The False Impression of Control

“If you go from the gut, from the heart, from the core of truth within you, you already know where you are attaching to control. Your life is speaking to you.  You’re life is already showing you everything that is off kilter.”  Kate Swoboda.

I see this every day in my own life, my friends, as well as with many of the athletes I work with.  We know the answers and we convince ourselves we know the right thing to do, but still get caught up in knowing it’s right there in front of you and you can figure it out.  Just like in sports life hands us curve balls we simply cannot control and we get stuck in the illusion we can actually control it all.

I’m here to tell you that trying to control it simply does not work.  I meet very few people and athletes that are willing to acknowledge that control has them by the neck and it truly keeps them from performance success.  Take a look at this quote:

“I’m not trying to control anything – isn’t it right to expect that if someone…

or something says something… then it should be true?

Control offers the illusion that your perspective is the “right” one, that expectations (the #1 killer of Confidence) get you anywhere, and that “shoulds” are effective in changing yours and other people’s behavior. It’s possible you can make it happen, but what if you can’t? What happens when the illusion doesn’t work and you are right back to square one.

“If I just put my mind to it, I know that I will make it happen.”

If you are an athlete that believes you can control your performance, and can control getting yourself out of a slump by simply battling through it, practicing more, and giving more and more effort you are believing in the illusion.

The way to beat the illusion, and get out from under the pressure of trying to control everything is to admit you have a performance challenge and surrender to the fact that you are stuck, and then reach out for help.

Learn more about the the author:

John Ellsworth is a Mental Game Coach, speaker and writer who specializes in performance improvement. You can learn more about him by visiting  He writes about beating the illusions that get in the way of your performance success in sports and life.

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