Why being in charge is so much better than being in control

I often hear the words ‘I want to be in control’ and whilst I get what the desire is, the word control can have a derogatory effect to what otherwise is a positive intent.

The dictionary definition of control is to have the power to influence or direct people's behaviour or the course of events. Both statements imply that control is to exert power or influence over external people or events which we all know is rarely possible.

Control is also often used as means to convey the desire to contain, quash, limit, restrain, and whole host of other descriptive words that essentially mean to prevent something.

If you’re still with me then well done, it’s a bit of a journey of explanations to hopefully get my message across.

So, when I hear my clients tell me that they want to take control of their thoughts, behaviours and actions it’s no wonder my first goal is to re-frame this for them.

Their intentions are completely positive and useful, this I have no doubt and they are not consciously aware that they may be sabotaging their efforts using one word. This is the power of language, which forms a major basis of Neuro-linguistic programming – understanding how language (both what we say to ourselves and others) can be an influencer.

Changing this one word, control, to charge changes the entire structure; for the word ‘charge’ has a completely different meaning. There are many more meanings for the word charge, too many to begin to list here but one word that is repeated many times as a descriptive for the word charge is the word responsibility.

To be in charge of your thoughts means to take responsibility, to be accountable and that, in itself, is a shift towards change, to taking up the reins, to lead yourself on a journey to better thoughts that are more useful.

If you find yourself wanting to control your thoughts and behaviours, begin by changing this to being in charge.

Be in charge of your thoughts. Be in charge of your words. Be in charge of your actions

Nikki EmertonComment