• Steve Daily

Let Go of Worries Out of Your Control - # 3

Would you like to manage your worries and feel less anxiety? There is one important step you can take that will make a big difference in having more control of your anxiety. Although It is a simple step, it requires continued effort on your part to be successful.

The step is to accept that there are things completely out of your control and let go of those things, and instead focus on doing what needs done that is in your control.

Let me give you a couple examples to help you understand this important step.

Jim works at a pizza place and was frequently angered because his boss wouldn't give him the days off he wanted. In the past he has pleaded with his boss, threatened to quit, and even yelled at him. Jim talks to a friend who advises him to stop trying to control his boss, and instead focus on looking for a better job where he would have his weekends off he wants. Jim accepts the advice from his friend. He comes to understand that his boss has schedules to fill and that is a huge part of his job. He quickly loses the anger, and invests his energy in finding a better job. Once he accepts the offer for the new job, he gives notice to his boss and tells him he appreciated working with him.

Anna frequently feels that her mom is trying to control her life even though she is a legal adult living on campus at the university she's attending. She and her mom argue frequently over the phone about her study habits, her grades, and her not calling home as much as her mom would like. There are times that Anna has not studied for a test, simply because her mom tried to pressure her do so. After reading a self-help book, Anna accepts that she cannot change her mother, but she can change how she responds to her. She learns to validate her mom's feelings and to treat her mom like a friend, instead of reacting to her as if she was Anna's worst enemy.

The following conversation between Anna and her mom reflects Anna's new way of thinking and responding.

Mom: "Anna, do you feel you studied enough for your math test?"

Anna: "I went to the library and studied a couple hours there. I guess I could have studied more."

Mom: "What grade do you think you'll get."

Anna: "I think I have a good shot at an A, but I won't know until I go to class


Mom: "How does your dorm room look?"

Anna: "I think it looks pretty good. I'm happy with it. It will look a little nicer when I have time to spend on it this weekend."

I realize that there are times a person needs to be assertive and stand up for their rights. Assertiveness is a vital skill. It is also important to stop stuffing feelings of anger that turn into resentment. But the key point I hope to make is we don't have to be constantly fighting and trying to change everyone around us to be the way we think they should be.

Learning to accept others are the way they are can reduce the conflict and feelings of anger we experience. When there is something out of your control, accept it and let go of trying to change it. Instead focus on an intelligent and compassionate way of responding. Just one more thing. Stop trying to prove you're right, if you want to have more peace of mind and less conflict in life.

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