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10 Things Only People Who Aren’t Obsessed With Control Understand

10 Things Only People Who Aren’t Obsessed With Control Understand

Do you have a tendency to over-think? Do you worry about every single aspect and detail of life? Are you over-competitive? Does not knowing the outcome of every little situation stress you out? Chances are you are obsessed with control.

This trait has its positives. It means that you are most likely a hard-working individual, who takes things seriously and doesn’t mess around. You are motivated and competitive, and this makes other people respect and admire you.

However there are some things that people who are obsessed with control are missing out on. Here are just a few examples:

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1. They know some things are only complicated in our minds

Imagine getting into your car on a day where you happen to be extremely late for something, and no matter what you do, the car will not start. It’s a very old car and it has given you a lot of problems in the past. You begin to freak out and think of all the worst-case scenarios, how much it will cost to fix the car with money you don’t have. In the heat of a stressful moment, it doesn’t occur to you that one quick glance at the dashboard confirms that you’re simply out of gas.

For someone obsessed with control, it is easy to misunderstand and misinterpret things, and it can get very complicated. The most simple problems can get blown out of proportion when a person is stressed and prone to overreaction.

2. They accept that some things are inevitable

If you had the ability to relive the same day over and over again, chances are whatever event you were trying to avoid at the end of the day will still happen, no matter what you do differently. Instead of putting all your effort in trying to change the inevitable, why not save your energy and accept that nothing you do will change anything?

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3. They are aware that all you get from over-thinking are headaches

A person obsessed with control probably doesn’t have the word ‘relax’ in their vocabulary. There is a difference between giving careful consideration and over-thinking. People who aren’t obsessed with control know when to stop thinking about things that are not worth worrying about. Stressing about an important exam shows that you are concerned about your performance, but over-thinking will give you nothing but a bad headache, lowering your capabilities. Is it really worth the stress or not?

4. They appreciate the importance of surrender

Surrendering doesn’t mean that you’ve lost, or given up. Sometimes the concept of surrendering control can be more difficult that keeping things under control. Surrender isn’t a loss. It’s a victory.

5. They know things happen for a reason

Bad things happen everyday. Maybe your relationship just ended, or you just lost your job. It might seem like the worst thing in the world at the time, however it’s important to remember that these events give way to better things. You’ll find a better person, and a better job. Trying to control outcomes might be the only thing holding you back from moving forward with your life.

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6. They understand the fear of losing control

Control can provide a basis of safety and security for over-thinkers. It makes them feel confident and in control of their lives. It is easy to understand that losing control can be an extremely frightening thought to over-thinkers. Stressing and fearing the loss of control can be a major roadblock in success and relationships. This fear should be acknowledged in order for any progress to be made. The greatest accomplishment for a person obsessed with control is the ability to cope when control slips out of their hands.

7. They know which struggles are worthwhile

Life is all about priorities. For a person obsessed with control, the list of stresses and worries are endless, therefore the ability to prioritize is an extremely important skill. If you had to choose between stressing out about what fancy dinner to cook for your parents tonight and an important work presentation, you’d have to decide which would have more of an impact on your life. Some mental struggles aren’t worth wasting a second thought on. Your parents are going to love you no matter how bad the food is.

8. They understand the importance of trusting themselves

Never underestimate the power of basic instinct. You know more about yourself than anyone, so sometimes the biggest challenge is to trust yourself to make the right decisions. You can be up all night worrying about whether you make good or bad decisions. Sometimes it feels good to just trust that you know exactly what you’re doing and you really have nothing to worry about.

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9. They accept that they can’t compete with everyone

There are billions of people in the world. One very important lesson to remember is that you can’t compete with everyone. You can’t be number one in every aspect of life, which is a concept that is difficult to grasp if you’re obsessed with control. Overcoming this need to be number one will make you feel a lot more satisfied with yourself and therefore make you a happier person.

10. They know when control is a waste of time

Life is too short to be so stressed and obsessed with control all the time. Letting go of these desires frees up a lot more time for you to do things that you enjoy and spend time with people you love. Knowing when to let go of control allows you to live life to the fullest.

So stop stressing and start living!

Featured photo credit: Depressed Man via sciencetimes.com

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Elizabeth Andal

Elizabeth is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips and lessons learned in life on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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