• Özlem Özkan

Things we can and cannot control


We tend to do or prevent ourselves from doing things because we have an agenda.

If we work hard, we might get the promotion we are seeking for.

If we meet the social standards, we might fit in.

If we prevent talking about difficult topics, things will go smoothly.

If we don’t show up, we don’t risk being rejected.

Have you heard stories about colleagues working long hours, leaving their families and friends behind, and still not getting that promotion that they wish for?

Or people that are trying so much their best, preventing doing things that might not meet the social standard and still don’t feel that they fit in?

Singles not wanting to date to prevent rejection from their dates and meanwhile rejecting themselves?

So what can you control and what not?

You cannot control your boss giving you that promotion, but you can go back to your internal motivation state and do the best you can because you love your job.

You cannot control being accepted by others, you even might not be accepted by a particular person or group forever. You can still do the right thing which is in integrity with your principles in life. You cannot control that your partner cheats on you, but you can still show up and give your best to your future partner.

Things might go rough in your life, you can’t control that. You can still talk about topics that you believe make a difference and go through the difficulties.

And the paradox is, when you give your best and don’t expect anything, you might get that promotion, you might experience things go smoothly, you might not feel that you are rejected. It doesn’t matter because you don’t seek anymore external validation and go back to your practice, again and again.

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