Feeling out of control in your own life?

Life is great when everything goes according to plan; however, sometimes when everything in your life is going wrong, it is easy to think the entire world is against you and that you are completely alone. As a result, you find yourself asking, “Why me?”. When this happens, anxiety and distress can make these feelings escalate and invade every element of our lives, including our mood, sleep, and the way our body functions (Barker, 2018).

Why me?

Control is defined as influencing one’s environment or the actions of another individual, particularly used by those who are afraid of ambiguity or feel they need to prove themselves. However, we as people cannot control everything in our lives, but we can control our reactions. We demand certainty in our uncertain lives, which may make you feel hopeless, powerless, and overwhelmed if you cannot manage or predict the future accurately. Even if it feels like you’ve had the worst day or week of your life, remind yourself it is not permanent. It is important to sit with this discomfort, feel what you are feeling, and be honest with how you are feeling. 

Changing your perception

There is a tendency when things are going wrong is to try to hold things together or to avoid the issue entirely and view any future actions negatively. Instead, allow yourself time to understand how things went badly and give yourself the control to change your perception. For example, analysing the situation will provide a broader scope of the problems that led things to go wrong. Initially, it doesn’t matter why things went wrong; we want perhaps unfairly to blame someone or something else. The most important change behaviour is preparing ourselves to cope and equip ourselves with the skills to fix things. By remaining empathic, sticking to the facts, and explaining how you’re going to resolve the situation, you place logic back in control.

Activity: Understanding how to fix things when they go wrong

Were the actions leading up to the situation out of your control? By stepping back and analysing the problem from a more objective and rational perspective, you can work on a solution for the issue.

If the situation causes you to feel stressed or less confident, a straightforward solution could be to ask others for help. Another solution is being compassionate and empathetic to recognize how previous situations were resolved, work with others to find a solution and then implement it. You can use this knowledge to avoid similar problems in the future and know that the way you are feeling is only temporary.

Quick activity:

Set yourself an intention: When things start going wrong, you will begin to lose faith in yourself and your ability to achieve anything. You could do anything, help a stranger, or make yourself a nice meal to help change your self-beliefs and improve your self-confidence.

Affirm your self-beliefs: Don’t feel bogged down by the negativity of others. Whatever will be will be. What must happen will happen. Instead, identify things that you are good at, for example, “I can achieve this”, “I can handle this” or “I am smart” and believing them will help you to stop doubting yourself, to get over your worries and achieve your goals.

References: 

Barker, P. (2018). Feeling in control. The Veterinary Record, 183(15), 482.

This blog post was created with ❤️ by Sarah Louise Watson (CSMCOSCA, MBPsS)