Power and control in your life

What does the word 'control' invoke for you? Is it something you want and crave, something you need? Or is it something to be afraid of from others, or even yourself, if it means taking personal responsibility?

Control may have developed negative expectations because it is something we dislike and fight against. Fighting to gain control of your situation and circumstances all the time.

People need not certainty, but security. People want to know what might be coming next, so they can plan and prepare at least to some degree. You might need to know exactly what's coming because the previous experience of uncertainty has left you fearful and forewarned of imminent danger, so you expect it again and again.

It may be that you have always felt you have control of your environment, your life, your purpose and situation, and suddenly, it is all taken away by someone else. Or maybe, at times, you have actually given up your control.

Developing your own environment to live the life you want, in the way you want, includes perhaps where (the location), who (the people and, hopefully, helpful relationships), your skills and natural talents, learned new tools and techniques, personally and professionally, to manage and improve your situation and your environment.  

You more than likely prefer to make your own choices and feel free to make decisions about your future and your options. You are able to take opportunities when they arise. Freedom to stay or go, change people, jobs, style and even personality or characteristics.

The other side of control that unnerves us all is being controlled by someone else. Someone else who takes over the choices and decisions removes your options and opportunities and the hopes you've built along the way.

That is something that really scares people. Perhaps this scares you too. Family or friends or colleagues, authorities and industry leads, professional expectations and obstacles to leap and overcome before you can do what you really love, and enjoy using your skills and talents.

Change isn't ever comfortable because you feel unsafe and uncertain. But changes are inevitable, in yourself and your surroundings, your circumstances and how you might respond to both unexpected and expected, and even desired change. Will it work out? Is it the right decision? Would you be better choosing something else?  

The thing is, we can never be certain. Decision making requires some risk, at some point.

We have to learn to trust ourselves to make informed choices and the best decisions based on the information we have right now, the options that are here and now. Looking back is always easier, isn't it?

If you are uncertain, make some choices and accept the outcome in future. Risk-taking is part of everyday life, but make them calculated risks, with plenty of information, research, discussion and help. Remember the following:

  • Know yourself and your tendencies, preferences, needs and abilities.
  • Know the potential options going forward by asking those in the know.
  • Understand your options and reasons, look for opportunities that meet your needs.
  • Work with others.
  • Create some semblance of security and certainty where you can.
  • Talk things over, jot things down, decide what you are worried about and why.
  • Start with the end in mind and work backwards, what is in your control?
  • Take control with information, choice and assertiveness in the situation you're in.
  • Have self-confidence and self-belief to trust your instincts and experiences.

There are always different options to choose, different ways to approach a problem and different solutions to consider. The decision you make is more than likely the right one, using the information you have available to you in that moment.

If you feel like you're being controlled, regaining confidence, belief and trust in your abilities is key. Being confident and assertive requires you to say what you want or don't want, and won’t accept. And you don't have to figure this out on your own.

By working with a coach, you can understand what control means to you and what you need to do to regain control in your life and be able to achieve your goals.

"You teach people how to treat you by what you accept, allow and refuse".

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Oldham, Greater Manchester, OL4 5SJ
Written by Julie Crowley, MBACP | Personal Development Coach | Registered Counsellor
Oldham, Greater Manchester, OL4 5SJ

Julie offers personal development life & career coaching for self-awareness, stress management, relationships & communication that identify your options, insights and outlooks. Supporting professional team members & families, self-employed or managers. "Removing barriers, building dreams. Resolving problems, building teams"

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