When I was in college, I experienced a major challenging time that made me feel very helpless and confused about what to do. My grades did not match up with my hard work, and the more exams and tests I wrote, the more I realised I wasn’t doing something right.
No matter how strong you are, almost all of us experience times when it feels like we are no longer in control of our lives and the things that happen to us. This can make you feel very helpless and confused.
Taking control of things in your life can sometimes be very difficult, especially when you seem to be doing your best but things are obviously not aligning with your expectations. While it is quite normal to begin to panic and lose your sense of control and composure, I will show you some tips that help me regain myself when I am in similar conditions.
Whether you are experiencing a setback in your academics like I was, or your business, profession or marriage, regaining yourself and your control is important for the following reasons:
It gives you a sense of direction.
It helps you find out what the root causes are and how to address them.
It prevents you from lapsing into worrying and depression.
It helps you to seek help from the right sources.
It preserves your energy to move ahead.
How to regain your sense of control when you can’t help yourself anymore
At that time when I struggled to regain control of my grades while in school, there were some things I tried that helped me out. I will share them with you as well as others I have researched about. Hopefully, these help you bounce back up and regain your lost control over things.
1. Talk to someone you trust
I remember going to talk to someone who was performing better in his academics. He was a senior and was the best in his class then, and he was someone I trusted.
When I visited him, I started by narrating to him how I was unable to meet my own expectations pertaining to my academic performance. Then he started off by encouraging me that these things are normal but I will eventually overcome them.
Coming from someone who was doing well, that was enough encouragement. Then, I started asking him specific questions on how to do better. He shared some helpful tips with me, which helped me recover my grades in my subsequent exams and tests.
Talking to someone you trust and admire can make you feel like you still have help. You realize that even when your own strength has failed, you have someone else who can help you.
We all need each other at certain points in our lives. When you are feeling helpless and disappointed is not the time to feel too proud to ask for help. Except if there is no one you can trust for help, which is hardly ever the case.
2. Focus on the good side
Very often, we forget the good side of things when we are been faced with a challenge, when in fact those aspects are what can give us a ray of hope during our times of helplessness.
Even in the midst of the seeming failure, you have made some progress only that you fail to realize it. If you sit down to focus on the good side of things, you will see more reasons to be grateful for.
Focusing on the good side also gives you a sense of direction. This can help you regain your control when you are already beginning to feel helpless.
3. Do things to get back your joy
When I was feeling helpless at those times, I veered into other things that gave me joy. I continued writing on this blog. I also continued my piano lessons, to renew my joy for the next round of studies.
Your inner happiness and joy are your life’s forces that keep you going even when things are tough and unexpected. If going out to swim gives you joy, go and do it. If reading a storybook or novel is what gives you happiness, do it. That way, you will find enough energy to move on with life.
4. Think about the way forward
Whenever I feel hopeless and helpless about things, one thing that keeps me going is having to think about the way forward. What are you not doing right? You cannot do the same things and achieve different results. There is every chance you might need to modify some of your methods.
While it is normal to worry and feel bad that your efforts did not bring the desired results, it is more important to focus on the way forward and how to do things better.
Instead of worrying too long about the challenges, seek help to find solutions to them. You are only feeling helpless because you are exhausted after trying all that you currently know. But that does not mean there is no other way ahead.
5. Get some rest
Lack of rest is another thing that can make your efforts seem unproductive. Even when you know the right thing to do, exhaustion makes you do it inefficiently.
Life already has its own challenges and problems. Allowing yourself to go through extreme stress can negatively affect your coping ability through life and its challenges. Hence, you need to get rest when you feel tired and exhausted.
As simple as getting good rest and sleep can help you recharge your coping batteries and give you more control over life and things you are currently going through.
6. See a therapist
Things can get overwhelming and you might need professional advice when you are feeling down and helpless. If none of the above tips is available to you or does not help you improve your feelings about things, it might be necessary to consult the services of a therapist.
This is especially important when it feels like you have lost control of your life. A therapist can help you identify the key areas to focus your attention on without making you feel bad or divulging your personal information to the public.
Subtle signs that you are losing control of things
It is possible to begin losing control of things without realizing it. Here are some subtle signs that you are getting extremely frustrated about things concerning you.
You are easily provoked to anger.
You are easily manipulated, pressured, enticed, or persuaded against your will.
You have several undesirable addictions.
You have problems controlling your spending.
You are anxious about life and always anticipate a negative outcome to things.
How to avoid getting out of control of things
Because of the problems associated with losing control of one’s life and things, it is often better to do one’s best to avoid getting out of control of one’s life.
This concluding section will talk about some tips on how to avoid getting out of control in your life and endeavours.
1. Ask the right questions early enough
Succeeding at any task or activity does not depend only on your skills, expertise, or knowledge about it. It also depends on receiving the right guidance about the activity.
I figured out that asking the right questions from those who are more experienced than you can help you achieve better results and prevent you from the frustration of unmet expectations.
2. Start working early
Starting early and being consistent is better than heaping up work and getting exhausted in the process. You achieve better results this way and when you see your results, you are better motivated to keep pushing.
Frustration and feelings of helplessness only set in when you are apparently not doing as well as you’ve always wanted. But don’t worry, as long as you don’t give up, you will succeed eventually.
3. Know when to take rest in between
All work and no play not only make Jack a dull boy but also make him hopeless and helpless when he has become exhausted. Taking a rest when you need to helps you to recharge and build up more energy to continue in what you do.
Remember, achieving success in most things does not require sprint energy but in a marathon strength. So, you need to learn to rest to recharge in between.
4. Don’t take in too much without letting out
Life is full of challenges. We keep taking in a lot without diffusing some out. When life’s problems and stress hit us, it is important to know when to speak up.
Venting out some steam, especially to someone you trust, can help relieve you and make you feel better about life and your endeavours.
Leisures are another way to relieve tension. Go out to play sometimes, that will not make you fail in your task.
5. Forgive yourself regularly
Nobody said you are not going to make mistakes. As long as we are all imperfect, there will always be times when you will skip your schedules, fail on your targets, or play longer than you should. Whatever the case is, forgive yourself.
When you forgive yourself quickly and regularly, you clear your mind of the guilt that may weigh you down from rising up to continue the race.
Learn to forgive yourself for the slightest mistakes you made less than a minute ago. It is self-healing, and refreshing. This can help prevent you from lapsing into helplessness from the inability to meet your own expectations.
6. Take little at a time
Instead of binge-working, break your task down into smaller units. Taking it a little at a time helps you to achieve small successes which will motivate you to keep on going.
Don’t bite more than what you can chew. Because when you do, it becomes too difficult for you to chew and you end up spilling it out. But when you take in what you can chew, you are able to chew it completely and when you do, you feel happier for having accomplished a task by yourself.
Several thing can make one lose control of the things one is involved in. This can create a feeling of helplessness and depression about life in general. This article focused on practical ways to regain control of one’s life when you are feeling hopeless.
Losing control of one’s life can affect one’s self-confidence, interpersonal relationships, marriage, and other areas of life. Hence, it is necessary to find ways to deal with it and even better, to prevent one from getting too frustrated about life or any vocation.
I am a medical doctor, a seasoned writer and passionate blogger. Thanks to many years of trials, failure, and near successes. I am the founder of Knowseeker and our content are geared towards enlightening and making you a better and happier audience.