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The question ‘am I in control of my life?’ is answered by your day-to-day reactions.

Tony Robbins promotes the idea that all human psyches require a balance between 6 core needs: certainty, uncertainty/ variety, significance, connection/love, growth, and contribution. As each person is unique, each person’s required balance between these 6 needs is also unique. But we all approach each moment seeking fulfilment from one of these 6 intrinsic needs.

Stress then, to me, is the seeking and fulfilment of (like if you’re seeking uncertainty by leaping out of a plane) or lack of fulfilment of that particular need in that specific moment. And the lack of fulfilment never shows up more than when we are trying to reach a sense of certainty.

I would argue that most people these days feel the world to be a chaotic place. Job stability is questionable, economic stability is undermined, communities are fracturing, faith systems splintering, political systems failing. And when the environment around you is unsettled, it makes sense that you would try to baton down the hatches in your own life. When the world represents uncertainty, you want your life to be the certainty.

The way to tell if you are managing, if you have indeed created some semblance of control and certainty, is in your reactions to things. If you:

get easily infuriated by those walking/ driving/sitting in front of you
snap at passing comments made to you
find it hard to make decisions
physically react to negative emotions (stomach churning, shaking, flush)
are suffering from constant head/muscle aches, poor digestion, bad sleep
…then I’m going to suggest that you are trying to control too much outside of you and you’re losing your quality of life for it.

The question ‘am I in control of my life?’ is answered by your day-to-day reactions.

Loosening your attempts to control others does not mean condoning bad behaviour or not standing up for yourself. It means lessening the abilities of others to throw you off centre. It means you choosing what to react to, rather than be triggered by everything and nothing. It means responding from a place of lucidity and eloquence rather than raw emotion.

If you sense you are being pulled in all directions, triggered by people and things who logically don’t mean a thing to you, control can only be re-established by focusing on you, not trying to govern the outside world. It’s time to take a step back and a few more moments to look after yourself.

Remember, certainty is what you seek, NOT control. So re-establish certainty by acknowledging and appreciating the good things upon which you know you can rely. Do things to make yourself more certain of who you are: indulge your passions, treat yourself a little more, hang out with those who make you shine. And trust me, when you are more certain in yourself, the need to control everything else releases you from its grasp.

I am now also on Facebook and would love to see you there!

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