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Letting Go of Control

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Like many people, I spend a great deal of my life trying to control outcomes. I want to get my work done well and on time. I want to be the best parent so my child will be happy, appreciate the value of hard work, be kind, develop good character, be safe, healthy and so on. I want to keep on top of developments in my field. I want to keep myself healthy. We just moved, so I wanted to make sure everything went smooth. If we go on an outing I try to remember everything the family will need while we are out. There’s a lot of work and stress involved in trying to control all these things in life. It’s good to work hard and to try to make life the best it can be for you and your family.

And then there are times when it is best to Turn Control Over to a power beyond yourself.

When to Turn It Over

  • When you’ve done all you can.
  • When circumstances are out of your control.
  • When you are tired and exhausted.
  • When you’re taking on more than you need to, especially a lot of little things that are not your real priorties.

Turn It Over to Whom?

  • Turn It Over to God
  • Turn It Over to Fate
  • Turn It Over to the Universe
  • Turn It Over to Science
  • Turn it Over to Other People

Allow yourself to be comforted by a belief that good will prevail in the end. Expect the best. Know that you can handle anything that comes your way. Take each day, and each moment one at a time. Truly. Try to live just in this moment. A good book to check out is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. If you’ve done all you can and you can no longer influence the outcome, then let it go. If you’re trying to control too many little things and it’s wearing you out, focus just on what’s really important, and let go of the rest. Put it in a higher power’s hands. What have you got to lose? Only worry. It’s not about giving up or not trying anymore, but allowing ourselves to let go of our grip of control when it doesn’t serve us well.

Stop Trying to Control Everything

How do you do this?

  • Imagine a higher power that cares about you. (If you reject this, ask yourself why you do and what do you have to lose by trying?)
  • Imagine your intentions carrying good results your way.
  • Believe in good outcomes. Meditate on this and then imagine actually handing over your worries to this higher power. You can do this in combination with a Meditation Nap.
  • Let go of fear. Allow your body to rest and relax. As the body goes, so goes the mind. Release your muscle tension and you can release the tension in your mind.
  • With your eyes closed, try a series of tensing and then releasing of your muscles. Start with the face, eyes, jaws, neck, then upper back, arms, hands & fingers, lower back, abdomen, legs, and feet.
  • After doing this either rest if it’s night time or if it’s during the day the best thing might be to focus on other work that you can control and that needs to be done. Or if you can afford to do it, take some time off with something fun to distract your mind, further cementing the habit of letting go. For workaholics it can be a great lesson to learn that the world doesn’t fall apart when you take some time off. Go ahead. Give yourself permission to feel good.

Feel the Relief

If you are truly letting go, you should feel a sense of relief and also a sense of release as your muscles begin to let go of tension. Where do you feel the release? Your jaw? Neck? Shoulders? Your mind? You may feel it in your heart. And don’t be surprised if when you let go that you feel a cry coming on. That’s good. That’s part of the release. Let it out and you will feel much better. The thing with letting go is that it is tricky – the task is essentially to try “not trying” – and it can also be fleeting. One moment you’ve got it, you’re relaxed. And the next, you’re clinging to control again, worrying. But letting go is a habit that can be developed and strengthened. Take your time. Be easy on yourself. Be kind to yourself. Believe in good outcomes, even if it means going through a challenge to get there. You can do it!

Wishing you good luck and peace of mind!

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7 Responses to Letting Go of Control

  1. Great article. Control is a major issue for a lot of people. The odd thing is, we are not really ever in control. Control is all an illusion. When you step by and give up that illusion of trying to control everything, you really start to recognise it in yourself and others. Control is all about fear. Change that fear to love and you no longer feel the need to be in control.

  2. Oscar Lettings June 16, 2008 at 9:01 am #

    Thanks for the interesting advice – I agree in particular with handing over your worries to this higher power through meditation.

  3. Angela Chen Shui November 22, 2008 at 7:09 pm #

    Wonderful post, Sully.
    Letting go of the stress, the power struggle…
    When we achieve that, the real grace comes…

    oh, but to remember that in the rush and bustle… So spend 10-20 minutes every day with Self, then the guidance about the next step is heard and the Universe rushes to support more easily because our signals are not skewed by worry, stress and rush…

    Blessings, Dear One and Thank You.

  4. Andrew March 5, 2009 at 11:03 pm #

    Letting go and let God is what i always remember…it always pop up on my mind…i heard from a priest friend.You need to let go of the things you cant handle and let God do the rest…You do your part and let God do the rest.

  5. Missn July 8, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    I get really stuck in this issue and many times I look desperately for help but I think what is going on is that I look to people for approval (they become the higher power) instead of God and so I get really neurotic, stuck, superior, inferior, the whole nine yards. I have tried many ways to deal with it including going to AA where people became the higher powers, councillors become the higher power, you name it and I get sicker and sicker and have no freedom at all. But I see the root of the problem as trying to get approval from people instead of God and that is what has lead to the illness. A hard and painful habit to break.

    • AgentSully July 13, 2011 at 7:04 am #

      Missn – they say identifying the problem is more than half the battle. Have faith. You will find your way to a peaceful life.


  1. Anonymous - June 24, 2007

    Letting Go of Control…

    Take a break from trying to control everything in your life, especially when you’re tired, you’ve done all you can or when you can no longer influence the outcome. Give yourself a break. Here’s how….

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Letting Go of Control…

    Take a break from trying to control everything in your life, especially when you’re tired, you’ve done all you can or when you can no longer influence the outcome. Give yourself a break. Here’s how….

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