“You can’t control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out. Let go a little and just let life happen.”
— Kody Keplinger
What powerful words these are… if there’s one thing I can relate to about the significance of this post, it’s how hard it is to let go of being “in control”. Sometimes we think by trying to pre-plan our every move and make sure everything goes how we hope it will, that we have power over a situation. But, the truth is, the more energy we put into trying to control things- that are just truly beyond our control- the more disappointed we become when things don’t go the way we think that they should.
“Just let life happen”- this especially speaks volumes to me. Now, this doesn’t infer that we should just throw caution to the wind in EVERY aspect of our life… We should still go to work and work productively, we should still pay our bills on time, and we should definitely still think before we act… but the message is to live IN the moment. Sometimes we become so preoccupied with what should be, that we don’t get to enjoy what actually is. This mentality more so applies to situations such as a presentation at work or school. For example, you should still put your best effort into your work- but what you shouldn’t do is anticipate your professor/employer ripping apart your presentation… the best thing you can do, for the sake of your sanity and stress levels, is to know that you did the best you could and go in confident with whatever the final product may be. You worked diligently and hard on that presentation, now you should allow yourself to enjoy it for everything it is, and not for everything it’s not.
For people who are similar to me (which I’m sure there are plenty), this attribute of ours can either seem to be a blessing or a curse. We’ll make it on time to meetings, work, and other obligations, but when it gets to the point of missing out on other things in life, because you’re so preoccupied with every little aspect of your life… then you may want to take a step back and think about ways to make this habit a more productive one. So, you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) stop being an organized or structured person- but rather, learn the different levels of using this skill so it works to your advantage, as opposed to against you.
Sometimes our over-organization can get the best of us. We think that if we schedule everything down to the last minute, and go over every possible scenario in our heads, that we are “prepared” for whatever can come our way. But this just isn’t so. We can’t plan for EVERY possible scenario, because there are infinite amounts of ways any given situation can go. So instead of planning ahead, you should try just going with the flow. If it’s going to happen either way, might as well enjoy it while you can!
This is something that I’ve only just started to really practice more recently. And this approach of just going with life, as opposed to trying to micromanage it, is something that takes time, patience, and effort to master. I’m definitely not quite there yet, but I can say I already feel a lot better knowing that it’s okay not to know.
Here are some things that have helped me along this process.
- Believing that I can walk away from every situation or obstacle I encounter with a lesson learned.
Now, sometimes you may think, “couldn’t there have been an easier way to have learned the same lesson?!”… well, perhaps. But sometimes the big ones need a little extra “pack behind their punch” to really get the message across, and leave a permanent note in your mind.
- Knowing that no matter what happens, life always goes on.
So, you got a lower grade than you anticipated on your exam. I mean you worked so hard, and studied for hours on end– you deserved a better grade. And maybe you really did… but, at the end of the day- 10 years down the line- will that one grade make or break the person you are? I didn’t think so. That’s when you can take a deep breath, accept it for what it is, and know that life goes on.
- A situation or person only has as much control over you as you let it/them.
This is important to note. This is also an instance when self-love really comes in to play. Love yourself and know your self-worth enough to acknowledge that although in the moment you may FEEL helpless or hopeless, you are NOT. You don’t have to know what is to follow, you can take pride in knowing that you can, and will, push yourself through it- no matter what.
- You are NOT your mistakes.
Now this has been a quote that I have always loved; and a motto I aspire to live by. I think that it’s especially important to remember this when we do something that may seem out of character, or when we get that lower grade when we normally get better ones, or whatever it may be that you’re beating yourself up about. As long as you don’t make a habit of your mistakes, you should never let them make you feel like you aren’t a good person. Your mistakes don’t define you.
These little reminders have helped me immensely in learning how to let go of needing control, and just being present in the moment. It’s okay to have expectations, and to WANT certain outcomes, but the important thing is to remember that you can’t control every aspect of your life; and really, it’s better not to. Once you let go a little, you will be able to enjoy the things that ARE happening, instead of just the things you WANT to happen.
– Virginia Johnson
Are you struggling with over analyzing, micro-managing or feeling as if you need to control every aspect of your life, or simply feel that you do not as you should? Sometimes having a partner in your journey can help. Give us a call to set up a free phone consultation at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378, and one of our Orlando Individual Counselors, Orlando Life Coaches, Orlando Teen Counselors, and Orlando Child counselors would be more than happy to help you, a family member, or a friend work on changing your life.