EGO-CENTERED individuals are very uncomfortable with uncertainty, feeling as though they need to CONTROL everything and everyone around them to get the best results, usually to fulfill their own desires. There is a big difference between putting in your best effort and being forceful, manipulative and self-centered to get what you want. It is very important to consider how your agenda is effecting others as well as yourself. Even if you are able to change certain aspects of a person or a situation by force, the change created may not be real and permanent, often generating resentment, animosity, and insecurity in the process.
For instance, disciplining your children or better yet GUIDING them to make the wisest decisions possible is wonderful. However, forcing kids to complete tasks through force, threats, and disrespect, making statements like “I am the boss, you do whatever I say, I am the parent, you listen to me, I don’t have to give you a reason, just do what I tell you, you live under my roof, and do what I say or else” may get the job done, but will often work against you and the child in the long run! The child may develop deep rooted insecurities. Instead of building them up, you are really breaking them down. The child is likely to build resentment and animosity, adopting the same controlling nature as a learned behavior, using it to retaliate against the parent and others closest to them.
Another example would be pushing or shaming a child into excelling exceptionally in school or in a particular sport so they can live up to your expectations, beliefs, and societal status. Make sure that what you want for your child is really in their best interest based on their innate talents and not just your OWN self-interest. Build a solid foundation for your child while trusting that the Universe has your back, and things will happen the way they are supposed to without force.
Being overly-controlling towards others or in any given situation often stems from negative emotions, fears, and conflict within oneself. It behooves you to understand that trying to control and manipulate people and circumstances are only an illusion of the ego-dominated reality. The only thing you can really control is acceptance in ALL situations and how you react to the people and circumstances in your life. Some things happen in this life that you have little or no control over, and not one soul on earth is exempt from that.
People who are controlling types are paradoxically BEING controlled themselves by the uncontrollable need to control others and situations. The more you try to control, essentially the LESS control you have. Becoming aware of these negative thought patterns and behaviors is the first step in changing them. You can either control your mind or your mind can control you. Learning to control your mind gives you the power to control your emotions and thus the freedom to choose for yourself. When you learn to master the art of letting go, both you and the people you interact with can then rest easy. When you are able to give up all the power of the TEMPORAL worldly ego, you gain ALL the power of the ETERNAL Universe!
Lao Tzu in his book Tao Te Ching (Verse 48), the main spiritual book of Taoism, reinforces the need to let go, “Mastery of the world is achieved by letting things take their natural course. If you interfere with the way of Nature, you can never master the world.”