How You Can Give Up the Need to Control Everything in Your Life

5 Things You Can Do to Embrace Letting Go and Surrendering

Neel Raman
6 min readNov 30, 2021


The need to control everything is a major obstacle for many people, which prevents them from experiencing life.

A person’s inability to let go and surrender reveals a control mindset, which will keep them from being free.

1-Minute Summary Video

Why Do People Have the Need to Control Everything in Their Life?

There is a concept called locus of control. A person with an external locus of control believes life is happening to them and they are not the cause of their life.

A person with an internal locus of control believes they have direct control over everything that happens in their life.

Common reasons people feel the need to control everything in their life include:

  • They don’t feel safe, due to experience such as domestic violence or other abusive behaviour.
  • They lack mental and emotional strength.
  • They have mentally created a fear list with things they fear losing or things they’ve already lost.
  • They may have had suffered emotional abuse or loss and want to avoid experiencing something similar again.
  • They fear if they don’t work hard or do all they can, they won’t succeed at what they set out to do.
  • They have false evidence, which means they believe if they control every aspect of their lives, they can avoid pain and suffering.
  • They believe they need to have ownership for all aspects of their lives because bad things could happen if they don’t.
  • They may suffer from personality disorders, and not have professional advice to help them.

No one wants to be known as a control freak. People also find it hard to give up any bit of control. The challenge is knowing what’s healthy control and what’s not.

It’s important to understand your tendencies and whether you have any of these control issues, so you can learn to deal with them and give up the need to control certain aspects of life.

the need to control

Signs of a Controlling Person

It’s important to know if someone has control issues, so you can learn to best deal with them.

People with controlling issues usually show these traits:

  1. They’re critical of themselves or others regularly.
  2. They expect perfection from those around them.
  3. They rarely accept responsibility for anything negative that happens.
  4. They blame others when things go wrong, but don’t acknowledge their part in what happened.
  5. They often make unreasonable demands and get angry easily.
  6. They criticise without listening to other people’s opinions.
  7. They take credit for successes while ignoring failures.
  8. They insist on having all the answers.
  9. They try to make others conform to their expectations.
  10. They purse perfection, which often causes them to procrastinate.

The Effects of Controlling Everything in Your Life

If you exhibit signs of a controlling person, the effects include:

  1. Feeling like no one understands you.
  2. Not being to trust others.
  3. Having difficulty making decisions.
  4. Not feeling good about yourself.
  5. Losing self-confidence.
  6. Not achieving your goals.
  7. Higher chance of experiencing depression.
  8. Suffering panic or anxiety attacks.
  9. Experiencing relationship problems.
  10. Getting into arguments frequently.
  11. Struggling financially.
  12. Avoiding social situations.

Giving up the need to control everything is a critical life skill. It will help you go with the natural flow of things, live more freely, not be in control mode all the time, and experience life.

5 Things That Will Help Give Up the Need to Control Everything in Your Life

Human beings need to feel they have actual control of their lives, therefore, they will always have healthy attachments as they battle for control.

The challenge is being in control mode all the time. It’s important to have a balance of control, without it affecting everything you do.

Here are five things you can do to give up the need to control everything in your life and embrace the art of surrender and letting go.

  1. Identify your greatest fears if you didn’t need to control everything. Who would you be without the thoughts of needing to control everything? What will become possible when you do? Capture how you will think, feel, and act. When you face your fears, they cease to have as much power over you.
  2. Change your self-talk and the images you form in your mind. You can change your experience of a situation by changing how you think about it. Whenever you think about something, it forms a corresponding image in your mind. If you change your thoughts, the images you hold in your mind will also change.
  3. Practice releasing techniques. Using releasing techniques will free up mental and emotional energy. It takes a lot of energy to control everything in your life. When you let go and surrender, things that cause you to want to be in control will fall away. You can also get professional advice to learn how best to apply releasing techniques.
  4. Embrace the unknown and not knowing. It’s common to believe you need to predict everything before they happen. Things won’t always go as expected. Instead of needing to know everything, embrace uncertainty. It will open up space for new things to come in.
  5. Accept there are many paths to get to the outcomes you want. To overcome your need to control everything in your life, know there aren’t just one or two ways to get to where you want to be. Allow for synchronicity and magic to happen. Trust you will know the way to get to your outcomes.

Final Thoughts

Instead of needing to control everything or being in control mode all the time, have a sense of positive expectancy. You’ll find once you don’t need to control everything and have a higher level of trust, your experience of life will change.

You will generate more positive emotions, which means how you show up and interact with others will also improve.

Action Step: Review the list of the signs of a controlling person. If you exhibit any of them, examine what’s going on and causing you to need to control something. Instead of having a control mindset, have a freedom list that will help you embrace things as they happen.

Question: What are other things that will help give up the need to control everything in your life?

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Neel Raman

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