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The Trust–Control Dynamic

Have you ever thought about the connection or dynamic between control and trust?   Or more specifically, about how trust impacts our ability to let go of control?  To be truthful, I hadn’t given it much thought until I read and successfully applied a tennis strategy called “Trust Your Body” in Jeff Greenwald’s insightful tennis book, The Best Tennis of Your Life.

As an avid seniors tennis player, I had struggled to play up to my ability in tournament match play.  I was constantly over-thinking, too cautious, and unable to maintain sustained focus.   Before playing in a big tournament in Palm Springs last month I read a statement in Jeff’s book that really resonated with me:

“Letting go of control, trusting your shots, and accepting the outcome is imperative if you are going to ever play with true freedom on the court.”

I tried that in the tournament and beat several players who had soundly beat me a year earlier, before losing to the #1 seed in the semi-finals.    By trusting that my body and mind could work things out instinctively without all my “help,” I was able to let go of control and enjoy the wins that followed.

Upon reflection, it occurred to me that what applies to sports performance, applies equally to just about everything in life and that,

There is a powerful dynamic between trust and our ability to let go of control.

Trust and Let Go of Control

Here are some core truths about that dynamic.

*The more we trust that we—or others or things–will be okay without our concerted effort, the less we feel the need to control them or the outcome.

*A primary reason we try to control or over manage our life or that of others is that we lack trust that things will work out naturally by themselves.

*When we trust and let go of control, we reduce our stress and anxiety, creating space for greater calmness and serenity.

*When we trust and let go of control, we are able to engage and respond intuitively to “life’s natural currents”—the flow of life, if you will—thereby creating new opportunities and choices that can transform our lives.

Try These Two Things This Week

*If you find yourself over-thinking situations or pressing matters too much, pause and say to yourself:  “Trust that everything will work out as it was intended to be.”

*If you find yourself obsessing or worrying too much about someone—your child or love one, for instance—take a moment and say to yourself: “I trust that they will make the choices that are best for them.”

What is your view of the connection between control and trust?   Are you able to trust and let go?   What happens when you do?  Please share your experiences with me on this very important subject.

In the meantime, remember to

Let It Go–and Accept “What Is!”


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