the fallacy of control

Today we’re going to talk about the control fallacy, another cognitive distortion. The Fallacy of Control is where you assume an inaccurate amount of control in a situation or in life. You either believe you can control everything or believe you can control nothing. 

When you believe you control everything, you are assuming responsibility for both the pain and happiness of everyone around you. If a friend is in a bad mood 😒, you may wonder what you did to make them feel that way. If your workplace receives a good review or award, you may feel like it’s all your doing.

When you believe you control nothing, you see yourself as a helpless bystander to your situation. You may feel like there’s nothing you can do to make your life better, to improve your happiness, or to change your situation. 😞 This feeling is a big contributor to “stuckness” and resistance to change- if we don’t believe we have any control in our lives, what would we get out of changing?

What we should strive for instead is to more accurately identify the amount of control we have in any given situation or in life’s circumstances. Regardless of how high or low functioning we are, we never have NO CONTROL or FULL CONTROL of our lives. 

Where do you land between these two fallacies?