Trying to Control Makes us Miserable

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Have you ever noticed how bad you feel when you try to control things you can’t control – such as others and outcomes?

Larry consulted with me because he was often miserable – despite running a successful business, and having a lovely wife and two daughters, whom he adored.

It soon became apparent that Larry was deeply addicted to controlling everything – his own feelings, how others felt about him, how well his employees performed, what his wife did for him, how well his children did in school, and whether or not anyone ever took advantage of him. His primary intent in life was to be in control and not be controlled.

At the beginning of our work together, I informed him that in the Inner Bonding process, there are only two intents to choose from: the intent to learn about loving yourself and others, and the intent to protect against pain, with some form of controlling behavior. Larry could easily see that his intent in life was to protect against pain with his non-stop controlling behavior. He had never linked his misery to this choice. He could see the irony – that, in his attempts to protect against pain, he was making himself miserable

“Larry, would you be willing to try an experiment? Every time you feel miserable, ask yourself, without any self-judgment, ‘What am I trying to control?”

Larry agreed to try this.

In our next phone session, Larry told me, “I think I’m on to something here. I’m amazed at how much I try to control and how bad it makes me feel. I’ve always believed that my anxiety and unhappiness was coming from something outside myself – my wife, my kids, my business, my employees, my friends or lack of them. I’ve believed that if only others gave me a lot of attention and did what I wanted, I would feel happy. It’s very eye opening to begin to connect my unhappiness with my own controlling behavior. Actually, it’s empowering! I think I’ve always felt like such a victim – others were not giving me what I wanted and needed to feel happy and good about myself.”

“Larry, did you become aware of how you try to control your own feelings?”

“Well, I became aware that I am constantly judging myself and that this makes me feel awful. Is judging myself controlling?”

“Well, go inside and ask yourself what you hope for by judging yourself.”

“I think I believe that judging myself will get me to do things right and then others will like me.”

“So by judging yourself you are trying to have control over your behavior, in order to control others’ feelings?”

“Yes, I think that’s right. But it makes me feel miserable.”

“Would you ever judge your daughters to get them to do things right so that others will like them?”

“Oh no, I would never do that! I never judge them. That’s not loving to them… Ah, and I see that it’s also not loving to me.”

Larry not only learned to stop trying to control himself and others, he also learned, through his Inner Bonding practice, to open to learning with his personal Source of spiritual Guidance. As he learned to connect with himself and with his Source of love and truth, he started to feel full and alive within. His joy and passion for life grew daily as he replaced his self-judgments with self-compassion and gentle caring for himself. Needless to say, his relationship with his wife, children, employees and friends vastly improved as well.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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