5 Amazing Things That Happen When You Stop Trying Hard To Control Things

Nov 11, 2017 | Creativity

I’ve always had a funny relationship with control.  Maybe you have, too?

My first realization that I liked to control things was a day I spent at 4 years old- one of the full days of 4 years old I remember-  sitting in a pile of crumbled up papers at my kiddie size table trying to draw a house of all things (!) and not liking the mistakes I believed I was making.  When I say it was a pile of paper, it was literally about a hundred balled up pieces of paper I was frustrated by piling up around me… but I kept trying because I was obsessed with this perfect outcome of a house drawing that I was going to create.

My family was a cross between perplexed and astonished.  I was not going to forget that day because in some weird way I decided I would not stop until I got exactly what I wanted exactly when I wanted it and exactly how I wanted it. And that became my “thing.”

This philosophy carried me a long way.  Lots of success, lots of perfect grades, incredible art, lots of achievement, lots of awards… and then, when the game got bigger as I got to college and there were all sorts of paths to take with no clear outcomes waiting for me and my perfectionism was getting exhausting, I completely swung the other way: zero control.

This was an unmitigated disaster.

One or the other doesn’t work in my experience.  If I had a choice, I would choose control.  Maybe you would, too.  But too much control blocks a whole lot of the magic in life. Love, creative breakthroughs, risks and adventure don’t do well in the life of a control freak.

But, if you lean into control, it can be hard- irresponsible-feeling, sort of wasting time, risking a shot at perfection- to have more faith.

That faith, though, is something that brings in the rewards.  It connects us and lifts up our lives.

The balancing act between faith and control is the Feng Shui of today.  There are so many benefits to letting go of control… and today, let’s look at some of the big ones…!

Here are some of my favorite benefits of giving up control much more, and a few ideas and actions that help me to do it when I still feel the urge to be a control freak!

More manifestation.  Let’s start right here because I know it’s a captivating subject.  It’s far more prosperous in manifestation to trust in life much more.  Do the work of course, show up and be your best, but let go of the desire to only have things go one way… and this is where the sky opens up to opportunity.

For example, I was dead set on having a project come to fruition years ago and did all I could to make that exact outcome happen as I wanted it to happen.  For a series of reasons, it fell apart… and it was only as I sat with this gaping hole that felt like failure did I realize that I had nothing to lose by finally starting on a dream I had of creating an online feng shui camps that were a sort of family vibe.  The chances of failing seemed great since I had no idea what would happen, but I already had one thing: I experienced how much control didn’t guarantee success.  So, I had so much fun in the process that it felt almost irresponsible (!)… and I dove into the dreaming and put it out into the world and… 10 years later, it’s been my greatest personal manifestation of a dream and the greatest thrill to watch all of us evolve together!

It’s hard to manifest when you’re predicting that you’ll fail. Control is a sort of prediction that failure is possible, and it shuts down the flow.  It’s easier to be wildly your genius self without the pressure!

More abundance.  Can I tell you how much more I’ve seen wealth shift for people when they started trusting in life and trusting in themselves much more without the need to worry, fear and obsess over just one way it will all go?  I’ve watched dream jobs arrive out of thin air after years of struggle, major windfalls from having less panic and meltdowns, and businesses borne out of calculated risks that never would have happened if the control wasn’t tempered.

Too much control breeds a sort of closed door to connection.  We all need to connect to thrive much more.

More confidence.  Confidence is an inside job not a look or a perfect standard to reach.  I’ve had friends soar from near homelessness to total badass lives they dreamed about by summoning self-belief.  Feelings of control and perfection tell you that you are not enough.  Trust in yourself is more unconditional love and knowing that you’re enough right now to do the next step and all the steps to come.

More Love.  Yes, much more love.  Because love and control are sort of opposite energies, controlling folks have all kinds of relationships but tend to struggle with the close ones.  After all, other people are unpredictable, so they need to be controlled, right?

Of course not! But trust and faith in love is one of those things that is strongly dependent on faith and it’s not easy to do when you’re looking to control an outcome. A little less concern about broken hearted possibility and a little more attention on open hearted living can be a wild love potion!

Less stress.  Which will transform your life.  Stress is the contributing factor in almost all illness, in almost all depression, in almost all meltdowns physically and mentally… and it sucks the joy from life.  While stress isn’t 100% unavoidable, it’s way easier to feel less stress when you’re more flexible in the way things go.  Traffic can be an opportunity to catch up with a friend or listen to a podcast or sit with your thoughts, or it can be this absolutely life-shattering experience.  You choose.  I never understood that when I was locked in my absolute way of needing to be where I needed to be exactly how it should be.

So, less control is a sort of gateway to more energy opening up.  It’s the flow state, the magic time of synchronicity, the creative burst of brilliance… it’s exciting, it’s challenging at times when it’s unfamiliar and yet it’s thrilling as you see the effects unfold.

I’m not suggesting you lay on a beach all day and just think of what you want and wait for it to arrive.  It’s quite the opposite.  It’s showing up and doing and letting the process unfold rather than predicting every step.

I used to be obsessed with a famous psychic who told me every step in life before it happened. It led me into a great confusion because I started using these predictions as a way of controlling the vast unknown.  I gave up my magic to this constant seeking to know every step to find my path. It was so compelling it was hard to give up, but letting it go was life-opening.

Letting it go, the need to know each and every step, has turned life into a spectacular adventure.  So much love.  So much surprise.  Obstacles that are opportunities.  Learning about flexibility.  Seeing how much more I could help people design their dreams by handing them the keys instead of trying to do it for them.

How to do it?

There’s no one way, but…you know when the control impulses are rising up and that’s when you can practice making a shift.

What’s worked for me?

More spiritual practice, tons of time at my Buddhist temple for me.

More meditation breaks & baths. 

Lighting up a sage wand or cleaning house when I feel that control feeling rising up. (Use that energy of control for good purposes!)

Taking an hour or two away from whatever I’m doing to sit in nature or hang out with plants at a nursery.  

And… lots and lots of clutter clearing.  Clutter happens on so many levels, and the more it’s cleared, the more the impulses to control will clear away, too! If you’re really good at control you may feel you have no clutter, but it’s amazing just how much we can unload from our body, mind and soul to find more freedom.

Enjoy the flow and pleasant surprises of every day!!!

xoxo Dana

P.S.: This season, there’s an eight-week online Feng Shui Camp coming soon to organize and energize your home and life to create breakthroughs: The Breakthrough Camp! 

It’s Feng Shui to align your energy (your chakras) and your home so that you can manifest more of what you want on a higher level with greater ease!

If you’re ready for breakthroughs, they’re ready for you!

For just a few more days you can launch into the once-a-year adventure of The Breakthrough Camp.

Check it out and join us HERE!



creating genius creativity book

Welcome to Creating Genius!

I spent the last year creating this e-guide to balancing and unblocking life by pulling together the best of a decade of space-changing and life-shifting feng shui! It’s 50 days and 50 ways to use feng shui to shift your space and your routines to move from “stuck” to creatively inspired and alive.

Start Creating Genius right HERE!

Gather up your magic & make gorgeous dreams come true!

xoxo Dana


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