Control is an illusion, but it’s an illusion we humans love to chase at all costs.
The reality is that we have very little control in life.
Most times in a conversation like this people say we can control our thoughts and our actions. And since this is where I get to be nuanced, here I go.
I’d argue that we don’t really even have control over our thoughts (we can design more useful ones, but we can’t control all of our thoughts). Having OCD has convinced me of this—those intrusive thoughts aren’t welcome and as much as I try, I can’t control when they appear.
But even if someone doesn’t have OCD, it’s virtually impossible to control all of our thoughts. Think about the thoughts that came up the last time your pesky inner voice decided to get super judgy about something you were doing—attempting to control that voice rarely silences it.
Not to mention, many of our thoughts come from past conditioning and experiences that we had little control over in the first place.
But this isn’t a post of despair. There’s hope!
Here’s a hot reframe for you…
Instead of seeking control, seek to take charge. 🖼
When we take charge we aren’t trying to control everything that has already happened or will happen.
Instead, we’re taking charge, taking responsibility, for whatever comes up, evaluating it in the moment, discerning what emotions/triggers are in the mix, and choosing how to respond accordingly.
Control is a futile effort. Taking charge opens much more possibility.
P.S. add your own nuanced thoughts about this in the comments. How does taking charge vs taking control sound to you?