Learning What We Can and Cannot Control

control in recovery

Take a moment to pause and ask yourself what your relationship with control looks like. Do you believe that you can control what happens to you in life? Whether you’re struggling with addiction and self-control or recovering from trauma and want to control the world around you, people have varying beliefs about how much they can influence their own lives. By first cultivating an awareness of your relationship with control, you can then start working towards a more balanced relationship with life.

The Uncontrollable: What You Can’t Control

Many people make the mistake that they can control what happens to them if they try hard enough. Understanding that this isn’t always the case prevents setting yourself up for disappointment. Even more dangerous than believing we can control the occurrences in our lives, we get caught up assuming we have control over others. We expend energy on this all the time without necessarily realizing it, like thinking that if we act a certain way or buy certain things, we can control how others perceive us. In relationships with unhealthy boundaries, one person may believe they are entitled to having power or control over their partner and might be emotionally abusive to make them believe they do. Look at the list below of some things you don’t have control over and see if you are guilty of thinking you have some hand in controlling them.

  • Other people’s attitudes, actions, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and speech
  • Health and disease (You can only take preventative measures, but beyond that, it is out of your control)
  • The situations encountered daily
  • The past or future
  • Politics and legal situations

What You Can Control

What you can control in life is a much shorter list than what you can’t. In short, all of what you can control falls under the umbrella of you. Your beliefs, your responses, and how you choose to live your life all fall under what you can control. Examples include:

  • Your attitude, actions, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and speech
  • How you spend your time and money
  • How you treat others
  • What you value

Believing that we can control anyone or anything outside of ourselves is a false belief and will only set us up for disappointment and unrealistic expectations. Learning that we only have control over how we think and choose to live our lives will give us clarity and true freedom in our lives. If you aren’t happy with something in your life, then realize that you have the power to change it. If you are struggling with a mental health concern or with sobriety, call Avalon Malibu. At Avalon, we help our clients to heal their minds, bodies, and spirits as part of their treatment for addiction and mental health disorders. By using complementary healing modalities in our comprehensive treatment programs, we will help you find recovery and acceptance. Take control of your life today and call us at (844) 857-5992.

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