Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Getting in and Feeling in Control vs. Being Controlled and Feeling Overwhelmed

"Getting in and Feeling in Control vs. Being Controlled and Feeling Overwhelmed"

 by Diane Kern, Ph.D.
Creator of “Happy and Healthy U” Life Coaching Workshops

Getting in and feeling in control is about recognizing and claiming one's power in difficult or unpleasant circumstances instead of allowing the circumstance to dictate to and control you. So, ask yourself,Who is the Boss of Me?”  Hopefully, you answered “Me” or “I am. “ Let’s see if that is really true. 

Below are some self-statements that will allow you to reflect upon your sense of personal control and empowerment. Explore the impact of such perceptions about yourself.  Then, identify solutions for overcoming a sense of being controlled and feeling powerless over one’s circumstances.

Impact Questions to Consider:
  •   How is this attitude or perception self-defeating?
  •   How is this attitude influencing the way you feel?
  •     Is that the way you wish to feel?

Perceptions of Circumstances Related to Feeling Powerless

Using others as a yardstick to evaluate yourself and your accomplishments.
       Example:  “All of my friends are more successful and accomplished than I am”.

Worrying about what others think about you; desiring the approval of others; and using that to guide your decisions.  
      Example:  “If I enroll in a (GED or job training program; college, etc.) others are going to wonder why this old woman or man is just now returning to school or college”.

Allowing some past negative occurrence in your life to continue to haunt you.  
      Example:  “I am never going to get a job, when they see that I lost my last job” 

Treating a past mistake or challenge as though it defines you (and internalizing it and labeling oneself), rather than treating it as an external problem that can be solved.  
      Example: “I am a procrastinator because I can never get things done in a timely fashion.” 

      Problems setting boundaries with others.
      Example: “I am so tired and have no time or energy to take care of my personal needs or projects because I am always saying yes to requests from (family members, friends, church members, etc.)”.

Problems exercising self-discipline and making decisions that work well for you.  
      Example: “Every time I get ready to study for that exam, I get distracted by my friends, who want to talk or hang out and I end up not studying”.

Allowing your negative emotions to control you.  
      Example: “At first, I really felt good about telling my co-worker off because she ticked me off so badly when she acted like I was not doing my share of the work.  But now, I feel badly because I know I went overboard and hurt her feelings.  So, it may be a bit uncomfortable having to work with her on this next project”.

Giving power over your emotions to the external circumstance.  
      Example: “I hate that job so much that thinking about it keeps me awake at night”. 

Treating a temporary circumstance as though it is permanent and not amenable to change.
      Example: “I am never going to get a better job”.

Treating a negative emotion that resulted from past abuse or mistreatment as the reason you cannot accomplish something today.  
Example: “I grew up being told that I would not amount to anything, which resulted in my feeling worthless and inadequate.  So, it’s hard for me to believe that I do anything well even when I get a positive performance evaluation or good grades.  Therefore, I just let others volunteer for the tough assignments and am afraid of trying something on my own”.

Solution Considerations:

  • Determine if your perception is based in real, actual evidence.  If not, change your perception
  •  Recognize that a feeling is not necessarily fact.  Is your feeling based on a misperception?
  • Realize that you cannot mind read or determine/control what others are thinking.  Refocus on your attitudes and behaviors, recognizing that you have 100% control here.s


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