Belief and Control

Do you believe you can exert control over your future, or do you feel that you are at the mercy of fate? There are a lot of folks who feel that their lives, and the world around them, are spinning out of control – and there is nothing they can do about it. Today we are going to talk about how beliefs affect what happens to us.

The amount of control you believe you have over your life has a great deal to do with what you are willing to try, and therefore it also has a great deal to do with what you accomplish. Low belief level equals an unwillingness to try, and the accomplishments never happen.

There is the classic story, from Jungian analyst John Sanford, about a depressed musician for whom neither therapy nor prayer was helping. One day, the man’s car had a flat on the highway, miles from a phone. (Yes, this was in the days before mobile phones.) At first, he stood staring at the car, paralyzed, realizing it had been years since he had changed a tire. Although he wasn’t sure how to use the jack and other tools, he began to work on the task. After an hour of sweat and struggle, he finally got the spare tire on. Back in the car, he realized that he was no longer depressed!

This small success showed him the way to approach his larger problems. He clearly had more control over his destiny than he had thought. He could do more than he thought, if only he would try, if only he would believe in himself enough to plunge in and start. He did not need to be perfect and he did not need to have all the answers before he started. He could take control, and when he did, it felt good. He had given his brain something other than his depression to focus on, and it stepped up to the task at hand.

So, if you are feeling helpless and seemingly at the mercy of a chaotic, ever-changing world around you, take heart and take action – any action you can manage that will get you moving in the direction you want to go.