Your perceived sense of control over your life and what happens to you will have a significant impact on how stressed and uptight you are. We seldom worry about things we think we can control, we just take action.
If you don’t believe me write down a list of things that worry you and check how much control you have over each item. Give it a score out of 10 where zero is not control and 10 is one hundred percent within your control.
I wonder how many of you have noticed you feel an increased sense of control about the issues you have written down? Writing your worries down may have already shifted the level of control you feel right away.
For each item you now feel you have control over decide what you are going to do to resolve the issue. You may have some nice easy fixes. Other items may now have expanded creating unexpected new worries.
For example, you may have a worry about telling a relative that you would prefer them not to keep popping in unannounced. Speaking to them is one hundred percent within your control. Now that you have acknowledged this you may have now discovered something different to worry about!
Perhaps you now realise the real issue is how your relative may react. So the next step is to ask yourself a very important question.
“How is that a problem for you?”
The answer will be personal to you. Here are some common fears for this type of issue:
- upsetting the other person.
- the person becoming angry.
- the relationship might be damaged.
- Being seen as uncaring or selfish.
- Losing control of your own emotions.
- Not being heard.
All of these fears (and others I’ve not mentioned) are valid and at the same time about something that hasn’t actually happened. You are worrying about an imagined outcome, even so, this is important data. Own your fears and use this information to help you work out the most effective way to gain an outcome that works for you on all levels.
From an NLP framework the fears indicate ‘positive intentions’ that need to be acknowledged and included in whatever action you decide to take. They are also indicators of the wider ‘ecology’ of the proposed actions.
You will notice that as you drill down on a ‘worry’ you are moving it further and further to within your control. You might realise that you need to do some research or get some coaching to develop the necessary skills to communicate your message. This is still putting you back in control. Often you will realise you already have what you need to take action effectively.
The more control you perceive you have, the easier it will be for you to relax and enjoy life. The more you are controlling your own reality.
Start working out plans for those things on your list that score five or above. Notice how much you now feel in control and how the worry and stress has lessened.
If you have issues that score below five I will have some ideas that may help you next week. Please do remember if you are struggling with major issues to reach out for support either in your own social network or to an appropriate professional. There will be someone who can help you.