Power rhymes with control: the one who has the power is able to control the rest. From the dawn of ages, we learned that the safest and surest way to survive was to have the power, or in other words, to be a leader. This specific (mis)understanding is at the origin of many wars, conflicts, and arguments. Everyone wants to be in control. It is part of our survival instinct.
We start by trying to control the environment around us and adapt it to our human needs; we try to control nature, that’s how agriculture and gardening started. We try to control animals, either by turning them into supplies of meat and by-products or hunting them, or turning them into pets to suit our emotional needs. And finally, we try to control each other, economically, politically, geographically. On a social level, we try to control how others speak, think, dress, and behave… We feel powerful.
Are we really okay with that idea? The idea that we control another human being?
Women are often criticized for being control freaks. It is possible to observe this trait in us, be it with our partner, our children, at work, or with our friends. We want everything to go the way we designed it to be. We have everything planned! It’s funny because this scheme is doomed. It can never happen. We cannot control other people and we have no real power over nature. If a tsunami is bound to happen, we have no say in it! We always feel that others disappoint us and never behave the way we expect them to; this is because we cannot control them.
Actually, I found out I only have the ability to control one unique person. The one who is scared, frustrated, worried, and anxious inside: ME!
I can only control My own words, thoughts and behaviors, but yet… It is easier said than done! And this is why we tend to look to control others instead, as an escape. Controlling ourselves is indeed very difficult and it takes a lot of willpower and inner work to achieve. This is what genuine power is about!
Did you ever try to control your thoughts? Or maybe your bad-temper? Or maybe shift your mood to a better one?
Try this exercise now. Write down everything in yourself that you would like to control, and give yourself this challenge for the coming week. Observe yourself first and then figure out ways to transform your patterns.
It’s time to break the “control freak” pattern and make a true change. No more frustrations and disappointments, you expect nothing from others and are grateful for what they do.
By Michèle Jabre