5 Things You Will Learn When You Let Go of What You Cannot Control

Letting go of what you cannot control is challenging, but once you know how it will benefit you, you’re more likely to practice it.

People often generate unnecessary stress or behave uncharacteristically when they attempt to control situations or circumstances that they can’t.

Letting go of what you cannot control is freeing mentally and emotionally.

1-Minute Summary Video

Why Do You Believe You Need to Control Things?

The reasons people want to control things in their lives include:

  • To feel safe.
  • To have a sense of balance as they go through their everyday lives.
  • To protect themselves from pain.
  • To feel secure or comfortable.
  • To be sure of themselves.
  • To feel confident.
  • To look impressive or to impress others.
  • To have peace of mind.
  • To gain approval.
  • To earn respect.

When you let go of what you cannot control, you will have more mental and emotional energy to focus on things you can influence or things important to you.

what you cannot control

Examples of What You Cannot Control

Things you cannot control include:

  • The state of your economy.
  • Other people’s opinions and attitude towards you.
  • The weather.
  • How people interpret what you say or do.
  • People’s choices and actions.
  • What happened in the past.

The Costs of Wanting to Control Everything

If you try to control everything in your life, the downside includes:

  • You may not enjoy the present moment as you’re thinking about the past or the future.
  • You may exert more mental and emotional energy.
  • You may affect your relationships.
  • You may waste time.
  • You may miss out on opportunities.
  • You may not have as much fun in your life.
  • You may develop a reputation for being a control freak.
  • You may make poor choices.

As you focus less on what you cannot control, what you experience in your daily life will improve dramatically.

5 Lessons You Will Learn If You Let Go of What You Cannot Control

Here are five things you will learn if you let go of what you cannot control, which will lead to better mental and emotional health.

  1. You will give a better meaning to things you experience. No matter what happens, you can choose the meaning or label you give it. If something unexpected happens, you can ask yourself, “What’s the opportunity this brings?”
  2. You will accept the less you control, the freer you will be. When you control many things, you deplete your mental and emotional energy a lot quicker. When you focus on fewer things, you will progress much faster towards what you want.
  3. You will admit holding onto what’s not serving you will lead to more suffering. Sometimes, you may hang onto something you’ve invested a lot into, even though you know it’s no longer beneficial. That will only cause suffering. When you let go of what you don’t want or what’s not working, you’ve taken the first step towards choosing what you want.
  4. You will grasp you cannot do everything nor do you know all you need to. If you’re unable to ask for help or admit you’re struggling, it’s a sign of weakness. You don’t know and will never know everything there is to help you achieve what you want or live a better life. Be okay asking for help because that is a sign of intelligence and courage.
  5. You will truly know what you can and cannot change. This means knowing where you are right now is where you’re meant to be. You will accept you have the power to change your reality and no one’s responsible for your life except you. This is the ultimate realisation of what you can control.

Final Thoughts

When you allow yourself to accept what you can and cannot control, little things won’t matter as much. This means you can give more attention to what’s important to you.

As you focus more on your priorities, you will feel better about yourself, the progress you’re making, and have a better experience of life.

Action Step: Identify one thing you know you cannot control, but have given it far too much time and attention. Ask yourself, “If I let go of trying to control this, what opportunities could emerge?”

Question: What is another lesson you will learn when you let go of what you cannot control?

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Neel Raman

Neel Raman

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