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Letting Go of the Need to Control Others

In order to progress in your recovery from the behavioral consequences of low self-esteem, you need to let go of the need to control the people, places, and things which are the uncontrollables and unchangeables in your life.

In your past state of low self-esteem you once needed to control people, places, and things in your life in order to maintain your sanity in the midst of severe emotional distress. This need to fix, control, change, rescue, enable, give advice, and correct led to greater low self-esteem and increased severe emotional distress.

So to be successful in recovery, you need to use the SEA's [Self??"Esteem Seekers Anonymous] LET GO System:

L - Lighten Pressure

E - Exercise Rights

T - Take Steps

G - Give Up Need

O - Order Life

L - Lighten Pressure

The first thing you need to do is to lighten the pressure when you feel the psychological need or compulsive drive to control, change, fix, rescue, enable, give advice, or correct other people, places, or things. To do this, use the TEA, ALERT, ANGER and CHILD Systems to help you become more rational and realistic about your current pressure or compulsive drive to control.

E - Exercise Rights

Second, once you have regained a healthier, more rational and realistic perspective on the current person, place, or thing you want to control, you need to exercise your right to declare that you can only change or control one thing and that is you.

T - Take Steps

Third, once you have accepted your personal responsibility for your own life, you need to take steps to cease your attempts to control, fix, change, rescue, enable, give advice, or correct other people, places, or things. You need to allow others to experience the natural consequences of their own thoughts, emotions, and actions.

G - Give Up Need

Fourth, once you have handed back to people, places, and things responsibility for their own thoughts, emotions, and actions, you need to give up the need to control to others in your life. You need to let go of the uncontrollables and unchangeables in your life by embracing the spirit, words, and meaning of the Serenity Prayer.

Serenity Prayer - By Reinhold Niebuhr

God, grant me the serenity 

to accept the things I cannot change

Courage to change the things I can,

Wisdom to know the difference, 

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,

Taking as Jesus did this sinful world 

as it is, not as I would have it.

Trusting that you will make all things right

If I surrender to your will.

So that I might be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with you forever in the next.

Amen

O - Order Life

Fifth, once you have embraced the serenity gained from letting go of the need to control other people, places, and things, you need to order your life accordingly. In the Tools for Handling Control Issues by Jim Messina, Ph.D. the many faces of the need to control are discussed in great detail. These tools can help you to order your life in the serenity of accepting personal responsibility for your own life. In the Tools for Handling Relationships by Jim Messina, Ph.D. many issues involved in nurturing healthy relationships also contains tools to help you let go and order your life with others in a healthy way.