The Control Factor


It's easily understood that once you know your enemy you are in a better position to defeat him. If you were to go to the doctor and give him only a vague description of what was bothering you, your doctor would have a hard time diagnosing your illness. It is, however, possible to trace a vauge symptom to it's most likely cause. Finding your enemy and changing your life.
There is no blaming someone else for your feelings of insecurity or low self-esteem, or having no control. There is no :

"It's how I was raised." "It's because such and such happened to me as a child."

Those are only excuses for not looking at the problem, putting the blame on something outside of your control so you don't have to face it. It isn't a solution, or a delay, blaming others is part of the problem.

With insecurity and low self-esteem, the root cause can only be found within yourself. When you face the cause, it takes courage on your part to bring about the change, or, in cases where changes aren't possible, accepting what you find. Sometimes just facing the cause and accepting your responsibility is enough to relieve the feeling of no-control.

When you have learned the simple method of tracing the root cause, you will be able to use the method over and over, in any aspect of your life.


The simple concept is insecurity is a 'Control Factor'. Lately there has been a great deal of talk about 'control'. Many books have dealt with the subject of 'control' and 'control freaks'. If you are familiar with those theories, know now those theories are not related to this concept except in their choice of the term 'control'. The theories which are now being over-used about control are titles placed on people and their actions. They do not solve any problems; they merely make accusations and relieve people of any responsibility to make changes to improve their lives.

        "He is a control freak."  
                                   "She is a control freak." 
             "My boss is a control freak."

Rather than being a solution, this method of labeling is a method of blame. It implies there is nothing the person can do themselves, it's out of their hands and the fault of the person who attempts to control them. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There is no solution in pointing the finger at anyone else as a cause for insecurity. The only answers to be found are to be found within yourself.

The Control Factor theory, basically, is all insecurity can be traced to a root cause.
If, in tracing back you are at loss to the root cause, try another route, or, as in many times happens, you may start in your area of insecurity and, after tracing, find you have reached a category of root cause you never would have expected. Now don't be confused by the 'tracing' 'root cause' and 'categories' talk. As you read through it will all become clear.


The below are examples of the method of tracing your root cause of insecurity. Perhaps you may see yourself in one of the example, or someone you know. It's recommended you read all the examples to understand the concept in full.


Does it seem strange to have overweightness and anorexia in the same example? Once you've read through this, you'll see the relationship between the root cause in both cases, each being the flipside of the same coin.

Weight is a major source of insecurity in women and men. In tracing the root cause we must ignore the excuses for insecurity in this area - "Other people look at me in distast.", "My family is embarrassed by me." - If you notice, those phrases deal with other peoples opinions.
From the start you must realize the one thing you cannot change or control is other people. People will think what they think. I know it's hard to ignore other's opinions, but when you fully understand the concept of this process, you will be less concerned with what others think, and more aware of what you think.
Though at this point it isn't easy, set thoughts such as those aside.

Now, the one thing the you can control. The way YOU think.

In the example of an overweight individual, many times the root cause can be traced back to the category "What I eat." One of the most basic beliefs we have, is that we are in control of ourselves. Insecurities arise from a loss of self-control. The overweight individual feels a lack of self-control in the area of their diet and/or exercise. They can't control what they eat because 'when they are sad they eat', 'when they are nervous they eat' ....what makes them sad or nervous, or whatever feeling they have that triggers their eating? Some other person or situation they feel is controlling them. To let anyone else decide how you feel is to give away your control of your emotions to that person or situation. It is far easier in life to relinquish control than to keep or re-take control. Many overweight individuals have given-up control of what they eat, whether they exercise, and are afraid to accept themselves as they are because of what others may think of them.
Once they set aside the thoughts of others (which I remind you, must be done, you can not change them) they then must decide to take back their control. That control may be in the form of diet, exercise, or the acceptance of themselves as they are.
Though not simple tasks, they are the items within their control. The responsibility is theirs alone. Once they accept that responsibility and take control, any of their options will be easier.
Many a diet has been abandoned because the dieter 'lost control' and felt so badly about it they simply surrendered. Control can always be reclaimed.

On the flip side of that coin is the anorexic. Many anorexics admit to starting on their course toward anorexia as an attempt to have an area of control. One of the most personal areas of control we have is in what we eat. Many anorexics have outside influences controlling most aspects of their lives and choose to take their stand in the area of what they eat. Anorexics are using the one area of control they believe is left to them to compensate for the areas they believe others control. An anorexic would need to decide to reclaim control of other aspects of their life. This, in turn, would help loosen their need for diet control.
Anorexia afflicts mostly teenagers and who as a teenagers didn't feel they had no control in their lives? Perhaps with the help of parents, counselors, or a church group, an anorexic can realize the areas in which they do have control. Once they are in control, many insecuities will dispel. Parents can be especially helpful in allowing their children to have areas of control, within reason, to help their child grow into a secure confident adult.

Bad Relationships

How often has it been said :

"You can't decide who you'll fall in love with." ?
Doesn't that just scream - "You have no control!" ?
Well, though it may be true we can't pick who we fall in love with, there is still an amount of control we maintain. Many people are currently involved in bad relationships. They may be physically, psychologically, or emotionally abused. By believing they have no control, they have excused themselves from any responsibility.
They have a choice, and by not leaving the situation they have made the choice to stay, but the options of working out the problems or leaving the relationship still remains.

They may be in love with this person, but by staying in the abusive relationship they are denying their basic instinct of survival and have relinquished their control to what they mistakenly believe is the overpowering whims of love.
In may cases of widespread insecurity the underlying cause is a bad relationship. If they can not trust their own judgement of people, of who they choose as a partner, then something must be wrong with them, right?


Everyone makes mistakes, but the biggest mistake is continuing on a course which is harming them, denying their survival instinct, relinquishing control of themself to another.
In most bad relationships, the abused partner gives over control to the abusive partner. This is an ideal situation for the abusive spouse. You know why many abusive people want control? Insecurity.
What most people with excessive controlling temperments are looking for is an area of control outside of themselves. Much like the anoriexic goes overboard with control of themselves and what they eat, those who are abusive go overboard in controlling someone else to compensate for their own feelings of insecurity and lack of personal control. By having control over someone else they feel a hint of control they don't believe they have over themselves.

Simple insecurities in any relationship can also be traced back to control. If someone does not really know how the other person feels, they feel insecure. That insecurity can spread through many aspects of the individuals life and be as easily solved as deciding they will take control of the situation. They will ask their partner how they feel, and will accept the answer. If it is good news - problem solved, if it is bad - move on, if it is indecisive - then they must make a decision on whether they can live with uncertainty on the others part. They must stick by their decision, make plans for whichever way the situation goes. Realize their control. Consciously say to themselves "My partner is unsure of their feeling, but I have decided I will stick with this relationship and accept the outcome." That is a real and valid control option.


It is harder to accept the responsibility of self-control than it is to relinquish control to whoever may be willing to accept it from you, or to simply throw over control to the winds of so-called 'fate'. Believing 'fate' controls you is in fact allowing whatever person or influence is present at any given time, control you. Rather than turning over control to one person, you have given your control to anyone or anything. With pieces of yourself scattered about, bringing them together again is a hefty task.

Once one area of control has been lost, it is very easy to release control in other areas as self-esteem lowers. Someone who feels they have no control in their work may give up control in others areas. They may drink, overeat, attempt to control others (usually those closest to them), they may forget about personal upkeep. The insecurity they feel is then justified when they lose their job, gain weight, lose their family, lose their friends. They will continue to spiral into their insecurities until the conscious decision is made to take back control of their lives.
If the root cause is lack of control at work - how can the situation be changed? Is it possible to have more control within the work enviroment? Should employment elsewhere be sought? Or, is it simply a matter of accepting the situation?

What areas of your life do you feel you have no control over?
Who has the control in those areas? Why do they have it when it is, in fact, yours?

Self-esteem is like a clear, glass, globe.
One small crack can easily fan out to shatter the whole globe.
The cockiness many insecure people believe disguises their insecurity is like a piece of tape put over the crack. It doesn't stop the crack from spreading and only draws more attention to it. When others try to help someone with their self-esteem, it only serves as glue. It may cover the crack, but the globe remains very fragile.
Since our self-esteem is our own responsibility, it is up to us to rework the cracked area of our globe until it is repaired properly, or perhaps remold the globe entirely.

In everyone's life they are faced with times and areas of their life in which it seems as though they have no control. There is always a measure of control. Once the conscious decision is made to either accept things as they are, or to change them in some way, you have taken control.
You have put the choice back into your own hands - where it belongs.

© J.Simon

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