You really don’t know what is going to happen. You can plan and prepare and play the best or worst scenarios over and over in your head. And you still won’t know. You won’t know if it will rain if you are planning an outdoor event. You don’t know what someone’s reaction will be when you tell them something.
And to not know what is going to happen, is really, really scary. I am a control freak, like so many others, and the worst thing is to feel out of control. I used to hate the saying that “you can only control yourself, you can’t control anything else”, because I wanted to control everything. The worst thing is to feel so prepared and then nothing goes how it was supposed to go. Like it could be down pouring, and you can’t change the weather and that tears you apart. This gives me anxiety about my own wedding day coming up next summer, which is completely outside. I tell myself over and over that it will be sunny and beautiful out. But I really don’t know that. I won’t know until the few days before, and no matter what the weather is, I can’t control it.
We can’t control the weather, we can’t control what people’s reactions will be to what we say, we can’t control so many things. We often think, “without that control, what am I?” So instead, we seek out control in other more negative ways. We seek control by getting angry with ourselves, by getting angry with others. We begin to spiral into negative thoughts thinking about all of the horrible things that may happen because we have no control.
But we literally have no idea what is going to happen next. It is not worth the time, or the mental energy to run yourself ragged thinking about how horrible things will be. Because often times, things turn out just fine or more than fine. And if they turn out not so fine, my hope is that you have a support system around you to help you through and that you remember that this too shall pass and that things will be okay.
Release control. We have no idea what will happen next. I spoke to my largest crowd yet, 1700 students. I was terrified that they would be loud and I would strain my voice trying to talk over them. I couldn’t wait for the speech to come and go. And then the morning of I told myself that I had no control of the situation, and had no idea the outcome, so why not walk in thinking these students would do great. And guess what? They blew me away at how respectful and attentive they were.
We can’t control, as much as we want to. So instead of trying to control and control, hope for the best, know there might be bumps along the way, but those bumps will smooth out on this journey. If you go into the situation with a positive mindset, it’s more likely that no matter the outcome, you will feel a lot better about the situation.
You can’t control the weather, so you might as well enjoy the journey and dance in the rain. And you might as well remind yourself that you are going to get through this with your head held high, because the plans ahead of you, even though you can’t control them, are better than what you would have laid out for yourself anyway.