How much energy and focus are you spending on trying to control things (the world, other people) that are OUTSIDE of your control? Perhaps you're feeling out of control yourself? If so you're probably needlessly SUFFERING. 😭
In this video I encourage you to shift your thinking.
About you. [Recognising your capabilities]
About your world. [It's exactly the way it should be]
And about the other people in it. [Permission to be as they are]
With the ideas in this video you can switch your focus back onto what IS within your control - a much more effective, and productive use of your time. 🙌😀🙌
Download the Control Worksheets here : https://livemorelife.kartra.com/page/73ws
Control. How much are you currently trying to control things in your life that are not within your actual ability to control? What are you trying to currently control in your life?
Is it the world? The circumstances of your life? Maybe it's other people? What they should think, or do or say? Perhaps you're feeling a little out of control. And even if you are feeling that I want you to know... I don't think that it's true. I don't actually think you are out of control. I just think that if you are spending time on any of those things - trying to control the world, try and control people or feeling out of control with yourself - that you're spending your focus, trying to control the wrong things. And I want to help you change that.
A quote attributed to Sylvester McNutt says "You truly cannot control anyone or anything apart from your attitude and your effort". Today, I hope to convince you that we get to think about our interpretation of the events in the world. We get to be responsible for our own feelings. And we get to choose how we act and react.
In this video, I want to help you reconsider any of the responses that you've been currently having to events in your world or people in your life, that aren't working for you. And instead shift your focus onto those things that are within your control. By the way, is a much more effective and productive use of your time. So, I hope you'll stay with me.
For those who don't know me, Hi, my name is Brian Grainger. I'm a life coach and a weight loss coach, and in my background I transformed my relationship with myself back in 2006. When I did that, when I changed the way I felt about me, I was able to lose 50 kilos, and I've maintained that weight loss ever since. And now it's my mission to help people transform their thinking, to change the habits that created weight gain and turn those habits into healthy new ones. So that you can not only reach your goals, but sustain it. You can live more life at goal. Of course, you can use these techniques to achieve any result, you want in your life.
You can check out more of my work at LiveMoreLife.com.au While you're there you can grab my 10 secrets to long term weight loss. And you might want to check out my other videos. For this video, I've actually created three worksheets, to help you through the activities, depending on what it is you're trying to control. If you're trying to manage the situation that you're in, that you find yourself in, I've got my Overcoming overwhelm worksheet. I've got another worksheet there if you're trying to control other people, right? You're trying to manage the people in your life. That's the Letter to You, worksheet. And finally, if you're feeling out of control with your food, I have another worksheet there called Eating Awareness. You can find the link to all of those worksheets in the description above or below this video.
So let's get to it right. Whenever unexpected or unplanned change happens in our lives it's really natural for the primitive part of our brain to think that our security, our status, our safety is being threatened. And although that might occasionally be true, very often it's not. And yet, our brain immediately goes into survival mode, and our normal survival response is to do one of perhaps four things:
To Flee - to seek refuge in the familiarity of old habits, past behaviours, to try and go back to 'before', back to safety. To give up or surrender, to quit our desire to change.
Well, secondly, we might Fight. We might lash out in anger or frustration. We try and seize control out of things outside of ourselves. Like other people, like the world. We try and change those circumstances, railing against what is.
Or we Freeze. We avoid. We diminish. We dismiss. We ignore. Sometimes we pretend it's not happening. We try the old 'head in the sand' technique.
And the fourth one I want to add that, I've been thinking about is this idea of (It's perhaps part of the freeze idea but it's) what I'm calling Fake. It's like a chameleon. We pretend to be something else. We either put it on a stoic front, you know we pretend not to be bothered. Meanwhile, we're bottling it up, and inwardly despairing or seething. Or sometimes we do the opposite, and we be overly optimistic. It's the 'Don't worry be happy', just be positive. Just think positive thoughts. Just think positive thoughts as a way of avoiding actually experiencing any of the negative emotions.
We flee we fight we freeze, or we fake, and particularly for that last one, it's very important for our mental health, that we don't do these things. That we actually resolve them. Doing any of those four tends to keep us stuck, tends to keep us where we are, at best, and often causes us to deteriorate. To self sabotage. To feel powerless. To fall into self destructive or harmful behaviours.
So why do we do that? We do it because we're frightened of feeling. We're frightened that we can't handle whatever it is that's going on. But we can. I love this quote from Byron Katie, where she says.
"Everything happens for you not to you, perfectly and right on time. You don't have to like it. It's just easier if you do".
And she also says, "When people argue with reality, they lose - but only 100%, of the time".
And I've always found this to be true. I've found such comfort in these words because when we fight against the situation, when we think it shouldn't be happening to us the way it is, or that it's not fair, we suffer. When we spend that time wishing things were different than they are, or putting it off to later, I see so many people at the moment going...'I'll just wait until the whole pandemic thing blows over, till everything goes back to normal". And when we're waiting for things to change, we're putting our lives on hold or where we're giving up or quitting or we're self sabotaging...We're giving up the power that we have to actually change what is within our control, right now.
We give up the gift of living our best life, and actually experiencing the fullness of the life that we have right now. I don't want you to do that. Time is our most precious asset. It's the one thing we're all always getting less off. So let's use it to move you forward towards your goals.
So firstly, when we're trying to control the situation, I want to encourage you to remember that the situation you find yourself in now, is your reality! It's not good. it's not bad. It just is. It is neutral. And notice that if you're experiencing positive or negative emotions about your experience, then that means that you're viewing the world through the filters in your brain. We actually all do this, our understanding of reality. We kind of all walking around with a delusion if you like, a movie playing in our head, our experience of the brain. There's actually, research shows, there's actually so much information coming into our sensory organs, or our sensory input, that our brain actually can't handle all of it. So, it has some filters that it's built to decide which bits to pay attention to. And it ignores the rest.
Because our brain has this cognitive bias. It also goes looking for evidence that what we believe is true. And so we interpret the events of our lives. We interpret the experiences we have in a way that reinforces the truth we are believing. If we don't question it, we don't challenge it, if we don't bring inquiry to those default assumptions, or to our beliefs, then we always get stuck in those same repetitive thought patterns. Which might be okay for survival. It might be okay for existing. But we don't grow in that space.
You know, our survival brain, which, you know, some of the primitive structures are at the top of our brainstem the basal ganglia the hippocampus etc. Some of these really primitive structures - they're the parts that make up our survival instincts and our survival brain - and they only really have access to this moment. Am I alive right now? And they're always scanning for danger. Research shows about every five seconds your brain is going looking for danger. And because it always wants things to say the same, its entire goal is to keep you alive right now in this moment. It doesn't actually care about next week or tomorrow or three months from now or five years from now - that takes up our prefrontal cortex, the thinking more evolved part of our brain.
So primitive brain, always sees change as bad or scary or threatening. And when it's triggered. We're motivated to go and seek pleasure, avoid pain and conserve energy - do as little as possible. So, we find ourselves (and you might have found yourself) going in, eating or drinking or getting a dopamine fix from scrolling social media or from Netflix from other forms of entertainment, from sex.
We retreat into the familiar. We do what we've always done...our most practised habits. We try and keep everything the same as it's always been. Just look at your life and see if that's true for you, that you always fall back into the same habits.
It used to always be true for me. I used to always find myself going...'I want to do this, I want to make this change, I want to make those changes, and something would happen. Some little moment. And I'd revert back to the old habit. And interestingly, I remember growing up, it always used to confuse me why things didn't stay the same. You know, why food expired, why possessions deteriorated over time, that people changed. I didn't think they should, they should always be the same.
And of course, as an adult. I've since learned that change is of course the natural order of the universe. We're in a constant state of change. Yes, even now. You are already changing, even in our bodies right? You are not the same as you were even mere seconds ago. Every second about 2 million cells in our bodies are produced, and about 2 million cells die. It's a beautiful thing, a constant state of renewal.
If we take that metaphor, we'll take that idea. It can open us up to a possibility of change. Whenever we want to. We are not fixed, as we are. We do never have to keep any of the habits we've had. We never have to keep doing. We don't have to be locked into our past history. Our body has already moved on.
Of course, some of us (hello control enthusiasts), spend a lot of time trying to take control the world by trying to control or change other people. And you probably noticed that that's just as ineffective as trying to change the circumstance.
So, firstly today if you're trying to change the circumstance...Can you come to an acceptance of what is, instead of spending your energy trying to change what is outside of your control? Can you come back to what is within your control? Let's have a look at the same idea with people. Right.
I wonder how many of you have what my coach calls 'manuals' for other people. It's like an instruction manual, you know? This is how they should think. This is what they should do. This is how this behave. This is what they should say in life. Most of us have them. We have expectations about what people are supposed to do. What they're supposed to say. How they're supposed to live. How they're supposed to respond to us.
Trouble is, people haven't read those manuals. And even if they had, most people wouldn't want to do them. Some of you have already tried telling people the manuals that you have for them. They never really follow it. Interestingly, you probably also have a manual for yourself. And if you can see that if that is true for you, one of the things I want to offer you for today is to have a go - can you practice - Letting go of those manuals. What if no one else had to do, or say, or behave in any particular way?
I want you to think about how much of the time, you are taking on opinions, challenges, the emotions, of others. As humans, one of the other things we have in our brain is what's called mirror neurons. It's part of our tribal instinct, trying to be like the people around us. So we actually tend to mirror what other people are doing. Or if they're not doing what we think they should be doing, we try and fix it.
So how much of your time are you spending, taking on other people's opinions challenges emotions? How often are you trying to fix them? Or to fix the situation? Instead, I want you to consider the following questions:
What if everything that is happening, whatever it is that's happening, is perfect for them and for you? What if it's here, what if it's meant to be challenging? What if it's meant to be hard?
I've had, you know, a couple of clients recently, finding themselves being very challenged talking about...'I can't look after myself, I can't practice good health, I can't practice my healthy habits, I can't make changes, because there are all of these problems, all of these challenges going along in my family, that I have no control over'. And they're causing me to feel anxious or worried.
They're not causing you to think that. You are choosing to take on your thoughts are creating that anxiety that worry. But what if everything is that is happening, even if it's unpleasant, is supposed to be happening? What if it's there to challenge them. To help them grow. To help them develop. To help you grow, to help you develop resilience, fortitude. What if it's there to help you recognise that you can't control everything, that you don't have to take on everyone else's challenges or burdens?
We so want to do that, you know? We don't want anyone else to suffer. We don't want to them to be hurt. We don't want them to have any negative emotions. Negative emotions are part of the human experience. Positive emotions are greater and greater because of the contrast with our negative. We have the spectrum. And I want to encourage you remember this, this truth this understanding that I have from my life is that...my greatest strength, my greatest growth, has always come out of my biggest challenges.
And so when we want to keep people safe, we want to put them in bubble wrap. We want them to be happy all the time. We don't want them to have pain or suffering or challenges, heartache - We're denying them the chance to grow. To live the full human experience. So instead, can you meet them where they are and allow them permission to be there, wherever that is?
What if whatever they say or do does not require reaction, or a solution from you? What if you don't have to change them or change the situation? Just try that on for a few moments, put it aside and see how it feels differently.
And it's not that we shouldn't have care or concern or empathy, you know? If we search for empathy, can you simply be present with them while they experience their thoughts and feelings? Can you be a witness? You can support them without having to jump in the pool, without having to activate all those mirror neurons and taking it on. Can you choose to love them on purpose, without attachment to their story? Can you see them as whole as complete as powerful, and as worthy, even when they don't, or when they challenge you with their behaviour?
By the way, that whole idea of being neutral, being present, being a witness and believing that you are complete and whole and worthy and powerful...That is what coaches do. That's why sometimes having a coaching conversation, getting help from a coach, can be different from a family member or friend who might be caught up in the situation, might be involved.
Just on that...Are you spending time recognising that you are whole? You are complete. That you are powerful and worthy. That you are capable of withstanding whatever happens in creating the change that you want to make. Are you taking care of you? Or are you busy trying to fix the world and fix everyone else? When we do that, when we're in everyone else's business, no one's at home looking after us. You may have noticed, that's when we default, to those old unhealthy habits. So instead, can you allow others to be who and how they are and focus your attention on you?
Wayne Dyer says, "Love is the ability and the willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose to be for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you".
I sometimes think this is the hardest and the most beneficial work that we do in the world. Allowing others to be who and how they are. Regardless of whether that satisfies you us. So, if you are feeling out of control - you're busy trying to control the universe, the circumstances, the people around you - I urge you to reconsider. Use the ideas and questions I've offered you today and see if you can switch your thinking.
What if it is supposed to be happening, exactly the way it is? What if you allow others to be exactly as they are in the world? What if your human experience is simply a reflection of your internal filters?
It means you don't have to spend any energy, any time, any effort, fighting any of those things. You can choose. You can choose to change.
In the end, all we can change is our attitude (our filters, how we act, how we respond) and our effort (what we think, what we say, what we do in the world). You get to reconsider, or at least think about, your interpretation of the events in the world. You get to be responsible for your own feelings. You get to choose how you act and react. And by the way, you're totally capable of doing all of that.
You really can handle it. And if you need help to work through it, then don't forget to download and complete the worksheets. Use the overcome overwhelm worksheet, if you're focused on trying to control the situation. Use the letter to you worksheet, if you're trying to control other people and you want to reassess that. And use the eating awareness worksheet if you're feeling out of control with your food or your alcohol. Follow the prompts in those worksheets, take some time work them through. And you'll notice, you'll start to see a shift, you'll start to see a change.
Of course, if you do need more help shifting your focus on to what you can control, or making the changes that you want to actually be making, then let's have a conversation. Head to LiveMoreLlife.com.au and request a free consultation. Remember, chatting with a coach like me can be a great way to help you discover the habits, even the thought habits, especially those little habits that you can't even see (you're too close to them). And of course you have the opportunity to draw on my experience of helping people go about adjusting those habits. You really can have the life and the results you want, no matter what's going on in the world. No matter what other people are thinking saying or doing.
So, this has been helpful for you. Then give me a like, give me a heart. If you're watching on YouTube or on my video blog, don't forget to subscribe so you get notified of every new video. And if you do know anyone who might be helped by hearing this information, by watching this video, please tag them in the comments or send them the link.
Speaking of the comments, let me know when you do the worksheets, or when you're watching this video...What attitude, will you choose now? What effort, will you make this week? I'd love to know. So, let me know.
For now, I hope this has been helpful. Have an amazing day, and I look forward to talking with you again soon. Bye for now.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
After losing my 50 kg I've made it my mission to help others transform their minds, overcome emotional eating and create the life they want to be living.