If you’ve ever found yourself trying to plan for an action or a feeling and just couldn’t decide, you may have been trying to control and uncontrollable. I believe the answer to this is the trust yourself instead. Listen in as I explain why.
Today’s episode comes to you after a client session that I can’t stop thinking about it. it was one of those sessions where I had an aha moment, me coaching my client, seeing what she was going through, hearing her feedback, hearing what she was thinking and feeling. I had an aha moment about something that I think most everyone probably struggles with, and it’s this idea of trying to control what is actually not controllable.
I could have also named this episode why trust is so important. So here’s the deal. Life is never controllable. There are certain things we can control, but most of life we can’t control, even though we think we can. We can try to plan ahead. We can try to anticipate based off of previous experience. But the truth is, those Ways, the ways we try to plan or anticipate, it’s just, uh, a figment of our imagination.
It’s just what we think will happen. It’s not what will actually happen. And thinking we know what might happen in the future feels very safe to us because then we know what to say, what to do, how to respond. We have these sort of situations in our minds. If this happens, then I’m going to do this. If that happens, then I’m going to do that.
But the truth is the entire future is a blank slate. It’s, it’s open. It. Is not plantable. Whatever’s going to happen will happen. We can try to think we know or we can try to anticipate, but those are all only our own thoughts. Right. Okay. So what does this have to do with trauma or feeling embodied or nervous system regulation?
The aha moment for me was seeing how my client was trying to plan something in advance. that really basically was not plannable. She had some options that she knew were available to her. And then there were probably other things that could happen, that could come up, that then, you know, she might not even think about or plan for.
And what I realized is that sometimes we try to plan the unplannable. Feel the unfeelable, think the unthinkable, do the undoable, see the unseeable in order to get ourselves to feeling safe. If we know, or if we think we know what might happen in the future, how somebody might react, what someone might say, what someone might do, including ourselves.
We ourselves will know how to respond or what to say or what to do. And we feel safe because it’s like we know ahead of time. And the reason why this relates to trauma or nervous system regulation is because we can’t really always know.And instead. When something happens that we didn’t anticipate, we have to be able to trust.
We have to be able to trust ourselves. We have to be able to kind of roll with the punches, so to speak. And sometimes, especially for those of us who have endured trauma, who, um, whose bodies and feelings don’t feel safe to be with, that is a very tall order to ask. So I’m titling this when you can’t control the uncontrollables trust in an effort to help you move toward that trust.
Now I know that trust is not always easy to come by because of your life experience, because of, you know, different factors. It’s not always easy to trust. But trust is really, truly the only thing you have. You might think you know what will happen in the future, but if it doesn’t go that way, you’re going to have to trust yourself to figure it out.
You’re going to have to trust whoever you’re with to work in harmony with you. That’s just an example. No matter how much you try to plan and anticipate and know what life has in store for you, life can always throw curve balls. In which case you, you just have to roll with the punches. You have to trust, you have to feel into what you think or what feels right for the next thing.
And here’s just a really brief example. My 16 year old teenager has a car that. recently broke down. Now it’s still functions on a minimal level, but you can be driving along and it’ll just shut. It’ll just shut off. Like the engine will go off. We think we know what the problem is, but before we figured out this problem, That is very common for cars like hers.
We were shopping for other used cars. Now her car is like 20 years old, right? She’s a 16 year old. She doesn’t have a huge budget. We do help her out with that. But I told her, I said, Hey, dad thinks he might know what’s wrong with your car. And he might be able to fix it for relatively inexpensive. And then your car, you can keep driving your car.
And she. Got upset. I thought she was gonna be thrilled at this idea. She got upset and she was like, well I don’t want to be driving a car around that could break down at any second and I said well I understand that even if you were to drive mom or dad’s cars They could break down at any second and you know her argument to me was well, it’s just so much less likely And that might be true.
We might think that a car that’s only 9 years old is less likely to break down than a car that’s 20 years old. But, cars that are brand new, or 2 years old, or 5 years old, or 9 years old, do break down. So I told her, I said, it doesn’t matter if we get you a new used car, or if we fix yours. Your car can still break down at any moment something can happen right in which case you just have to trust That when something happens, you will figure it out.
You will be able to call one of us You will have friends there to help Something right? She didn’t want this feeling of like ooh at any second the car could break down But the truth is she just was either thinking it would thinking it wouldn’t the answer To You know, trying to control something outside of us that really, actually, when we get down to it is uncontrollable is trust, which is why I say, instead of trying to control the uncontrollables trust.
And if you can’t trust, if you can’t drop into your body and feel what feels right. Then my friend, you have some work, that’s all, that’s it. I would love to invite you to come join me in my small group membership called Presence. In Presence, I help you, I support you, I give you resources in building trust in yourself, in being able to feel how your body feels.
So that you can more clearly make decisions and think about what you want the next step to be. I believe the more and more I do this work, that it’s really not a thought work and it’s not an action work. It is a feeling work. And I’m going to bring in something from a different client session, um, experience.
I recently heard myself saying to a client, you know, why is it that we either tell ourselves, I just need time to think, I just need some time and space to like, think about this. Or we tell ourselves, I just got to get going. I just got to do something. At least for me, maybe I, there are people out there who do this, but I have never heard a client say this.
And I don’t think I’ve ever heard myself say this. Why do we ever tell ourselves, I just need to feel more. When that’s really. Almost always the answer, the wisdom inside of you, the, the compass that is your heart or your gut is almost always the answer, right? Because no matter what we’re talking about, whether it’s a broken down car or what is my next career move or how do I deal with this child or do I stay in the church?
Like, it doesn’t matter what your question is or what your problem is.
There’s an answer, or I should say there are a million different answers for each question or for each problem. And the one that’s right for you is going to come to you through how you feel. How you feel in your heart, how you feel in your gut. That’s the truth. I don’t know what’s right for you, but I do know how to lead you through dropping into your body and feeling, feeling what is the next right thing, feeling what doesn’t feel right.
And that when you listen to that, and then you act on that, every time you do that, you build a little more trust in yourself. I’m going to also tell you this story that I’m. I’m absolutely sure that I have mentioned on the podcast before, but we’re 140 episodes in now. So you may not have heard all of my podcast episodes.
I used to be very scared of driving in the snow. I had a minivan. It was not four wheel drive or all wheel drive and driving in the snow. Just the thought of it made me so anxious and afraid. And One day I was thinking about what actually makes me anxious and afraid, and I realized it was this idea that if I broke down, if I slid into a ditch or got stuck at a stop sign, that I wouldn’t be able to figure it out.
I wouldn’t be able to get myself out of that situation. So what I did is I put a little, um, foldable shovel and a bag of sand in the back of my van because I thought, okay, what would I Think right now in this moment, if this happens in the future, if I get stuck at a stop sign or slide off the road, what would I need?
And I thought, okay, sand and a shovel would be really helpful. I could shovel the snow away from my tires. I could put some sand down to give it some traction. Beyond that, I don’t know. And so I did that. I put those tools in my car and then I just told myself. Even if it happens, there’s always going to be someone there to help me.
There are other drivers around that see a driver that, you know, loses control or slides off. I have a cell phone. I can call my husband or the insurance company or, you know, some tow service or something like that. And as soon as I realized that, my anxiety… Decreased by like 10 or 20 fold as soon as I realized what I was actually nervous about was feeling like I wouldn’t be able to figure it out and then taking some action to quote unquote figure it out as much as I could and then just trusting that no matter what actually happened, I would just figure it out.
I’m a grown adult. I will figure it out that dropped my anxiety. Now the next time it came time to buy a car, I bought one. with all will drive. So now I have a sort of another added measure of, okay, I feel more confident driving in the snow. But even so, all will drive doesn’t solve all of the problems with driving in the snow, right?
You can still slide on ice. You can still get hit by another car. There are tons and tons of factors that are completely outside of my control. I can’t anticipate all of them. So I just have to trust that no matter what happens, I will be able to figure it out. And I do, I do now. And so those are two examples.
It’s funny that both of them are car related examples, but two examples of how we try to control the uncontrollables. But really what we need is just to trust ourselves. So I hope that has been helpful for you. Let me know. Come find me on Voxer. I’m, my handle is at Danita Bremmer, no spaces, just Denita Bremmer.
And let me know what your questions are. Um, I’m happy to just offer that as a free service. I have not yet had anybody take me up on it, but I would love for you to be the first one. And if you’re interested in my small group program, check out denitabremmer. com slash presents. Technically the doors close.
Today, the day that this episode drops, but if you schedule a free call, just let me know that you scheduled a free call, that you listened to this episode. I will let you in. If you decide it is right for you.