The Jim Fortin Podcast

EPISODE 77: “Why Control Is An Illusion”

December 10, 2019

Are you a control freak? Try to control everything and everyone? If so and you want to start letting that go you’re going to love this episode.

As I mention in this episode, I think everyone has some degree of “control” in them, even if it’s just a little bit it’s still a survival mechanism. However, in this episode I am more specifically talking about people who are trying to control everything around them.

In this episode I talk about:

And, how control is not always a control issue, it’s a whole different issue I wrap up this episode with a simple formula for letting go of control and I call it STD.  No, not that kind of STD!

The opposite of control is: Surrender, Trust and No Doubt (STD).

As you may start noticing after this episode, when you STD, life becomes easier and you’re going to be so much happier and specifically, at peace.

Transformational Takeaway

Control is an illusion, you can’t even control your thinking. When you get into control you are controlled by the illusion of control.

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Full Episode Transcript


You're listening to episode number 77 of the Transform Your Life from the Inside Out Podcast. In this episode, I go into the concept of control, and why control is an illusion. If you're a control freak, or you tend to get into control, you're going to love this episode.

Hi, I'm Jim Fortin, and you're about to start Transforming Your Life from the inside out with this podcast. I'm widely considered the leader in subconscious transformation. And I've coached super achievers all around the world for over 25 years. Here, you're going to find no rah rah motivation and no hype because this podcast is a combination of brain science, transformational psychology, and ancient wisdom all rolled into one to take your life to levels you've never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life, to feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind, to feel powerful and alive and to bring more abundance prosperity into your life, the this podcast is for you. Because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness. And when you do that, anything you want then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.

Your Inner Turmoil Is Causing Your Control Issues

Okay, so a little earlier, I don't know, a month ago or whatever I did do an episode on control. And candidly, you know, I know I've mentioned here that I have a video marketing company, and we've already pre shot our videos, a content calendar for six months and this was a video they shot and when they should videos, I've got to create corresponding podcasts. And I'm like, okay, what I do not like to do is people that just repeat their content, or it's the same thing over and over. And even if I talk about the same topic, I definitely want to put a different spin and a twist on it. So I'm going to do you know, I'm going to give you a little bit different perspective on this episode in the event you've already listened to the other on control. So when we talk about control, and you know, you're listening for a reason, so my question is, are you a control freak? Are you married to a control freak? Do you get into control? And then to what degree do you get into control?

Now, obviously, I think everyone gets into some degree, well, almost everyone gets into some degree of control. And it's just a matter of how they get into it, or the context for getting into it. So what is control? You know, that's a really big question. And I'm going to, in this episode talk about literally, that we either get into control of ourselves, or we get into control of other people. Personally, I'm not so concerned about controlling other people because I know that I can't. So any control issues that I would have would be control of self. So also people get into varying degrees of control, whether it be themselves or other people, and you've got people that really, you know, like me, I mean, I have no desire to control other people. And I mean, none. And basically, I know it's a waste of energy, and it's just draining to try to do that. And like I said, I can't do it, you know, do it anyway. And even when it comes to controlling myself, I mean, over the years is that matured and stuff like that, I definitely know even when it comes to myself, which I'll demonstrate in just a bit, or I'll share with you, there's nothing, nothing that I can- I'm going to use the word here and I'm going to air quote, “control.” I can choose things and I can precipitate things and I can actually be engaged in things emotionally or mentally or physically, but sometimes when it comes to control, really, there's nothing that any of us can control. And like I said, I'll talk about that in just a little bit.

But when we talk about self control, you know, people will say, “Well, you know, you can control what you put in your body.” Well, has anybody told somebody that's bulimic or anorexic that? Now, I read some research on this and as I understand that bulimia is a control issue, because people, the premises, at least unconsciously is that the person can control what they put into their body. And then when I talk about control of itself, I've got an episode coming up in a couple of weeks and the title of the episode is “You're Not in Control. Your Brain Is,” and I'll talk about that, I think it's, maybe it's even a week from now. But it's all about how your brain controls you and you're not even aware that your brain is controlling you. So even though you think you might have control of your life, generally, it's an illusion. Also, I have found controlling of others, is that number one, it's near impossible to control other people and especially people who get in the control don't like to be controlled, will rebel, you know, being controlled. So it's near impossible to control other people, unless you've got a gun to their head or you know, they're in prison or whatever, you know, extenuating circumstances, but control of others.

Let me share with you and I want you to look at, let me give you an example here. And like I said, I don't have any notes here. So I kind of hop around I remember somebody in one of my programs, and she's actually many people go through my programs many times. And she's currently in a program and her name is Sandy. And I think she's in her 50s. And she has, I believe it's two boys, if I remember correctly, two boys, but they're older one's 24 and one's 27. Now, being a mother, I mean, I think every mother, for the most part wants the best for their kids. So because she wants the best for her kids, what she was trying to do until she started, you know, started working with me is she's trying to control her kids. Now, you can try to do that when your kids are young, because many people command their kids. And it doesn't work when you know, you have teenagers, which many of you do, or you have older kids. And actually, the more you try to control them, the more they rebel. And the challenge that she was getting into is that her relationship with her boys- the last thing she wanted was a relationship that was deteriorating. Why? Because moms I mean moms love their kids. You know, parents love their kids. But the relationship was deteriorating because her sons actually resented the mom who tried to control them. And she was trying to control them because she wanted them to be safe or in their best interest or whatever. So, look at yourself as a parent. Are you trying to control your kids? And that's what we hear. I hear people say a lot is “I'm trying to control my kids.” I'm not going to talk about it a lot in this episode. But food for thought is that parents when they have kids, small kids, they generally control their kids and they command their kids and many people, you know, their thought process is that they're being great parents, and they're being stewards of their children, and they're looking out for what's in the best interest of their kids. However, here's where things start breaking down. When kids become as you've heard me mentioned before, that the unconscious mind literally is just wide open till about the age of eight. The analytical mind and that part of the brains not fully developed yet. But what happens is parents learn to command and control their small kids, you know, 7, 8, 9 years old and under. And then what happens is when the kids get older 10, 11, and 12, and older parents haven't shifted and recognize that, “Hey, I've got a kid here that's got an analytical mind and I can't control anymore. I have to start talking to my kid, like a young adult, I have to start bargaining I have to start negotiating, I have to start communicating with my kid instead of trying to control my kid.” So hopefully, that's food for thought for a lot of you when you're wondering why I can't control my 10 year 11, 12 and 13 year old. Why? Because they have changed neurologically and psychologically.

Now, the thing about control also is, I don't know whether or not and I use the word colloquially that you're a control freak. But I've read some research that control freaks have significantly, which makes sense to me, significantly increased anxiety. And the irony here is this- is the anxiety is inner turmoil and stress for people and they have the inner turmoil and stress, because they're trying to control the external turmoil. I mean, look at that for a second. Think about that. When you're trying to actually, you've got all this internal stress and strife on the inside, look at how much you're trying to control on the outside instead of choosing and managing yourself on the inside. Also controlling of others is- I read this research one time at Harvard University, and they said the number one cause of job related stress is bad management. And I have not worked for anybody in decades but I remember when I did that, what I resented most back then, and I use that word, it just flows off the tongue. But what I rebelled against or resented most is micro managers. And I used to have a manager one time I mean, this guy would manage I mean, everything. Even after I was fully trained and very, very good. As a matter of fact, that was a leader in my job back then, he would pick up a phone line and listen in to control the conversation. I mean, well he would see what I was saying so later, he could chime in “Oh, you did this, you did that you missed this, you missed that.” And remember how frustrating it was for me to have a manager that was a complete and I do mean complete control freak. So if you are a highly controlling person that can contribute to, you know, seriously, you know, serious consequences in your relationship.

You know, when I look at control, also, I see it to varying degrees in relationships. I'm in a personal relationship I've been in for 18 years, and neither of us really, at all get into control issues with the other person, for the most part. And I know that really, I'm just, it's not important for me to control people more my partner. I'm thinking of this young couple that, they're an extended family. They're part of my extended family. And I don't know he's probably 22 she's probably 21. And at the opposite, you know, opposite extreme of my relationship. I mean, she has massive, massive, massive control issues. And I'm going to talk about this a little further in a moment. But her control issue is that she wants to know where he is at all times. She can, I guess they have apps now you can track where your kids phones are and stuff like that and she has that software on his phone so she can track him. Now, what I'm going to share with you is even though this is a massive control issue, it's also not a control issue, which I'll get to in just a minute. And several of you might be able to see yourself, not that you're controlling like she is, but you might see yourself in just a moment when I say control is not a control issue. It's another issue which will get to.

Control also leads to a lot of self-criticism. And that is people generally personalize when they can't control things and they make it about themselves. So if I can't control everything around me, that must mean self criticism that I'm weak, or I'm not aware enough or I don't pay attention enough, or I need to work harder or something. But I do notice that when people get into extreme amounts of control, many times that reverse boomerang effect of that is self criticism. Okay, so just a couple of minutes ago, I said that control many times, not always, control is not about control. But here's a twist for you. Because again, I want to make every episode- I want to nugget. And I've already done an episode on control. And I want to nugget in here. But what I've noticed many years ago, and it applies to the young kids that I'm talking about, as well, I just mentioned. Number one is she is so insecure, that she doesn't want him talking to any other girls. I mean, if he literally passed a girl in the mall, he's not even allowed to say hi. I mean, it's pretty immature and pretty ridiculous and you know what, adults do the same stuff as well. But you know what we can look at her and say she's in a control issue and she is in a control issue. We're having a control issue, you weren't engaged and the control issue, but even further than that, are you ready? It's a trust issue.

And many times when we're trying to control other people, it might not be controll per se, even though it looks like control, the root of it is trust. Can I trust other people? And even the example I gave you about, you know, my boss, it was a trust issue. And by the way, I was like a number one person at our company who did what I did. But I mean this guy for the 18 months that I was here and I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to go because we were micromanage. Like, it was crazy. But it was a trust issue, because he was always correcting me when I was the highest producer at this place. And he always found, you know, room to correct something. And that's a trust issue because I wasn't doing it in the way that he wanted me to do it.

I want to segue here for a second. Also, I wanted to say that all the entrepreneurs that I've coached, there's one entrepreneur that I coached, or several but I don't coach anyone one to one unless they make over a million a year. And there's someone that I coached 1:1 two years ago when his business was at $2 million per year when he started with me. Two years later, his business is at $10 million per year. And if you were to ask him, he would tell you that's directly related to me. Now, the biggest challenge that I saw in his business is that he had his hands on the wheel, meaning and he wasn't a micromanager but he had to control many aspects of his business. And he always had his fingers in a lot of things. And as a result of that, he was literally not letting his employees develop themselves, but he was also actually because he had the micro not micromanage, but manage everything and have his fingers and everything. Literally, he was exhausted. Okay, off topic I'm using a Sennheiser microphone. It's very expensive and very high quality and I'm hearing a little popping, so hopefully you guys are not getting that same popping, actually, I think it just might be in the situation to the microphone. So hopefully that's not coming through.

So let me share a place that I work from. And this is something that I've learned with obviously my mentor, well not obviously but one of my mentors that I mentioned often in these episodes is- and my sister and I were laughing about this because it's her husband and we were talking about air quote getting or having an STD. Now most people think you know, obviously STD is a sexually transmitted disease. And when we talk about STD because I'd love to give every one of you listening an STD and against stay with me, STD is this is: Surrender, Trust, and no Doubt. So that's where I work from in life is I surrender, I can't control anything. And so many people try to control outcomes, which I've also done an episode on attachment. When I do things like you know, a launch and launch my transformational program, I can't control what's going to happen. I can't control and this has happened before. I can't control it. The electricity is going to go out when I'm doing a webinar. You know, I can't control who's going to you know, want to transform their life or not. I think Can't control like our last launch, our email service went down and thankfully only, you know, like an hour before the cart closed and pretty much everyone was in by that time. But our final email, the email company went down. I don't what do you call them servers or whatever. Anyway, my team handles all that. But our email delivery service went down an hour before the cart closed and my project manager called me and I just laughed it off. I mean, what am I going to do? I can't control anything.

And then no doubt, you know, doubt comes as you've heard me say before, from right or wrong thinking. If you get into am I doing it right or doing it wrong, then you get into doubt. So control issues in my observation or the reverse of STD- is that you're not surrendering, you're not trusting, and you're doubting, and oh my gosh, you guys know this. That those of you that try to control things, oh my gosh, how exhausting that can be. Just let go and love or enjoy your STD.

I want to share something else with you here is, and you've heard me say it before, I think on the other episode is that control is an illusion. There's nothing literally. And if you think you can, I really want you to look at this. There's nothing that you can control nothing in your life. And you could say, “Well, Jim, I can control my thinking.” No, you can't. And, again, I have an episode coming up on that. So if you're such a master at controlling your thinking, how can you have pesky thoughts that come back of self doubt or lack of confidence or fear or whatever. Now fear is brain based reptilian brain as well. But notice that if you could control all of your brain, then guess what fear would not hop into your life. I mean, this is brain based. So control is an illusion. Consider that control is an illusion. You cannot control anything. You can however, choose. There's the subtle distinction is that people think “Oh, I can control my thinking.” No, you can't, which I just alluded to. Why does that thinking pop up? Like, you know, you suck or you're horrible at this or you're bad at that. What we can do in that moment is we can consciously choose to move our attention. But notice you didn't control whether or not that thought popped into your mind.

You know, what's interesting also, is when I say we can't control anything, look at your life. I find it almost, it's humorous to me to watch, you know, in the ways that people get into control. What I mean by that is, you look at somebody that's really into control, and they're trying to control people, but you know what, they'll have no problem you know, I'll say things like, “Do you like flying?” “Oh, sure. I like flying.” Well, you know, consider that when you hop on an airplane. I mean, you're in this aluminum tube in the sky, you have zero and I do mean zero control. That's why when people say things and I think it's more just colloquial, you know, colloquial in wishing well, but people will say, “Well have a safe flight.” I have no control. If I'm on a jetliner with 300 other people, I have no control and I mean zero control of what's going to happen. Same thing, you hop in a car, you have no control over all the drivers around you. And I live in DFW part of the year and you know, we've got 6 million people here in DFW. I mean, the tollways move at 80 miles an hour, which I drive a Porsche so I like that. But I can't control what people do around me I can't control and people flick cigarettes out the window or throw trash out or weave into my lane or, or drive too slow or whatever. When I say too slow meaning their not merging of traffic or whatever. I can't control that, you know, something as simple as eating in a new restaurant. I mean, guys, I you know, you've heard me mentioned before, I used to work in really nice restaurants many many years ago. And one place I worked I mean, it was a spotless you could eat on the floor literally. I mean literally it was spotless, another place, not so much. So when you go to a restaurant you can't control what they do back in the kitchen. And that's why I'm going to share with you is be nice to your server. I was never one of those people that did anything that people's food if I'd box it up or any of that, but I'm going to tell you there are servers are not as kind as I am. I have seen…oh gosh, the memories.

I'm going to go way off topic here. I used to work out in a very expensive Steakhouse. And I don't want to mention the name because they're still very well known and I don't know I could get sued or something. But I saw this waiter literally, if you've ever waited tables, you know that when you take your dishes to the dish rack, you literally dump all the food in the trash and you put the dishes in the dish rack, in like 90% of restaurants. I saw this waiter one time with rubber gloves on and I'm like, What are you doing? And he's like “That A-hole, you know, table number 42, he wants to take his steak home with him. I've already thrown to the way” and he's digging through the trash looking for this man's steak and he squirts- I'm sorry- He squirts it off with the dishwashing hose and boxes it up and sent it home with the guy. Completely off topic, all I'm telling you be nice to your server because you can't control what happens back in the kitchen. So what, I'm still laughing here. Oh my gosh.

What I want to share with you is this is have you noticed that when you trust like when you hop on the flight or hop in the car or eat somewhere is that when you trust what you're doing or the people you're with, not always, but you generally do not get into control. That's why for many of us an STD can be so valuable. So you know surrender, trust, and no doubt. Now the irony here also is you know, we talked about releasing control. The irony is that if a person's high value or way of being in the world is control, the irony is that they do not, the challenge is they don't want to release control because then they will have no control. Therefore they want to control having control. So therefore they do not want to release control. And that's the double edged sword of releasing control. I'll tell you this, I'm sure you probably have heard me say many times before. And I want to point out is if you're new to the podcast, you hear me say quite often go back to the very first episode and start there. Everything, it doesn't build on itself, but everything is like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. So if you're brand new, I appreciate it. But go back to episode number one. But I'm going to share with you is, I promise you, I promise, when you stop trying to control things and you find peace, life becomes so much easier.

And you might have heard me say that and I tell all of my coaching programs this. The focus for me in 2017 and 2018 was not being affected by my external world. You know, you've heard me mentioned before probably heard me mention the Dalai Lama says give your internal peace to no one's behavior or something along those lines. Maybe it's even, you know, don't know let what people do, you know, steal your internal peace. But that's also I recognized, you know, a few years back, that's also a control issue. So when you stay in peace, and you observe, life becomes so much easier. Okay, so the transformational takeaway this week is that control is an illusion. And when you try to, you know, when you try to control things, you are controlled by the illusion of control. And I've also shared with you in this episode is that you can't even control air quotes around the word control. You can't even control your thinking. You can choose your thinking, but you cannot control your thinking.

Okay, so hopefully you enjoyed this episode. In the next episode, a Q&A for Monday is from Darla and I see this with a lot of people as I said, every episode that I pick I pick it because I think it's going to resonate with the most amount of people. But Darla's question is, “How do I release and forgive my past?” So if you're holding on to guilt and shame or any of this, any of this nonsense- it's head garbage but I understand it, any of this from your past, then make sure that you tune in and you listen to the Monday episode. Okay, stay well make it an awesome, awesome day today and I'll catch you on another episode. Bye bye.


Thank you for listening to this entire podcast. If you're the kind of person who likes to help others, then share this with your friends and family. You know, if you found value, they will too, so please share via your social media channels. Also, if you have questions, I'm here to assist. You can email me questions to and I may even use your question for a future podcast episode. Also, if you want transformational content like this daily connect with me on Instagram. My Instagram name is @iamjimfortin. Finally I do have a personal request. I believe that we're all here to help others and to grow and evolve ourselves. Together, you and I, let's help more people. If you would, please leave a review on iTunes and a good one by the way. I'd be grateful and through your assistance together, we can transform more lives. Thanks for listening.

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Jim Fortin

Jim Fortin

Jim is an international subconscious self-transformation and high performance expert with over two decades of expertise in brain based transformation and high performance. Using a brain based approach coupled with transformational psychology and ancient wisdom Jim has created programs that create long-term core-level life transformation in his students.

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