Although control is the underlying force that shapes our lives, it is not the only force at work. It’s second in command is a very powerful emotion. It is one that is used frequently by those in power and is meant to prevent us from acting out of turn. It’s name is fear. And along with its close cousin anxiety, it fools us into believing that we have no power - no control - over our own lives. Fear has hypnotized us and prevents us from living the lives we were always meant to live.
Think about a situation in which you are unhappy and you feel you have little control. It could be a job you hate or a relationship you feel stuck in. Now think about the fear. What fear messages come through loud and clear when you think about that situation? Do you fear losing your job? Do you fear never being able to support yourself again? Do you fear being seen as a loser? Do you fear never being loved again?
Now turn your attention to your body. What is all that fear doing to you? Do you feel your heart rate has increased? How about your breathing? Is your stomach clenched?
Now think through your fear. What if you did lose your job? What then? Is your company the only company in the world that does what yours does? Do other companies use employees that have your skill? Are there other fish in the proverbial sea? Are you really a loser if you make a different choice? Can you choose to put your self-worth in your own hands so that losing a relationship is less devastating?
Your choice is your power. You can choose to give into the fear or your can choose to rise above it. You can choose to be controlled or regain the feeling of control over your own life. You can be a victim or a hero, if you so choose.
Because this idea of control - and particularly the way we try to exert it - causes us pain in every area of our lives. Our relationships, our education, or work, our self-esteem - everything! So think about it - what do you have to gain from losing the fear? What do you have to gain from choosing something different? What do you get from choosing to stay the same?