Do you ever feel like the world is conspiring against you?
Do you feel like sometimes everything is out of your control?
Like the universe is conspiring against you?
If you knew the first step to feeling more in control you’d just take it right? But you don’t even know where to begin.
Worrying about the people or events in your life that you can’t control can cause all kinds of stress-related health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleeping difficulties. Learning how to cope with events you can’t control will help keep you in a positive frame of mind and alleviate your stress.
So right now you are trying to deal with a situation that is out of your control. Whether it’s a car accident, financial difficulties, or perhaps you’ve lost your job, your business, your partner, your home or some other challenge, these events cause stress and frustration, which negatively impact your health and mental outlook on life.
You are in a bad place right now, and you don’t see a way out. Maybe this could be you
“Everything in your life is crap! When is it going to stop!!! When will it end. My work life is crap, my home life is crap, and my private life is crap! Every time I try to sort things out, more crap happens and pushes me even further down into the crap! I’m in a bad place right now, and things keep getting worse! Life’s just crap!”
Don’t get lost in self-pity or anger. Remember you have the ability to change your outlook and your situation. If you can’t change your situation, you can always turn inward and decide how you’ll respond to it.
Understand one thing, you need to come to terms with the fact that you can control only your own actions and reactions. By accepting that you can’t change some things, you’ll become more powerful in changing the things that you do have control over. You’ll free yourself from the negative thoughts and emotions that can so easily hold you back.
Life can deal you a bad hand, but it’s how you cope during these hardships that will either make you stronger or break you.
Have you heard of your internal or external locus of control? Locus means “place” in Latin. As humans we allow ourselves to be controlled by either external or internal factors. Those with an external locus of control believe that their behaviour is guided by external factors. Those with an internal locus of control believe that their behaviour is guided by their own actions and decisions.
Having an external or internal locus of control has a profound influence on our behaviour:
Those with an internal locus of control:
- Are confident that they can be successful.
- Tend to be leaders
- Exhibit greater control over their behaviour.
- Seek to learn as much as they can.
- Take personal responsibility for their actions.
- Deal with challenge and stress better.
- Use challenges to come out stronger than before.
- Thrive in the midst of change.
- Are less likely to submit to authority.
Those with an external locus of control:
- Feel like they’re a victim.
- Are quick to blame everyone but themselves.
- Want to be led by others.
- Avoid responsibility.
- Are more prone to stress, anxiety, and depression
Those with an External Locus of Control believe that what others say and do, and what happens makes them feel the way they do. It makes how they feel depend on events and people they can’t control and feeling better depend on those events and people changing for the better. By this way of thinking you feel like a victim of circumstances.
Let me help you change your way of thinking, so that we can shift your locus of control. Anything someone else says or does, or that happens, is just an event. Problems, accidents, troubles, mistakes, successes, failures, challenges, opportunities are all just events, nothing more. It’s what we think about these events that determines how we feel, not what happens.
EVENT + THOUGHTS = FEELING.
We are therefore in control of how we feel based on the thoughts we choose to have. Some of these examples demonstrate this:
1) How we choose to look at things
2) What meaning we attach to what happens
3) What we focus on about what happened
4) What we compare things to
5) What we expect of ourselves, others and life in the first place
6) What we imagine will happen next
7) How much importance we attach to what does happen
We have a choice because there’s always more than one way to look at anything.
The great news is we can change the way we feel, by changing the way we think, because:
1) It’s your choice how you look at things
2) It’s your choice what meaning you attach to what happens
3) It’s your choice what you focus on
4) It’s your choice what you compare things to
5) It’s your choice what you expect of yourself, others and life
6) It’s your choice what you imagine will happen next
7) It’s your choice how much importance you want to attach to what happens
So as how you feel is the result of how you think or look at things, then you have a choice how you want to do that, then it is also true that it’s your choice how you want to feel
Please don’t misinterpret this. I am not saying “It’s your fault you feel the way you do”. And I’m certainly not discounting the importance of the events or situations you find yourself in at this time.
What I am saying is that we as human beings at times think, feel, say and do things that make our lives worse instead of better. It’s the emotional consequences for the way we choose to think, and if we want to feel better, there is only one real way. Change the way we think.
Abraham Lincoln said: “A man’s about as happy as he makes up his mind to be”.
When you develop an Internal Locus of Control you are able to:
1) Learn the real cause of your feelings
2) Learn what your cognitive choices are
3) Learn to use that new information to your advantage
4) Learn to not take unnecessary responsibility for how others make themselves feel
It also involves:
5) Learning and remembering what we do and don’t have control over
6) Focusing on and working with what we do have control over instead of what we don’t
We don’t and can’t control what others think, feel, say or do, and everything that happens. We can only control what we think, feel, say and do in response. Put all your energy and effort into trying to control the things you do have total control over, such as what you think, feel, say and do. This is the best way for you to get a greater sense of control over your own life.
Having an internal locus of control enables you to:
1) Have real power and control over how you feel
2) Stop giving away the power and control over your emotional destiny that you do have
3) As much as is humanly possible, feeling the way you want to feel
Realise that you always have choice to change your situation. When you feel like a ‘victim’ trapped by events, make a list of all possible courses of action you have available to you. Go into a brainstorming mind-set and write everything down that comes to mind without evaluating them first.
When you have created this list, assess each one and decide on your best course of action, and keep the others in the back of your mind as alternative options. This simple exercise can open your eyes to the amount of choices you have in a given situation. Stop telling yourself that you have no solutions, just switch of your negativity, go inside of yourself and let your inner self provide you with some possible solutions.
You just have to understand, no matter difficult this is to accept, that it isn’t what happens to us that determines our quality of life, it is in fact our reaction to what happens that does. Of course we don’t choose the events that happen, but we certainly have the choice in how we read what happens, and therefore what we do about it. It’s what you decide to do about it that will make all the difference in how things work out.
Every moment events are taking place in your life, and your mind is determining what your interpretations or judgments about these events are going to be. By choosing to become more conscious of how you react to what happens, you can shift towards what you really want in your life.
No longer allow your old habitual, reactive, disempowering patterns to be in control, instead recognise and change these old habits to begin creating the life you really want.
Once you change the way you react to the things life throws your way, you can stop being a victim of circumstances, and take control of your own life. You have the choice of being a victim to life or the creator of life.
So make today the day you stop being a victim and take control of your life.
I hope this helps you. I’d appreciate any comment! I would also appreciate it if you could please help me spread this around by sharing it on all your social media sites such as twitter, facebook, etc. Thanks everyone!
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No one can make you feel bad about yourself, you give others the power to hurt you. If only we understood it, life would be so much simpler :)Great post.
Sulekha. This is one of the most important of life lessons we must learn. If we respect ourselves, and know within what our driving force is, what destination we wish to go to, then nobody can inflence us in a negative way. I am my own man, you your own woman, we are puppets of nobody. Let people rejoice in our success, not try to influence our path.
Great post not a surprise all your are!!! I agree with so much of what you espouse , I was not always that way but about 19 years ago I had a health problem and realized I better start thinking like this lol
Jim, in a strange way, something, ‘bad’ things come to remind us how we should be living, they give us that nudge we need to move into the right direction
Larry this is so true… how we feel and see ourselves is entirely in our own hands… Only the holder of thy self can change the outlook of thy self!
Savy, as i’ve said before you have the ability to say in a few words, what i try to do in an essay. You are indeed a magical lady.
Damn it..this is so much easier said then done..I have man things that are out of my control that i try and fix..including my own inside…grrrr wish this was so easy…As always…XOXOXOXOXO
Bongo – some of us would say that without our trials and tribulations life would be boring. I know for you that your journey has met with great hardships, but as i say the journey isn’t over, and the rest of it is in your control, and down to you. You will win through, of that i’m sure.
Yes we have the choice of being a victim to life or the creator of life.It depends on the way we think and react to things.Looking for a positive angle in everything makes life easier.Excellent article as always. 🙂
Abhisek – thank you for your kindness. I see the victim mentallity so often in my work, and with it comes so much sadness and fear. When you can show these ‘lost souls’ that indeed they have the ability to create their own lives, determine for themselves the path they can take, it’s like seeing the light switch on within them. I love to teach them, that we can change everything in our life by positive thoughts and making firm, thought through decisions.
I’ve known people with an external locus of control and I find them to be some of the most difficult people to be around. Always playing the blame game. and I totally get that certain events can put us in a tail spin and truly make us feel that the universe is against us. But your post is very powerful and teaches that we can take some form of control. I don’t think it’s easy, but I like your suggestion of writing a list of options of what we can do to make things better. I am going to try to remember this! Thank you for an inspiring post! ~ Suerae
Suerae – thank you yet again for your inspirational comment. Taking control of our lives, certainly isn’t easy for many, they are accustomed to being led, being told what to do. It requires much resilience, and a massive change in their awareness. But when these people do achieve the shift, they find the world is their oyster, and no longer do they need to tread water. I do get carried away with this subject, because it is one of the biggest weaknesses many possess.