The 12 Thrive Days of Christmas – Day 4 – Control

A series of 12 brief articles, published daily from 25th December to 5th January (The traditional 12 days of Christmas).  Today, we look at our sense of Power and Control.

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Our sense of power and control

A major component of our psychological foundations is our sense of power and control over our experiences in life.  We either have an internal sense of power and control or an external one.

When we believe we are in control of our experiences we have an internal sense of power and control.  We feel powerful and able to cope with life on a day to day basis.  The opposite is true when we believe we are controlled by external forces (such as fate, luck, the past, or other people.  Holding an external sense makes us feel weak and out of control, damaging our self esteem and increasing our social anxiety.

Having an internal sense of power and control is important for both physical and mental health.  This is even more important when making changes in our lives.



But is it true?

Well our sense of power and control isn’t necessarily based on reality – it is just a belief.  It’s the way we see and think about things and how we process information and events.  That’s really good news as it means we can change it!

One of the best ways to create a more internal sense is to challenge ourselves and process the whole event internally.  By setting and overcoming a challenge, or achieving an aim, we are building up evidence that we do have the power to direct our life. A challenge or aim can be anything we want to do, or achieve, regardless of what it is.

Do you feel like a puppet on a string?

Do you feel like a puppet on a string?


Where did it come from?

Well firstly, it is not about the past!

Most people believe that their past has a big impact on their lives today. They believe…

  1. Self esteem is created by earlier experiences in their lives.
  2. Their personality was fixed in childhood.
  3. Their phobias, fears, anxieties or depression are caused by stressful or traumatic events in their past.
  4. Social anxiety or shyness was caused by embarrassing experiences from the past.
  5. These habits are too deeply ingrained to change easily.

None of these beliefs are true.  Earlier life events, no matter how conflicting or traumatic, have very little, if any, direct on our lives today.  It is the way we process events, externally, that causes problems in the here and now, not the events themselves.  Learn to take back control and process events internally and self esteem will increase automatically making us feel newly empowered.

Learn to tack control at Thrive With Ian

Learn to take back control at Thrive With Ian





This is a fascinating, and central, area of study within The Thrive Programme, and there is far too much information to condense in a short article.  Thrive With Ian can guide you through The Thrive Programme in as little as six sessions so that you can learn to build a Thriving future.

Day 5 of The 12 Thrive Days of Christmas will be published tomorrow when we will look at Self Esteem.

Ian Crosswell – Thrive With Ian



I’m Ian and I’m a qualified Thrive Programme Consultant. Using the professionally developed Thrive Programme – a proven, evidence based, positive psychology training programme – I work with people from all walks of life, providing the insights and skills they need to change their lives for the better.

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