One if the common threads that goes through everyone that walks into my office is the desire to regain control over their life. It’s interesting that most people don’t realize that they are the ones that give that control away.
Did you know that know no one can take control from you? Only you can give it away. People can change your circumstances, but only you can give them power over you; your attitude and your view of yourself.
The Christian concept of denying oneself (Luke 9:23) is the cornerstone to understanding this concept. When you deny yourself, there is no thing that anyone can take from you. When we demand things from others in order to be happy, we are doing the opposite of denying ourselves.
When you stop expecting or demanding actions from others so you can feel happy, that is when people cease to have control over you. It’s not that you can’t have things, or relationships; it is, however, about making them the center of your life.
It all goes back to the level of significance you place on an object or a relationship. In his book “How To Stop The Pain” Dr. James Richards talks about the level of pain you experience from someone is directly related to the level of significance you out on the relationship or the interaction that caused the pain.
When you expect something from someone it gives them power to disappoint you. I’m not saying you shouldn’t expect anything from anyone, but I am saying you need to be careful how much significance you place on that expectation.
It’s one thing to be disappointed that an event didn’t occur or that someone made a poor decision. It’s quite another to define who you are or even how you choose to feel the rest of the day or week because of your disappointment.
Know who you are, know what’s important to you, know what your foundational core values are and stay true to yourself. Don’t let other’s decisions define you or control you.
Examine the importance you place on what others say, do or think. Adjust your expectations and take control of your life back.