Want Happiness? Develop a Reckless Attitude of Trust.
If controlling life is an impossibility--nothing more than a dangling carrot--then what’s the answer? The answer is to resurrect a feeling of self-trust and confidence so, rather than controlling life, you’re courageous enough to live it—
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Dr. Joseph J. Luciani
No one grows up in a perfect world. No one has perfect parents. And no one escapes life’s inevitable legacy of insecurity. This is the human condition. Insecurity creates a feeling of vulnerability. When you feel vulnerable, wanting to be in control seems like a natural, constructive desire. It may start out as a constructive desire, but a controlled life is always one that invites problems. Insecurity is greedy: the more control you have, the more you seek. Nothing ever makes you feel secure enough. You’re doomed to chase control’s carrot. As you grow desperate and pursue your “carrots” with increased agitation, you can’t help but notice that anxiety, stress, fatigue, even depression, are becoming permanent fixtures in your life.
The truth is that life can not be controlled. What confuses most is the fact that control does give temporary relief. And, if you’ve managed to manipulate or cajole life into appearing tamed and controlled, you do feel relief–for the moment. When you’re desperate, this temporary relief is spelled with a capital “R.” But if you’re honest, you know control is only and always illusion. Like the eye of a hurricane, it’s a false sense of calm before the remainder of the storm.
If controlling life is an impossibility--nothing more than a dangling carrot--then what’s the answer? The answer is to resurrect a feeling of self-trust and confidence so, rather than controlling life, you’re courageous enough to live it—naturally and spontaneously. For some, letting go of a controlling way of life may require nothing more than a simple shift in attitude. While for others, this shift towards spontaneity may depend on ongoing efforts such as therapy, meditation, or other self-help methods. Whatever your method, you need to break the stranglehold control has on your life. My solution? Develop a: reckless attitude of trust.
Granted, self-trust may seem like risky business—perhaps even reckless at first--especially if control, in the form of worry, rumination, over-thinking, rigidity or being overly cautious, has been dictating the course of your life (and distorting your perceptions). That’s why you need to start off with manageable, low-impact choices: what to order on a menu, what movie to see, or whether or not to return a phone call. Instead of becoming all contorted with over-thinking and over-controlling life, go ahead, take the risk and begin trusting the more subtle side of your personality--the realm of instinct and intuition. Because your habit has been to seek control, trusting your instincts and intuitions may feel risky at first. This is to be expected. With patience and the accumulation of small successes, you’ll begin to poke through insecurity’s façade. Just keep reminding yourself: control may feel like the answer, but it’s not. It’s the problem!
Start today, risk being who you are with a reckless attitude of trust. You won’t regret it.