7 Ways to Lose Control (of outcomes)

June 3, 2015

“Act without Expectation”. It’s a quote from long ago, but what exactly does this accomplish? Some have suggested that by letting go of outcomes, you will never be disappointed. The truth is, it’s not for us to expect others to do what we wish, but to look at our own feelings and needs – to find a healthy way to communicate these things in a way that allows others to choose for themselves.  After all, it’s ok to expect the best for ourselves.  It’s not ok to expect others to bring us fulfillment.

 

Too high of expectations leads to disappointment, which often leads to resentments. Resentments can lead to depression and low self-esteem. The need to control situations or people can take us down a very scary road of placing our own happiness squarely on the actions of others. Loss of self. One of the true definitions of codependency.

 

Here are some great tips to help manage expectations and begin to lose the need to control:

  1. Take responsibility and ownership of your life, rather than put your well-being on the expectations of others actions of behaviours.

  2. Become aware. Pay attention to how often you let expectations enter your mind. Check in with your feelings on a regular basis.

  3. Let go of outcomes. When you find that you’re constantly thinking about an outcome before it’s time, let go of it. Remove it from your mind. Choose to let life run its course, regardless of outcome.

  4. Stay in the present. If you focus on the here and now, you aren’t worried or concerned about what may or may not happen tomorrow, thereby releasing yourself from expectations. 

  5. Focus on yourself. Don’t worry about other people or situations. Focus solely on yourself and what you can do to make your life better. Your feelings, your needs.

  6. Accept powerlessness. You have power over you.  Others have power over their own selves.  Admitting powerlessness over people, places and things is not a statement of weakness, but one of empowerment as we learn to focus on ourselves!

  7. Learn to set appropriate boundaries. Boundaries allow us to know who we are, what we need, and how we are different than others.  Boundaries are also very difficult to put into practice. Help to define your boundaries, and how to effectively communicate them to others might take some learning & practice. To begin your journey, contact me anytime. 

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As a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, a Gottman Method Couples Therapist, and a Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor, I provide compassionate, confidential, non-judgemental, and insightful counselling services to individuals, couples, and families in Vernon, B.C.

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