The Illusion of Control


When you are caught up in the illusion of control, you and your relationships suffer.

Have you ever woken up feeling the blues? You know, that feeling of being unsettled, as if you, your life, or your relationships just aren’t matching up to your expectations. You feel like something is askew but you don’t know how to fix things and make them right. You wish you could figure out how to make things right but you keep ruminating on what is wrong and are at a loss on what to do about it.

Well, you are not alone. Everyone suffers from this from time to time. For some reason we are most prone to this condition on Monday mornings. And while most people will identify this as the Monday morning blues, I believe that what we are really suffering from is our illusion of control.

Humans are masters of maintaining the illusion of control. We create beliefs, technologies, rituals, commerce, and governments to help maintain this illusion. And as long as we buy into the myth that we can control ourselves, our lives, and others, we are trapped into a life of constant vigilance and disappointment.

Now most of us understand that in reality there are some things we can control and other things that we cannot. We have a fairly good grasp on rational thought and behavior. But when you find yourself feeling the blues, it is a sign that you are suffering once again from the illusion of control. Because even though no one wants to admit it, in reality, we have no control. We are simply one small part of a very large system—a system that impacts us far more than we impact it.

Now before you get ready to send angry comments that insist that we do indeed have control over our destiny, let me add one more thought. You do make a difference. Your life makes a difference. You do impact the greater system whether that is your relationships, your community, or your planet. So please don’t live your life recklessly. Do good unto others. Do good unto yourself. Do good unto your world. But remember that you are not in charge.

So how do we deal with the Monday morning blues? Let go of believing that somehow you should be able to make something happen. Stop trying to control your life so that it fits an image in your mind on how you think it should be. Take some pressure off yourself and others. Be okay with the way things are. And then do something that brings joy to you and others. Do something that makes a positive contribution to the world. And be grateful that life has given you the opportunity to do so for yet another day.

Enjoy your Monday!

Be well,


Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery

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This article was originally published at Julie Orlov . Reprinted with permission from the author.