When I was younger, my father was always trying to teach me lessons that I just didn’t want to hear as a 13-year-old kid, as I’m sure is true for a lot of you out there. However, there was always one saying that kept coming up over and over again in each stage of my teenage life — “You can’t worry about things you can’t control.” As with most things he said, it went in one ear and out of the other (sorry dad), mainly because it was easier said than done. I chalked it up as an impossible task that my dad wanted me to achieve because his expectations were too high, and I never gave it another thought. Now, I finally get it. Let’s explore together what it really means to surrender your control!
Surrendering your control means not giving other people power.
If you have anxiety, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. We often stress so much over what other people think of us and how they must be feeling when we say or do something. We’ll drive ourselves insane wondering, “Does he think I’m annoying?” or, “Does she really value my friendship like she says she does?” Why do we do this? What purpose does it serve?
I don’t have the answer to these questions, but I know we have to stop asking questions where the answers lie in someone else’s hands. Let’s put the power back in our hands by asking ourselves questions instead. “Am I a good person?” or “Am I a good friend/girlfriend/wife?” When you answer these questions, you allow your voice and your opinion to be the only thing that matters.
Surrendering your control means accepting a situation exactly for what it is.
When bad things happen to us, we sometimes get too caught up in what should’ve happened or what shouldn’t have happened. Spending too much time in these thoughts won’t ever change what actually happened, so why do we do it? What purpose does it serve? Why do we drive ourselves crazy over it?
Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer to these questions either, but I can tell you that it’s time to switch up our approach. Next time a situation comes up that is out of your control, just say, “This is happening, and I’m accepting it for what it is.” Focus on what you can control, which is your next move, and try your best to move forward from there.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I’ve wasted worrying about what other people thought of me and regretting a decision I made or something that I said. What purpose did all that worrying and overthinking serve? In hindsight, it made no sense to worry so much because people were going to have negative opinions about me anyway, whether I worried about it or not.
How much farther in life did all that regret get me? Not very far, I can guarantee that. In fact, it probably set me back in my growth journey because I poured so much time, effort, and energy into the wrong cup. So, what can I do now?
Now, I try my best to look at the situation, acknowledge that it’s happening in a way that I did not plan, and ask myself, “What’s next?” That’s all I can do. Now, I choose to shift my focus from harping on the past and obsessing over other people to preparing for the future and bettering myself. I choose to surrender my control over things that I have no power over and allow myself to sit in the driver’s seat over the things that I actually can control.
“Surrender your expectations. Surrender your doubts. Surrender your fears. Surrender your strengths. Surrender your anger. Surrender your control.” – Yasmine Galenorn
My LFT family, this will be my last blog for a little while. I try to take breaks throughout the year because blogging about my experiences through life and my mental health can take its toll at times, so I’ll be caring for myself during this time away. Thank you for all of your support, and I’ll be back in early June!