, and intent.
Knowing that you have the power to learn, alter, and change your beliefs and habits, you can see how that allows you to take control over them — especially if they are not to your liking. When you gain control over these aspects of yourself — the only thing you can truly control — that ultimately empowers you.
When you feel empowered, your mindfulness increases, you become more aware overall, and that can spread to people around you. This can create a feedback loop of awareness and positivity.
You can build more positive feelings and discover further reasons to feel positivity and gratitude. That can be the impetus to improve numerous aspects of your life for the better, help overcome the overwhelming negativity of the current situation, and generate yet more positivity and gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of immense positivity. That positivity can generate even more good energies — and that, like you, is always worthwhile.
Thank you for reading. I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, and similar life lessons.
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Originally published at https://titaniumdon.com on October 12, 2020.