You Can’t Control Everything

School bus

Article by Wendy McCance

My daughter began her last year of middle school this year in a new school district.  The day started off beautifully.  She got up with no problem, was excited about what she was wearing and was confident that she would love her new school.

At 3:10 pm, I picked my daughter up.  I was hopeful that she would get in the car and tell me wonderful stories about just how well her day had gone.  It was not the case.

When my daughter got in the car, she broke out in tears.  She was upset because she met a girl who really liked her, but had a bad reputation for being rough around the edges.  She felt sorry for the girl and was polite to her, but was afraid her own reputation would be torn apart before anyone got to know her.  This girl stuck to my daughter like glue.  They had 3 classes together and a locker next to each other.  My daughter was stressed about how to handle the situation so that the other girl didn’t feel badly, but she could extricate herself from this girls grip.

After hearing this story, my daughter flew into the, “what if’s.”  “What if I don’t have someone to sit next to at lunch?”  “What if everyone thinks the girl with the bad reputation is just like me?”  “What if I never make a friend?”  It went on and on.

I let my daughter get all of the anxiety out of her system.  I tried to offer some advice, but she was on a rant and couldn’t absorb much more than her worst fears.  I had to drop the conversation until she calmed down.

Later in the evening, we talked about what a person can and can’t control.  My daughter could control being pleasant to the girl she didn’t want to hang around with and still walk away when needed.  My daughter could control how she felt going into school by giving herself a break.  She could allow herself to have confidence that things would work themselves out.  No matter what, my daughter wouldn’t be able to control everything. You just can’t plan for everything and you can’t control how everything will turn out.  It’s just not possible.  At some point, all you can do is give yourself a break, do your best and have faith that everything will fall into place.

This morning was my daughter’s second day of school.  She got up on time, felt confident about how she looked and had developed a change of heart.  She had given herself permission to relax and let the day evolve.

On the way to school, she told me that she would be polite to the girl she didn’t want to hang around with.  She said she understood that it was perfectly fine to excuse herself from the girl as long as she did it in a decent way.  She started seeing the bright side.

There had been a few kids who had been very nice to her.  She enjoyed her new teachers. She even had a partner for her skills for living class.  The girl had picked her as a partner and my daughter was thrilled.  She said the girl was very nice.  Ultimately,my daughter had hope that she would do just fine at school today.  The best part was she saw all of the good moments she doesn’t couldn’t see yesterday.

I mentioned to my daughter that you can’t control everything, but you can emit a sense of confidence and happiness.  Even if she felt uncomfortable, if she would just give herself a pep talk whenever doubts crept in, she would be able to emit a more pulled together version of herself.  Basically it’s the principle that you fake it until you make it.

Put a smile on your face and you will start to feel happy.  Remind yourself that you have a lot to offer and slowly you will believe it.  Your body language will begin to change and people will become drawn to you.

My daughter got out of the car with a smile on her face and a confident stride.  She was certain today would be a much better day than yesterday.  I think it will be as well.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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6 thoughts on “You Can’t Control Everything

  1. Hi Wendy, you’re one busy woman. Seems our stats is one thing we can’t control, either.

    I noticed your comment over at Sherri’s. My numbers have been suspect the last few months, my follow count not keeping up with new subscribers, but WP just attributed it to unfollowers — and then closed off my thread to new comments, case closed. Gee! This time, since the whole fiasco that hit many of us this week, my follow count has clearly not been keeping up. Have your numbers evened out? You write well! =)

  2. Dear Wendy McCance. Your daughter is fortunate to have as sensitive a mother as you. I mean it. I gain nothing from gratuitous praise. Yet, to be honest, I have a problem with two of your thoughts. They both are about the concept that performance equals actuality. Pasting a smile on your face does not make you happy. Being happy brings a smile to your face. Without being happy within, a smile is just a rictus.The same is true of confidence. A mere confident stride will collapse like a house of cards the minute it is challenged. I may be totally wrong but what I think you have, perhaps unwittingly, told your daughter that an act precedes character.
    I am sure that is not what you intended to do and I apologise if I have, in any way, misread what you have written or of being, myself, too clever by half.
    I wish you both all the happiness, confidence, prudence and charity that you can contain.
    God bless you both and the rest of your family.

    • Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your take on the topic. I have used the same principle and it really does work. If I was shy going into a room full of people (for example) I would think about how I wanted to be viewed. I’d put a smile on my face and push myself to talk with others even though I felt uncomfortable. It really does work. My daughter ended up having a much better day yesterday. She saw the positive moments that she had blocked out the day before. She was even able to tackle the situation with the girl by going to her counselor. She took the lead and changed her situation.

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