Become a Healthy Control Freak!!!
By Diane Abdo, Psy.D.
In this and the next couple of articles, I will offer some thoughts about Making the Most of Life’s Transitions. One of the necessary tools for facing change, or “transition”, is to be a card carrying control freak. The healthy kind.
By becoming a healthy control freak, I mean, developing emotional awareness, developing a vision of the path of the change you are facing and developing the sense of personal empowerment that results from accepting the responsibility of “driving your own bus on the ride of your life”.
I believe we must Know to Grow. It is much easier to see where you are going when your eyes are open. If you are in the driver’s seat as you travel a transitional path in your life, it helps to know what your psychological hiccups are so that you can prepare yourself to deal with them gracefully and effectively. Wouldn’t it feel encouraging to be able to rely on the fact that when you meet that bump in the road, you will be able to ride over it consciously? Maybe not painlessly, but purposely, and, therefore, with more control.
Which option do you think is more empowering?
Option A) You drive over the crater in the road while strategizing your options because you are focused on the goal and have the confidence that comes with personal awareness and control of your reactions with strong reasoning skills. Or,
Option B) You hit the crater and are catapulted into a state of debilitating reactivity that paralyzes you as you resist your new reality and renders you vulnerable to the point of powerlessness.
I choose Option A. It just sounds better. It probably feels better, too.
Option A serves as an example of control of the self. Not circumstances, not someone else, not the future. Just control of your most invaluable tool for navigating through life. Your mind.
Lest I sound preachy, let me share that I have experienced being caught in Option B, during which time my fear or hurt overwhelmed my ability to see clearly for a while. This state was very frightening and disempowering. In moments, the fog of painful emotions, and the lack of a clear path to follow, left me feeling vulnerable and disempowered. Oh…just a suggestion to emphasize my point. It’s always good to have your nicest undies on for those bumpy roads.
Change is a normal part of every day. We are exposed to transitional moments throughout the day. A decision is a change. It is an example of the process of moving from one way of thinking to another. How well we tolerate change, small or large, contributes to the stress associated with that change. Even welcome, enjoyable and positive changes (or transitions) require a process for experiencing them effectively and healthfully.
Changes are a catalyst for growth and it is your psychological approach, your attitude, that will determine how you experience that growth. By developing personal control skills, you can travel the unfamiliar or even unwanted path that lies ahead with vision and confidence. Even through unwanted changes, you are provided an opportunity for growth, depending upon how you look at the situation.
An essential ingredient in making the most of transition is the purposeful use of awareness as a method of control. Your relationship with awareness is key in developing a sense of healthy control over your view of your circumstances and your emotional response to those circumstances.
A fundamental skill in building empowering personal control is the acceptance of complete responsibility for every aspect of how you experience your life. You have ultimate responsibility for having power over your own mind and, therefore, over your own life.
Healthy control is a growth requirement. So, you must develop a relationship with control in philosophy and action, in order to embrace change and to be purposely involved in designing and directing the process of it. In this way, you are approaching your transition from a place of conscious control, instead of from a place of powerlessness.
Awareness of your own mind and of your own psychological tendencies, without judging them, takes you closer to empowerment. The concept of empowerment involves travelling your journey from a place of grace, consciousness and purposefulness. Your awareness of the puzzle pieces of your psyche will help you develop a sense of positive control over your mind and life. You must know or recognize your unhealthy patterns to be able to manage or control them and to be able to choose healthy alternatives of thought and response.
Seek that conscious control! Embrace the power of personal mind control! Be a control freak over your inner world and celebrate your freakiness!!
Dr. Abdo wants you to connect with your inner peace to experience and develop the sense of empowerment that is rooted in this awareness. Dr. Abdo believes that, with personal knowledge and enhanced life skills, an individual can actively participate in the course of his or her journey freed of unseen and potentially defeating influences. She approaches her efforts to help others grow with the deep belief that we must be consciously and proactively involved in the dance steps of our lives to reach our goals and actualize our dreams.
For more information contact Dr. Abdo at (561) 393-5363.
Dr. Abdo strives to help you connect with your inner peace and develop the empowerment that is rooted in your unique awareness. She believes that, with personal knowledge and enhanced life skills, you can proactively participate in the course of your journey. Dr. Abdo approaches her efforts to help you grow with the deep belief that we must be consciously engaged in the dance steps of our lives to reach our goals and actualize our dreams.