March 13, 2022

How to break the addiction of control

I cringe every time I hear the word “control.”

Of course, as any good non-conformist/independent thinker, I hate the idea of being controlled.

And while I may lie to myself and say that I need to be the one in control, I only have to look at my own past to see the many ways that my control has either hurt me or hurt others. Hail, Caesar, indeed…

The reality is that control is a myth. It does not exist. As I often say/rant, you can’t control the weather, traffic, your neighbors, etc. And if we are really honest, we can’t control our tongues.

But some will protest: “control the controllables!” I wish that were true. But we are as much the victims of Life’s currents as we are the navigators of them.

And that is the key. We navigate. We harmonize. We see what is most likely and take calculated risks.

And here is when the addiction kicks in.

If we have been hurt, especially by something (or someone) out of our control, we accept the illusion that if only we had navigated better, if only we had been looking for the risks, if only we had established better control…


The fear of risk becomes a wicked fuel for the unquenchable fire of control. And unquenchable it is. Once we commit ourselves to it, we can never have enough control – because risk will never completely go away.

And this endless control/risk cycle sparks anew the moment we are broadsided by the unknown.

What are we to do?

I have learned only one way to get out of the control/risk cycle. And that is to trust. Trust the journey. Trust that you have what it takes to navigate it. And trust that there are others who are in your corner and who want to see you thrive.

To the control addict, this is incredibly hard. How do you trust others when trust has already been broken? How do you trust your abilities when your own instincts failed you? How do you trust the journey when all it did was leave you shipwrecked?

I wish I could offer a guaranteed answer. But all I can offer is a simple choice: faith or fear?

Faith extends from the love abundance deep inside of us. And faith allows us to trust that love. Faith allows us to enter a serving mindset, where we serve our way through the unknown.

Fear extends from a different place. It comes from the love deficit deep inside of us. Fear capitalizes on that void and gnaws at us from the inside out. Fear drives us toward a survival mindset, where we push our own survival above everything – and everyone – else.

So, here’s the big question: Are you a control addict? What does your gut say to you? 

And here’s the bigger question: Can you allow trust to take over? Can you let go of the control you are desperately seeking and believe that the journey is good, that you have what it takes, and that there are others who are more than willing to help you?

Let me know if you want to talk through your answers. I have wrestled with the very same feelings/thoughts – and sometimes still do.

I mua. Onward and upward.

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Published by timohai

Father, widower, leader, sales enablement pro

2 thoughts on “March 13, 2022

  1. Tim, I came back to this post because it resonated so much with me. I realize now that if I stay on the risk control path I’m on, eventually I will control all the adventure out of my life. I can’t flip the switch but I can start down a better path. Thank you so much.

    1. Scott, that is such a powerful insight. And your response is spot on. Thank you so much for sharing it.

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