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The Mind-Blowing Revelation About The Illusion Of Control

Episode #608

What are the two areas of your life that you want to control?

The only person you can control is yourself because you have the power to choose how you respond in every situation so move forward to engage in personal growth.

In this episode, we will learn why control over others is an illusion and how to let go of what’s uncontrollable in life so that you can achieve positive results.

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Doug Holt: Hey, guys, welcome back to another episode. Tim, how are you doing brother?

Tim Matthews: Doing very well. How about yourself?

Doug Holt: I’m doing alright, man. I’m going through that shoulder pain I’m doing PT work with. Some of the guys might relate to this, and I think I’ve talked about this before. But I’m doing this because I’m so pale. Skin cancer is a reality for me. And I have to put this cream all over my face. And I can’t have my kids touch my face, or anybody else, because of the cream. And I guess it strips away and eats the dead cells. I’ve had to do this before, because I’m outdoors so often, I’m just an outdoors guy. It eats away, and eventually your face essentially peels. So, super excited about that. You know, it’s always a good time to go through. But yeah, I’m in great spirits, man.

Tim Matthews: It’s good. You’ve had a lot thrown at you lately.

Doug Holt: I certainly have.

Tim Matthews: You’ve had a lot thrown at you this year, actually, when I think back to this year, and the conversations we’ve had, and everything you’ve gone through, it’s been a wild year.

Doug Holt:  It has been a very wild year. But you know, here we are, still standing. As powerful men, that’s what we do, no matter what people throw at us. You know, we come back stronger.

Tim Matthews: And I will commend you for it. You keep showing up.

Doug Holt:  Thank you. Well, one of the things that we’re going to talk about today- I was talking to a man just yesterday. And what he was talking about is his desire to control the situation. Now, it’s twofold for him. Right? One, he had an issue in his business. And what he was trying to do was get control or get his hands around his business so he could affect his sales, his marketing and everything else that was going on. And secondarily, right, he wanted to have some control over the way his wife acted. So, two things. One is his business, second one was his wife. Now his wife was basically chewing him out, right? In his words, she was being a witch, but he didn’t use those exact words. Right? She wasn’t listening, you know, she was being irresponsible with the money and the finances. And if she would only change, then you know, things would be better. And you know, if she just followed what he wanted to do. So I want to talk about, you know, basically what the illusion of control is, and where that stems from.

Tim Matthews: Let’s do it.

Doug Holt: Awesome. So really, what we’re looking at here, guys, is this idea that you have control over your situations or the things that are outside of you, external of you. And that could be the economy, right? There’s a lot of guys who try to grab control of the economy through their investments. It could be their relationships, their kids. And if you guys have kids, you know right away, you do not have control over those kids. They have their own personalities. But for some reason, a lot of guys are trying to grip and grab control in the area of their relationship, their marriage.

They don’t want to move forward with working on themselves or doing the things necessary until their wife acts first, until the wife will actually listen to them. And because of this, it actually stalls them. They think they could just get control of the situation. Right? They think, if I can just control the parameters, then things will be okay. And they start trying to grab control over everything back. I was talking to a guy, a different guy, yesterday as well.

And he’s coming to an Alpha Reset. And he was trying to dictate where the Alpha Reset would be, who would be at the Alpha Reset, right? All of the conditions. And I just started laughing kind of like you’re doing now. I was laughing. And I won’t say his name. Let’s just call him Tim. I go, Tim, you’re just trying to grasp for control. You believe that for some reason, if you have control of where the Alpha Reset takes place, who’s going to be there, that then it’ll be okay. And that control comes from fear. And that’s what men need to realize.

Right? If you’ve been called controlling or anything else, guys, what you’re doing is you’re afraid. So, you’re grasping onto something to hold on to, something desperately to hold on to and guide you. And it’s that illusion of control. You need to attack the fear instead. When you confront the fear, and you confront it and call it out, like I did with this guy who we’re now calling Tim, when you confront what actually is happening, now you can move some markers. Now you actually have a little bit more control. But really, it’s when you try to grasp on to control of your wife, or to your environment, or something else that’s external of you, that’s when guys fall.

Tim Matthews: It’s interesting because the more in control people try to become, typically, the more out of control they feel. Yep. They then try and control, like you said, the variables that are completely out of their control, and that drives them insane. Inevitably, they literally cannot keep up with it, and therefore they can start to feel like they’re failing or getting behind. Triggers can come up, stories that they tell themselves, whether it’s that they’re not good enough or whatever, right?

A lot of it comes from the shadow. It’s one of the first things to take the men through an AM. And quite frankly, one of the things we constantly revisit with them is a shadow stickman process, right? So they can become aware of who that version of what that version of them looks like, and how it influences them unconsciously, for the most part. And then, as they become conscious of it, and they can detach from it, they’re able to let go of it, and then the need for control often goes away as well. Yeah, they may get triggered from time to time, and feel like they’re grasping for it. But equally, to your point, they know where it comes from. Because yeah, it does come from fear.

The shadow stickman is the shadow side, which is always created out of fear and insecurity. And typically, it’s how the guys end up on the path of force, right? Pushing, forcing, needing things, not taking care of themselves, essentially living from the outside in, struggling with the five agonies. And I think oftentimes, when the guys become aware of the shadow stickman and they let go of him, whenever he rears his head from time to time – because he will, and the control will come in from time to time, whatever it may be – they can have a hard time to let go of it again, because they beat themselves up, ‘I’ve done it again, I’ve done it again, I’ve done it again.’ And that makes them want to reach for control because they think control is normal, it’s comfortable, it’s familiar, it’s safe, and all those things, when in reality, it’s one of the worst things you can do.

Doug Holt:  Well, it really is. And you put on the fact that the men that we work with are business owners, and executives of large companies, right? They’re used to trying to grab control over everything, so they could drive the ship of their business. They’re used to be able to have a plan. Hey, if I knew all the elements of what’s going on, then I can make better key decisions. Now, this is also an excuse, because guys will try this at home. They’ll try to grab control and control all the elements of an outcome.

So, let’s say, a party, right? You’re going to a party, and instead of going to the party, you say hey, let’s have it at my house. And the reason you have it at your house is, you’re trying to control the elements of the party. Who shows up, when they show up, what kind of food is there, making sure you have your kind of beer that you want, or whatever else it may be. And it’s this idea of control that gets guys in so much trouble. Because as you’re grasping for straws, you’re grasping for this control, typically, this idea of being out of control, because you’re not really in control, comes out in the worst ways.

Guys start to get snappy, they start to showcase their insecurities and fears in ways that just aren’t attractive to their wives, or anybody else. And you know, really what it is, is kind of like, kind of the idea of- if you ever meet somebody who is just so secure with themselves, right? And they might be out of shape. Maybe they’re 40 pounds overweight, not an attractive person, but they’re so secure with themselves that they laugh, and they’re just good to be around, right? And it’s because so many men try to control those elements of what is represented on the outside of them, that they actually lose that self-love and that self-respect.

And it’s this illusion of control that, hey, if I lose 20 pounds, then that’s all I need to do. If I do these things outside of me, then I’ll be okay. And as men, this is really where it becomes a problem. And as business owners, this becomes even more of a problem, because you try to take this idea of controlling your business to your family, start treating your wife like an employee rather than your lover, and you’re gonna push her away very, very far and very fast.

Tim Matthews: Think about what you guys were like when you say first got together. How carefree you were. And we’ve all had moments in life when we felt that way, be it in a relationship, or business, or how you look in your clothes. And typically, in those moments when you feel more carefree, feel lighter, you feel happy. And things that come into mind right now, with the guys that we work with, be it in the IC, one-on-one, or even guys that go through other programs within the movement – whenever they’re achieving their best results, they always describe this feeling of lightness, this feeling of joy, this feeling of, oh, everything just feels so easy. Yeah, everything is just happening for me right now.

And typically it’s because they are doing the basics, they do their ARS, that’s definitely a part of it. They’re doing the AD. They’re reviewing the week. They’re not doing a lot, but they’re just doing the right things, and doing the basic things, and doing them consistently. And they’re in correct conversations as well, surrounded by other men who are honest, who are real with themselves, who engage in growth, so that they venture into the darkness, if you will, to turn it into light. And as a result, it’s kind of like this melting pot, if you will, of all these different characteristics that result in this sense of ease. And it often comes when you least expect it as well.

And then oftentimes, when they realize it’s there, guess what happens? They push it away. Because they don’t want to let go of it. I feel so confident right now. I feel so good. I’ve just done this, I’ve just done that, whether it’s a record deal, or losing weight, or having great sex, whatever it may be, life just feels so easy, I don’t want it to stop. Then they take hold of it, they strangle it, become fearful, then move off the path of power and start experiencing the path of force. And then, as a result, they overthink things or get into the head instead of being in the body. And guess what happens?

Little by little, they go to bed a little bit later because they start to try a bit harder at work because they don’t want it to go away. So they push and finish a little bit later just to get the deal over the line. They don’t communicate to their wife, they’re going to be home a little bit later. So they come home and there’s a few arguments, and they get a bit defensive or they may fall into DEER mode. And then as a result, they go to bed on an argument and don’t sleep as well. So, just one day goes by and he doesn’t do his ARS. But he goes and works out. And then he needs to make up for it. So he pushes harder again that same day. And it’s that sense that he’s trying to grasp for control of this sense of ease he’s experiencing, versus what created it was the lack of expectation. He didn’t expect it to arrive. He was relaxed. He was just focused on hitting singles, on the path of power, doing the things that signaled to him self-love and self-worth, to your point, Doug. And as a result, over time, ease is experienced. But it’s a sense of control, or wanting to control it that takes them out of it.

Doug Holt: Yeah, this is grasping. And again, going back to it is the root of fear, right? When you’re searching for control, usually you’re scared. And you’re scared of being out of control. And most guys don’t associate that, you know. When I first addressed this with the man I was talking to yesterday, you know, his first initial reaction was No, no, no. And eventually, you know, as we went through the conversation, he was laughing at himself. And he admitted it. I go, what are you scared of? What is it you’re scared of? Like, what’s really going on here? Now, you guys listening to this have to understand I have a coaching relationship with this guy, right? I am his coach. So, you know, I can go there with him.

But for you listening to this, if there’s something you’re trying to control right now – maybe it’s your marriage. Right? Maybe it’s your kids. Maybe it’s, you know, some aspects of your environment. What actually is causing that trigger? You know, in the next podcast, we’re going to talk a little bit more about triggers and how things start and how habits are formed. But for here, what we want to talk about is, why are you really scared? Right? If you’re grasping for control, I propose to you that you’re scared of something. Maybe you’re scared of your business failing that. Your fear can be a really real thing. Your fear can be a good thing.

That’s not always necessarily a bad thing, to be scared. You know, you want to be judicious in your thought process. However, for most men, the fear leads to that desire for control. And if it’s control of something outside of you, then you do not have control of it. The only thing you have control over is yourself, your own decisions, your thoughts, your own patterns and making those changes. But you don’t have control over somebody else. If I try to control the way Tim behaves, I’m just setting myself up for failure. Trust me, I’ve tried it many, many times. If I can try to control that, it’s just not going to work, or Tim trying to control me, he’s not gonna work.

Tim Matthews: He’s had a tough year, like I said.

Doug Holt: Yeah, it’s been a tough year. But often, we do that, right? We do that with key employees. We move them around, we shuffle them around the company. We like the people. And we’re kind of like, okay, well, if I just change this aspect of them or their personality, then it’s going to work out. And how many times has that happened, guys? Almost never, almost never. And then we say, okay, great. I’m gonna try to, you know, control something else outside of me. I’m gonna try to control the environment that I’m in, right? You can control it if you’re in the environment, but you can’t control the people there, noises and other things. This lack of control leads to frustration, and frustration to fear. And that’s where you really want to figure out where you’re at right now. What is it right now that you’re trying to grasp and get control over, that’s not working for you? If it’s not working for you, my question is, what are you afraid of? What are you afraid it’s going to happen if you let go of control, and just allow it to be?

Tim Matthews: It’s a great question. It really is. Again, my mind just goes to the shadow stickman. I remember when I first did that exercise. For me, it was the fear of failure. But beneath that was the fear of not being good enough. You know, and then obviously, what would people think, and rejection, and all that all the stuff that goes with it. I think for most people as well, there’s some core fears, a few of them that will come up. The fear of not being good enough is typical for a lot of people. But to your point, I think yeah, if you’re listening to this, and this is resonating with you, and you’re driving, or you’re in the gym, then I really encourage you to come back to this and journal on what Doug just asked you. Say it again. It was a great question. I can’t repeat it.

Doug Holt:  Yeah, what I’m gonna ask you guys is, if you  find yourself grasping for control, just be real with yourself. If you’re trying to control a situation, especially if it’s a relationship – what are you afraid of? What are you afraid of is going to happen if you let go of control, and you actually surrender? That’s the question. And there’s an interesting book that, Tim, you love, and a lot of the guys love, called The Surrender Experiment. This book kind of talks about that idea of surrender versus- not really control as much, but just surrendering. I have my issues with the book…

Tim Matthews: I’m surprised you bring it up. I know you don’t like the book.

Doug Holt:  I’m not a fan of the book. But we can talk about that another time. There’s certain reasons I think, like, okay…

Tim Matthews: Skepticism.

Doug Holt:  It’s not the skepticism. It’s just, you know, you can make anything mean what you want it to mean, right? So anyway, back to the idea of being in control, guys, sit down and journal about that. Write about it, look at an area. Are you trying to control your marriage? Are you trying to control your wife’s actions? What happens if you just let go of control? So many of the guys that come to us, they find themselves being needy. When you’re being needy, you’re trying to be controlling, you’re trying to get the attention of your wife. You’re being needy, because you’re trying to control the situation, the environment. And that just further pushes her away, just pushes her further to the back. And you want to let go and surrender. And when we teach our men to let go and surrender, and really what they’re doing is, they’re taking ownership of themselves. When they take ownership of themselves, that’s when they surrender, and that’s when their wife’s like, wait a minute, he’s no longer being needy. He’s taking care of himself. He’s doing the things that he needs to do, he is now more attractive. And now, as a man, you actually are in control when you let go of control, which sounds pretty weird, but that’s the way it works.

Tim Matthews: Certainly does.

Doug Holt: Any closing remarks on this one for the men?

Tim Matthews: Yeah, just emphasizing that point. You know, when you’re really in control is the moment you let go of control, and re-emphasizing the idea of controlling what is within your control, and the sense of ease that you really do get from letting go of control. And I imagine there’ll be questions that come up. This isn’t about being irresponsible in any way, shape, or form. It’s not about turning your back on certain things in your business and just letting go of control. We’re not saying that. But again, this is how guys within movement are able to achieve exponential growth, be it personally and professionally. Because they begin to focus on what is within their control, they turn down the noise on the outside, turn up the noise on the inside. And as a result, they just access parts of themselves that have kind of gone a bit dormant. They reactivate them. They move from being deactivated to activated, from DEER to WOLF. And doors start to open in walls that they were previously trying to walk around or climb over. You guys listening to this, Force of Nature, Chief, I know that for you guys this is something that’s relevant right now. All of you guys. So, we can pick up this conversation if you want in the IC that’s coming up. But either way, I think it’s a great topic. It’s always worth revisiting.

Doug Holt:  Awesome, guys. As we always say, in the moment of insight, take massive action. We’ll see you next time.