Do you struggle with the need for control and does it just drive you crazy?! Does it almost feel like you have no control over your need for control? I feel you! I aspire to let go of control in my life, and its so much better than it used to be, but I still have my moments. 🙄

I will share with you what worked for me in releasing control in order to live a more magical life. It feels so much better to let go and let the universe guide the way. Things work out better than I could have imagined, and in ways I never could have dreamed. ✨

let go of control

How does “control” make you feel?

When you think of the word “control” what feelings arise? Do you feel a tightening in your stomach? Does stress creep through your body? Do you feel helpless, stuck, or bound? I feel pretty much all of these feelings when I think of control.

Control feels heavy, serious, and stressful. No one has fun when they’re trying to control things. There’s a feeling of desperation and perfectionism. For me, this has not been a satisfying way to live life.

What is control?

Control is an illusion. This is what my therapist told me. I can try to control people, places, and things all day and no matter what, things will still go differently than how I want. Dictators seek to control their citizens, but there will always be rebels. Control is futile.

Control is being close-minded. You have an idea of how things should be, and you will not deviate from that idea. There is no room for growth or learning when you have a set plan and think you’ve got it all figured out.

How we got this way

I think social conditioning plays a large part in many of us feeling we need to control our surroundings. If you grow up with controlling parents, controlling teachers, a controlled schedule, and controlling beliefs, you think that this is the way things are. Then you end up in a controlling job, and the only way you can feel a little better about your complete lack of control is to try to control others.

I was influenced by my grandpa, who was an ex-marine. He controlled the household and determined what everyone did, and if things weren’t done the way he thought they should be, his anger and frustration was all encompassing.

The way this influenced me was that I found myself behaving the same way as my grandpa when I became an adult. I would take out my need for control on family members, my dog, inanimate objects, myself, and the anger and frustration when things didn’t go perfectly was terrible! I felt awful, not just because of not getting what I thought I wanted, but because I felt guilty for my behavior. I didn’t want to be that way.

What the need for control really means

There can be many reasons why a person needs to control things around them. This need for control is distinct from wanting to manifest the life of your dreams. One is desperate and insecure at its root, and the other is empowered with a lighthearted certainty.

Here are some reasons for the need for control:

  • you modeled this behavior after people in your childhood
  • you experienced trauma and are trying to cope
  • you have fear that bad things will happen if you don’t control them
  • you are afraid that if you don’t control others then you are not important
  • there is a underlying fear of not being good enough/insignificant

For me, the need to control stemmed from my deep lack of self-worth. I thought if my dog didn’t listen to me immediately, then what I said didn’t matter. Working on group projects, when my ideas weren’t acknowledged, I pushed against everyone else’s ideas because I wanted to be important. I didn’t feel like I mattered. I can trace all that need for control to not feeling good enough (check out my blog post How to Believe that You Are Good Enough).

The need for control stifles manifestation

This state of needing to control people and things around you will smother your manifestations. The reason for this is the type of vibrations that you emit while you are in this state. Remember the feelings we went over earlier? Those are low vibration emotions.

If you are feeling desperate, stuck, agitated, or frustrated, what kinds of things do you think you’ll be attracting? More things that make you feel this way. This is so easy to see when multiple things go wrong in a row. Its like everything is going wrong, and you know your state of mind is causing it, yet it keeps rolling on. Actually, feeling like this is a great way to manifest stuff you don’t want!

Control vs. Allow

There’s a big difference between trying to control your manifestations and make them happen, verses allowing them to come to you. Yes, trying to force something to happen can give you results, but the journey to those results is not going to feel good and those results might not be what you truly wanted to see happen.

Abraham/Hicks emphasizes the importance of allowing. The three simple steps to manifesting that Esther Hicks describes are:

  1. Ask
  2. It is given
  3. Allow

After you declare what you want, it is done. Everything already exists, we just have to allow it to come to us. Allowing is releasing resistance to the how, and knowing that you are whole and complete within right now (Affirmations to Know Your Worth). When you allow your manifestations, you don’t need them to happen, because you know they are done. Therefore, you don’t need to control anything.

let go of control
Water droplet hitting a water surface. Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

How to get into a state of allowing

Joseph Rodrigues has a video series on his YouTube channel called Flow-based Life. He outlines exactly how to get into a state of flow, which is basically a state of allowing. He suggests “making flow a priority”. Do what you love, enjoying the journey to your dreams all while in a state of lighthearted flow with the universe. This is a beautiful way to live!

When you really want something, ask your higher self to show you the way. My higher self has attracted some interesting situations lately, which initially seemed to imply everything was going wrong. Every time I thought I had control of the situation, something else would happen and derail what I was trying to accomplish.

The universe was teaching me to let go of control. And actually, when it was all over, things turned out even better than if they had gone my way. I’m so happy with the end results and learned a valuable lesson in releasing resistance and trusting the universe. It became so much more fun to watch the magical unfolding than try to keep everything together.

Here are some ways that I was able to release my need for control and be more lighthearted:

  • Affirmations; I affirm to myself often that “I am whole and complete within” and that “everything is happening for me”, as well as “I live my life in lighthearted flow”. These affirmations set my beliefs to shape reality the way I desire. Affirmations work every time, and they are my go-to because they give me the most results. Just be consistent and say them in as many situations as possible, as well as first thing in the morning and before bed. This will reprogram your subconscious.
  • Revision; usually I can tell if I’m trying to control by how I feel. Its the same helpless, agitated feeling every time. When I feel that way and find myself reacting to things in a way I don’t want, I begin immediately to have an inner conversation regarding the situation. I acknowledge the feelings, let myself know I love me, and that I prefer to live in flow. Then, I imagine how I would be reacting if I was in flow. I feel what that feels like. And then I let it go. No overthinking, no shame. This is incremental retraining of reactions and it really does work!
  • Reframing; writing is a powerful way to sort out deep beliefs and change them. It might take a few times, but each time I’ve written in detail what was going on and reframed it to what I wanted, I have had breakthrough. You start by writing out the reasons why you think you need to control a situation, and work your way down to the root causes. You may discover you don’t feel good enough, or that you’re afraid of something. Then, reframe each belief and change it to what you really want to believe, that “the universe is working things out perfectly for me”, and that “I am important in this world and people reflect what I believe”. You can even burn the paper with the old beliefs on it, and symbolically release them.

Be consistent and kind with yourself

What helped me the most is consistency and being loving with myself through this process. Its not always easy to change habitual ways of being. It gets easier with practice, but at first it can be a challenge.

Its the small, consistence movements in the direction that you want that gets you there. Sometimes you don’t see the progress, but its happening. And then all of a sudden you look at an old affirmation that you wrote months ago and realize it totally manifested! There’s nothing more exciting than realizing IT IS WORKING!! You just have to stick with it, and I also suggest keeping track of your wins for those moments of doubt.

Release shame and guilt. You are good enough. You are a part of the universe! Realize your worth and know that your programming doesn’t change that. You have the power to change your programming, and it doesn’t involve force, control, or shame. It involves love and kind retraining.

You can do it! I see freedom for you in all your endeavors. Lots of love 💜

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