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Do you have control issues? On life’s journey to wholeness and completion, personality control is probably the greatest issue we all face. It’s about ego.

Control and death
We believe we can control what we experience, that is, except death. One of our greatest fears is our fear of losing control, and underneath that is our fear of death. To move through our fear and release our need to control, we need to face death with acceptance, inner peace and equanimity.

Unfortunately many of us who are “control-freaks,” don’t actually realize we are. But, our friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers and others do! We all have control issues. However, for many of us, it usually takes a major conflict or confrontation to bring it to the fore – unless we are able and willing to consciously explore our fears, feelings and behavior.

“Thy will be done.”
What’s interesting about our relationship to control is that some of us are willing to let go – as long as the letting go is about putting our trust or faith in God, the Universe, Source, Higher Power and the like. However, the question underneath the question is: am I willing to trust in, have faith in and rely on the people around me in your life? In other words, we see and understand the “spirituality” of some “higher” entity, but we can’t bring ourselves to believe that this “spirituality” exists in the people, places, events, and circumstances around us in our daily life – at work, at home, at play and in relationship.

“Up there” vs. “down here”
There are those among us who live our lives according to the “Thy will be done…” perspective, but somehow fail to grasp the notion that the “thy will” manifests in the people, places, circumstances, events, etc. that permeate our daily lives. “Thy will” is not only “up there,” but “down here.” “Thy will” manifests as the physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological, financial, health and other needs of those with whom we come into contact – near and afar – every day. It’s these others who reflect the “thy will” that needs to be done.
Our journey “down here” is about change and transformation – a form of “dying” every day on various levels.

In our ego-driven culture, control is about “getting what I want,” “achieving goals, positions status, etc.,” and efforting to control every detail of our lives

The self-help industry is largely about shoring up our ego and not so much about changing and transforming our personality. The challenge that comes with changing our personality, for so many, lies in the statement, “I want to change, but do I have to be different?” And it’s this question which keeps people stuck in our control issues – unable or unwilling to allow or access the faith and trust in our hearts to forward the action of our lives.

Our ego self, wanting or needing to feel safe and secure, often prevents us from going inside to explore our thoughts, feelings, emotions, choices, decisions, reactions, and the like. When our fear keeps us from going inside, exploring and being curious about our inner workings, the result is our wanting and needing to control what’s “out there” – people, places, events, circumstances, etc.

The psycho/spiritual dynamic that’s in play here is that by controlling everyone and everything that, in some way, I achieve immortality – I won’t die. And, oddly enough, it’s only when we let go of this want or need to control, that we truly achieve immortality. Funny how that works.

Worry, worry, worry
Fear is what drives the ego. In a state of fear, where the emotional brain takes over, we’re unable (although we think we can) to access our brain’s neo-cortex – the rational, logical, executive, thinking part of the brain. In this conscious or unconscious, “need to survive” emotional state, where we continually feel threatened, we cannot make the conscious, healthy choices and decisions that will honestly, sincerely and self-responsibly forward the action of our lives.

Loss of control, for many, is the one, greatest threat that stands in the way of our spiritual growth, development and self-actualization.

Until and unless we become aware of our need to control, the capacity to give ourselves permission to have faith in, and be trusting of, our Inner, Essential self, our heart and our soul will not be realized. The inner journey is the way in to this exploration and discovery.

Questions for self-reflection:

  • Would you say you’re a controlling person?
  • What would your friends, relatives, co-workers and others say? Would you dare to ask them?
  • What are some of the ways you try to control what’s “out there?”
  • Is there an area (s) in your life where you feel you are losing control? How so?
  • What does it feel like when you’re losing control? Not, what are you thinking, but what are you feeling? Sense your body. It knows.
  • How can you begin to reduce and/or eliminate worry or perceived threats you see out there?
  • What was your experience around worry or control when you were growing up?
  • Where, when or how did you learn to worry?
  • When, where or how did you learn you needed to be in control?
  •  How did your parents or primary caregivers experience, worry and control?
  • When, where or how did you learn not to trust others?
  • Do you believe people outside of yourself hold the key to your happiness?
  • What would it take for you to become more peaceful, trusting and accepting?
  • Do you find controlling to be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting? How so?
  • “Whatever I try to control does have control over me and my life.” How you feel about the statement?

(c) 2016, Peter Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, or pvajda(at)

You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.