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“When you think a thought – you feel a feeling. When you feel a feeling – you take action or not because of how you feel. Your actions (behaviors) create your experience in the world and ultimately what your life looks like – your results.” Brooke Castillo
In the world of psychology, homeostasis is a state of psychological equilibrium obtained when tension or a drive has been reduced or eliminated. Homeostasis is a more general principle of control.
What is control? The dictionary describes control as the exercise of restraint or direction over; to dominate or to command, keeping things the way they are supposed to be. But, how are things supposed to be? Who establishes the protocol? Is it a brand new baby in the house? If you’ve ever brought a new baby home from the hospital you know they tend to establish new protocols. Or is the full-grown adult establishing the protocol? Does every individual decide for themselves what the “right way” will be?
One type of control that is very important in keeping things the way they are supposed to be is a person’s health. When a person’s health is disrupted by viruses, bacteria, or serious illnesses their important bodily processes are disturbed.
It seems that every year when kids go back to school they are introduced to a whole new set of viruses that disrupts the whole household. Kids can’t go to school. If both parents work they are scrambling to find someone to take care of the sick child for a day or two, sometimes longer. No control. The whole protocol of the family is disrupted – out-of-control. Everyone’s equilibrium is off.
This is an example of Circumstance-Driven Control. It requires that everyone respond or attempt to respond to the circumstance and the change that it brings. The circumstance is a trigger that changes our thoughts, which cause us to take actions for the desired result.
An Insecurity-Driven Control is driven by inner thoughts, perceptions, and assumptions. It has less to do with actual circumstances or events and more to do with the individual’s perception or interpretation of the event.
A person who is insecure may get very disturbed when their child gets sick and can’t go to school. They may start what-iffing about the ramifications of the child’s illness.
- What if I can’t find someone to stay with him?
- What if I can’t go to work and I lose my job?
- What if it’s really serious and I don’t have enough insurance or money in the bank to pay for it?
- What if he ends up in the hospital?
In this case, the parent perceives a loss of control far beyond what the circumstances present, driven by insecurities, self-doubts, assumption, worry, ruminations, or fear.
When a person has the feeling that they are out of control they seek to get back in control or establish more control. When the lack of control is insecurity-driven it becomes part of the problem, because it is blown way out of proportion. The assumptions the person makes and the what-iffing prohibit finding a real solution, mainly because they can’t see the main circumstance.
Root Of Control Issues
Control issues usually stem from an event that caused a deep wound which undermined your sense of security. It could be that someone betrayed you. They may have left, passed away, made a rude or hurtful comment, cheated, lied, or seriously disappointed you in another way.
You don’t need to isolate yourselves from others or close yourself off from others. Because there is a solution beyond your insecurity.
But it is important to be able to trust yourself. No one can be as supportive as you can learn to be. Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. states in her article 3 Ways To Develop Self-Trust, “being kind to yourself increases self-confidence and lessens your need for approval. Loving and caring for yourself not only increases self-trust, but it also deepens your connection with others.”
Self-trust means that you’re not always trying to second-guess what a situation means or what kind of problem it will bring. You don’t need to start What-iffing. You know you can take care of your needs. You trust yourself to survive whatever life throws your way.
Who Is In Control?
We’ve covered Circumstance-Driven Control, Insecurity-Driven Control, Self-Trust, but who is really in control?
“Control is an aspect that all human beings deal with on a regular basis. It is more of a concern for those who have committed their lives to Christ. As a believer in God and a follower of Christ, one should be in the consistency of leaving life’s situations in God’s hands… Another way Satan tries to destroy those who follow God by misleading believers into thinking they are in control of their own lives and destiny, no one else.” – Don
Like Don mentioned, if you have committed your life to Christ, God is in control. We are instructed to keep our eyes on Him.
“If we keep our eyes on our Creator and Redeemer, our focus is on Him and not the situation at present. By doing this, we are reminded that He is in control and He is bigger than our problems. It gets our eyes off the present situation and onto God, who is the solution.” – Don
Yet, you are in complete control of what you think and believe, which dictates how you feel. It is your choice. When you put your trust in God, He gives you the strength to do what you need to do. But, it is you choose to trust in God to be in control or not. It is your choice, just like it’s your choice to be insecure and fearful or not. You feel what you believe.
Psalms 27: 1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Proverbs 1:33 “Whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.”
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“When you keep your focus on God you realize that you are in God’s hands and He will work out the situation according to His will with His good intentions for you are in the forefront of His heart and mind. God has nothing but good intentions in mind for you; He wants you to prosper, the writer of Jeremiah wrote concerning God’s thoughts of us, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11).” – Don
This may sound strange to some and others may disagree, but every thought you think can be a choice that you make. You can retrain your mind to think in ways that bring you positive emotions and positive results. It’s what you train your mind to think that will yield the life you desire. Once again you can trust in God and lean not on your own understanding or not.
You have complete control over how you chose to feel: anger, insecurity, doubt, fear, or your options.
Proverbs 23:7 “As I think in my heart so am I.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
As Proverbs 23:7 says, we are what we think in our heart (mind). This is great news, because you may not have control over the circumstances that come your way, like a sick child, but you do have total control over what you think, which yields how you feel and the actions you take.
If you have a relationship with God, He is available to give you the understanding you need for any and every situation. He is there to help you change your thoughts for your good.
Self-Coaching Model is based on the following truths, Self-Coaching 101, Brooke Castillo:
- We cannot control the world.
- Nothing outside of us has the power to make us feel good or bad – (including God).
- It is not the circumstances, but our thoughts about the circumstances that create our experience.
- We attract what we think about – (including God).
- Emotions are vibrations that lead to action.
- We can’t permanently change our results without changing our thoughts.
- We don’t have to get anything to feel better; we can feel better right now.
- Being conscious and choosing our thoughts are the most important components to feeling better.
So, Who is in Control?
Bottom line, you are in control. You control how you feel. You control the path your life is taking. You control it all by your thoughts, what you chose to think. If you don’t like your life, change your thoughts. If you don’t like how you feel, change your thoughts.