You feel good about yourself to the degree to which you feel you are in control of your own life. – Brian Tracy
This article is part of a series of four articles that explore fundamental universal laws that govern our lives. Here are links to all articles within this series:
- The Universal Law of Cause and Effect
- The Universal Law of Belief
- The Universal Law of Attraction
- The Universal Law of Control
Understanding the Law of Control
The Law of Control states that we feel good about ourselves to the degree to which we feel that we are in control of our own lives. When we are physically, mentally and emotionally controlling the changes in our lives, then this naturally leads to higher levels of achievement, emotional satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment. Uncontrolled change, on the other hand, leads to stress, anxiety, frustration, and misery — all of which signifies that our mind lacks discipline, order and structure.
Within today’s discussion, we will take a look at the Law of Control from a variety of angles and perspectives. We will specifically explore the impact that it has on our lives; analyze the benefits and drawbacks of the two types of control, and conclude our discussion by presenting you with several strategies and self-analysis questions that will enable you to gain a greater sense of clarity about your life, and subsequently allow you to seize back conscious control over your decisions, behaviors and ultimate destiny.
The Law of Control
Within this section, we will delve into the meaning behind the Law of Control and the impact that it has on our lives.
Your Degree of Control Determines…
The degree of physical and psychological control that we feel we have over our lives at any given moment in time determines how we feel around certain people, how we feel on a daily basis, how we feel under specific circumstances and conditions, and the types of emotions we tend to experience consistently throughout the day.
Your Level of Control
When it comes to controlling our life and circumstances, there are essentially two levels of control that we can become habitually accustomed to:
High Level of Control
Under certain conditions, people and circumstances we can experience a high level of control.
Having a sense of a high level of control naturally leads to the experience of positive emotions, and it signifies that our lives are controlled by us (internal locus of control), and not by outside circumstances or people.
Low Level of Control
Under certain conditions, people and circumstances we can experience a low level of control.
Having a sense of a low level of control naturally leads to the experience of negative emotions, and it signifies that our lives are controlled by external circumstances and people (external locus of control), and not by ourselves.
The Importance of Controlled Change
When we learn to effectively take real or imagined control over the changing conditions and circumstances of our lives, then this naturally leads to lower levels of stress, higher levels of performance and a greater sense of overall achievement and confidence in our abilities.
Types of Control
Within this section, we will analyze the benefits and drawbacks of the two types of control that influence our lives.
When We Lack Control
When we feel that we are lacking control over events, people, circumstances and the emotions we tend to experience on a consistent basis, then this naturally affects us in limiting and negative ways.
Here are the drawbacks of this type of control:
High Levels of Procrastination
When we feel that we are lacking control over our lives and circumstances, our body naturally begins to panic. This state of hesitancy raises our levels of stress, anxiety and overall ability to think effectively under these uncertain emotional conditions. Likewise this leads to higher levels of procrastination, as we feel somewhat unable to effectively deal with the circumstances of our lives, and as such we tend to do nothing about it, which results in procrastination.
Limiting and Negative Emotions
Sensing a lack of control over our lives can also lead to many other limiting emotions such as frustration, disappointment, overwhelm, guilt and anger.
Whenever you are experiencing these emotions, it simply means that at that very moment you are feeling as though you are not in control of your life. As such, you will continue to experience these emotions up until the moment when you feel that you have gained back some semblance of control over yourself, your life or your circumstances.
Ineffective Choices and Decisions
As we become overwhelmed by all the above mentioned negative emotions and limiting behaviors, is it really surprising that we naturally begin to make ineffective choices and decisions on a daily basis?
Our choices and decisions are a reflection of our state-of-mind and of our ability to effectively predict the outcomes of our lives before they occur.
If we feel that we are lacking a sense-of-control over our lives, people or circumstances, then this will naturally breed a sense of hesitancy and fear, which brings up thoughts of an uncertain future leading to indecision and the vicious cycle of procrastination.
When We Maintain Control
When we feel that we are maintaining control over events, people, circumstances and the emotions that we tend to experience on a consistent basis, then this naturally affects us in empowering and positive ways.
Here are the benefits of this type of control:
When you experience a sense-of-control, you naturally feel good about yourself, your life and the circumstances you find yourself in. This, therefore, attracts positive and empowering emotions into your life experience, which likewise adds to your clarity of thought.
Greater Clarity of Thought
When you experience a sense-of-control, you are able to think without stress, anxiety and a plethora of other above-mentioned emotions that clutter your thoughts with negative outcomes.
Effective Choices and Decisions
When you experience a sense-of-control, you experience positive emotions and clarity of thought, which allows you to make better and more effective choices and decisions about your life and circumstances.
High Levels of Motivation
When you experience a sense-of-control, you naturally believe that your choices and decisions will lead to the outcomes you desire to bring forth into your life. This, therefore, raises your levels of motivation and inspires you to take positive action.
Inspired and Proactive Action
As a consequence of all the above, you take inspired and proactive action, thusly bringing forth into your reality the goals and objectives you desire to achieve.
Self-Analysis and Transformation
Within this section, we will discuss several strategies and present you with a variety of self-analysis questions that will enable you to gain a greater sense of clarity about your life, and subsequently allow you to seize back conscious control over your decisions, behaviors, and actions.
Here are several self-analysis questions that will help you to gather the necessary information and resources you need to take back control over your life and circumstances.
Life Areas You Control
What areas of my life do I control?
Life Areas You Semi-Control
What areas of my life do I partly control?
How can I enhance my control within these areas? Socially, physically and emotionally?
Life Areas You Don’t Control
What areas of my life don’t I control?
How can I gain control over these areas?
What am I unable to control?
How can I let go of the need to control these areas?
How can I learn to accept that not everything can be controlled all of the time?
Here we will focus on outlining some effective strategies you can use to gain back the control you desire to have over yourself, your life and the circumstances you find yourself in every single day.
If you take the time and effort to implement even some of these suggestions, you will undoubtedly develop the necessary frame-of-mind and willpower to control the outcomes within your reality.
Cultivate the Qualities of Control
There are certain personal qualities and attributes that if cultivated in the right way will naturally enable you to gain back control over your life and circumstances.
Present Moment Awareness
At any moment in time when you are suddenly feeling that you cannot control your life, events or circumstances, it helps to focus on the present moment.
Once there, you soon realize that within the present moment you can begin by controlling your breath, the movement of your body, hands, legs, etc. Soon afterward you realize that you can also control how you talk to yourself, your thoughts and subsequently the emotions you are experiencing in the moment. Consequently, you begin asking better and more effective questions, which enables you to make better decisions about the current predicaments you are facing, leading to higher clarity of thought followed by proactive action.
Just remember that control always starts and ends in the present moment.
No matter how little control you have in the present moment, it always helps to cultivate the quality of persistence.
If you persist long and hard enough in creative ways, then the odds will eventually be stacked in your favor — enabling you to gain some semblance of control, which will lead to ever greater levels of control as long as you never give up and keep moving forward in a creative and flexible way towards your goals and objectives.
At times experiencing a lack of control is nothing more than bad luck. During these moments it is important to let go, to disassociate yourself from your experience, and wait patiently for the storm to pass. Additionally, all-the-while as the storm is brewing around you, keep your senses primed to spot opportunities that may arise. The moment an opportunity arises is the moment you have a chance to get back in the game one small step at a time.
Foresight is the ability to see beyond your present circumstances, and into a future of potential pitfalls and/or opportunities.
By thinking ahead while maintaining an open-minded approach, you will develop the necessary foresight to identify the best course-of-action you should be taking within the next moment, thusly enabling you to take back control over your present circumstances a slice at a time.
When we are lacking control, it is very easy to become overwhelmed in the moment, and as a result, we naturally tend to blur out the obvious answers that we are looking for.
Cultivating focused attention means that you are attending to the microcosm of details that make up your current predicament. It is after all in these details that ideas are born — where you will find the necessary answers and solutions to help you take back control over your current life condition and circumstances.
Cultivating discipline will enable you to become better aware of what is required to take back control over your present circumstances.
Discipline helps us to stay at a task longer, to spot minute details, while providing us with a greater clarity of thought — allowing for proactive action and the development of a deep sense of conviction about the task at hand.
When you are able to humor yourself about your current predicament or about your uncanny lack of control over your life circumstances, you essentially detach yourself from your experience and associate yourself with the possibilities of finding an effective solution that will help you gain some semblance of control as you move forward towards your desired outcomes.
Create Productive Time Schedules
By taking the time to organize your time, you are effectively giving yourself the ability to control how you spend your time, where you spend your time, and how long you spend it. That by itself enables you a great deal of control over the events and circumstances of your life.
Additionally, by being disciplined and sticking to your time schedules — no matter how events or circumstances change around you — will help keep you productive and within your zone of control, thusly enabling for greater clarity of thought in the midst of turmoil.
Create Empowering Goals and Objectives
Just by setting empowering life goals and daily objectives, naturally provides us with a sense-of-control over our lives.
When we work towards achieving an outcome, we naturally work from a place of control where we know our outcomes and understand what we must do to get them. That by itself will provide you with a greater clarity of thought enabling you to make better and more effective decisions about the predicaments that confront you on a daily basis.
Create Contingency Plans
The moments when we tend to lose a sense-of-control over our life or circumstances are the moments that surprise us unexpectedly without prior warning.
These unexpected events cause great distress because we simply did not prepare for them before we took our current course of action. As a result, we hesitate or feel powerless when moving forward, and thusly lack the necessary clarity of thought to overcome these unexpected setbacks.
To help us overcome these types of instances, we must take the time to develop effective contingency plans if things don’t go as we had expected. This can take some time and effort. However, you could save a lot of time by asking yourself:
What consequences could potentially result from this course of action?
How will these consequences impact my state-of-mind and circumstances?
How will I take control of these consequences in an effective and efficient way?
Accept Change Wholeheartedly
For many people change can be a positive and enlightening experience. However, for other people change can also mean a loss of a sense-of-control over certain aspects of their lives.
In many instances, we must accept that change is inevitable, unavoidable and unpredictable. In such instances, we must learn to appreciate this change for what it is, instead of trying to resist it with all our strength.
Change occurs because our energies are no longer aligned with our habitual patterns of behavior. As a result, our circumstances change, our living conditions become somewhat foreign to us, and we lose that sense-of-control, certainty, and familiarity. When this occurs, it is important to just accept things as they are and take notice of the opportunities that have presented themselves.
Change does not signify an ending, but rather new beginnings.
Develop Real or Imagined Control
If you are unable to develop actual control over the events and circumstances in your life, then simply fake it!
Close your eyes and imagine yourself being in control of the events and circumstances that are causing you distress. Close your eyes and really think about it…
If I had unlimited resources, how would I resolve this predicament?
If I had no limitations, how would I gain control over my current circumstances?
You may actually find that by imagining being in control will actually provide you with that missing creative spark that will enable you to gain the clarity of thought you need to take control over your life circumstances.
Let Go of What Can’t Control
When all else fails just simply let go of what you can’t control.
There is no point in hanging on and stressing about something that you cannot influence or control yourself. Just let it go, and move on with your life.
Sometimes things do have a way of working themselves out. And if they don’t, then at least you are not stressing about that storm raging outside. If you can’t control the storm, then what’s the point of stressing about it? Just let things go. 🙂
Control Your Mind
Finally, the one thing that we always control no matter what is going on around us is our mind (our thought process).
You are always capable — maybe not always willing but certainly capable — of controlling your thoughts, attitude, self-talk and the subsequent emotions you experience as a result.
No matter what is going on around you, there is never an excuse not to begin by taking control of your own mind. To do this, simply start by thinking and talking only about what you want to do, be, have and achieve. Who knows, you may actually find that all your answers lie within. 🙂
Our need for certainty and control is no doubt a primary driving force of human development. It’s something that has shaped the course of evolution, and it is undoubtedly something that will continue to shape each and every one of our lives for all eternity. However having said that, we must also keep in mind that we are not really talking about external control, but rather internal control — the control you have over your thoughts, self-talk, attitude and beliefs. It is after all this internal control that has the power and influence to shape your life choices, decisions, actions and ultimate destiny.
Time to Assimilate these Concepts
Did you gain value from this article? Is it important that you know and understand this topic? Would you like to optimize how you think about this topic? Would you like a method for applying these ideas to your life?
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