Why Can’t I Control Myself?

If you’ve ever asked, “why can’t I control myself,” here’s your answer: You’re fighting a battle with an invisible enemy.

why can't i control myself

It’s called your unconscious. And it’s not something you can easily open up and look at consciously in order to change it because it’s an “unknown unknown.”

This is how to break that down:

  1. There are things you know you know about yourself.
  2. And there are things you know you don’t know about yourself.
  3. Lastly, there are things you don’t know that you don’t know about yourself.

That last category is what we’re talking about here. It’s a troubling category because you don’t often want to know about the things in your unconscious. Many of the things in there are cause for embarrassment or shame, so we keep them locked away. Out of sight from ourselves, and, we think, from others.

Johari window model
JOHARI Window Model

But other people often see things about you that you can’t see. It’s what attracts or repels them from you. It’s what they target when they market to you.

You can’t control yourself because you can’t control behavior for the long term when you don’t know the motivation for it.

why can't i control myself

You will go after a product, service or person because they are irresistible and you can’t stop yourself from “going there” because you are unaware of the real motivation for your actions. No matter your justifications, it an emotional decision. This such a well-known phenomenon that in marketing they say, “people buy on emotion, then justify their decision based on facts.”

Here’s the thing about controlling yourself. When it comes to making decisions that don’t have immediate negative impacts on your wallet or relationships, you are much more likely to follow your emotional choices without pause. The only way to get “control” over your behavior, in the long run, is to uncover the emotions that drive your behavior. Trying to do this with will power alone will always fail. You may be successful for a short time, but without understanding your deep motivations, you will never dominate your behavior for long.

If that sounds hopeless, it’s not. There are very effective and proven ways to uncover your “unknown unknowns” as long as you are truly dedicated to doing so. The question is, do you really want to control yourself? Or, do you get a secret satisfaction out of what you are doing?

Know this. The answer lies in your behavior, not in your words.

Do you want to uncover some of those unknown unknowns? Give me a call. We’ll talk.


For a peek into my effective and proven method to uncover your “unknown unknowns” so that you can dominate your life, career, and relationships, get the free download of the introduction to my book, Emotional Utopia.

Emotional Utopia, the book by Leah Benson, LMHC

Contact me now to set up your free 15-minute phone consultation.

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