Feeling in Control: Every Woman’s Wish

Feeling in Control; scanned source unknownClick below if you’d rather listen than read:

Audio Feeling in Control

I was shaken to my roots.  I had just gone through an attempted home invasion.  Under the cover of this week’s heavy rainstorms, at 11:30 at night, three feet away from where I worked at my computer – with all lights on – someone tried to force his way in through the sliding glass doors.

My automatic responses were good:  I threw on the outdoor lights, tore back the vertical blinds and let out a blood-curdling scream as only adrenaline can create.  And called 9-1-1.

The house is fully protected by alarms and arms.  But the brazenness of the act – and the total surprise – left me quaking.  There is no other word.

And in the days that followed, every possible scenario ran through my head as I got more and more information on another attempt … then another attempt … all on the same night.

Now, three days (and nights) later, I can start to look a little more rationally at the psychological journey I just took.

It doesn’t matter if I have someone in the house who can protect me and if I have an ironclad alarm system.  The fact of the matter is that, for an instant, I did not feel I was in control of my life.

What followed for me was a whole review of the concept of control.

Financial Illiteracy blue squiggle

I talk often about how women give away control over their money, and how taking back control has an empowering effect that spills over into other areas of their lives.  Yet, whenever control over money is held elsewhere, the result is fear.  In some cases, paralyzing fear.

My control over my money is solid:  I know my daily numbers.  I know my targets and my progress towards them.  And I have a clear head about what money means and what it can do for me.  I am fully in control.  But whether related to our money or any other part of our lives, the vulnerability that comes with lack of control is the same.  Even if it is momentary.

The question for me then became: what can I do to take back that control?

Physical Control 

Just as I advise the women I mentor, I first looked at my immediate surroundings.  Where had I gotten sloppy?  Where had I let down my guard?  What burned-out bulbs had not been replaced? What parts of my original plan had disintegrated with time because I had become lackadaisical?  (Or maybe even a little arrogant.)  What systems were outdated or could be improved with new technology?

(It’s no different with your money, right?)

Psychological Control

But then came the psychological aspect.  In the case of money, taking back control comes in the form of revisiting and cleaning out any issues around beliefs:  good enough, not good enough; deserving, not deserving; manipulating, manipulated; independent, dependent; and on and on.

I’ve struggled for days to find what would erase that feeling of fear.  It felt as if it were engraved on the very cells of my body.  I reviewed all the incidents in my life that have impacted my feelings of safety or danger.  They’ve all been addressed in the past … and I thought they had been put to rest.  Apparently not.

It wasn’t until today, as I read my daily email from Abraham-Hicks, that I found the key to my solution in a quote:

“You see, you’re giving others too much power as you even acknowledge how they make you feel.  What you’ve got to decide is how I’m going to feel.  We would go to a Virtual Reality and we would practice feeling good.  Manifestations come on the heels of what you’ve conjured in thought.” ~ Abraham

What Abraham is saying is that the power I gave away to that incident, in that moment, is mine to take back.  If I had the power to give it, I have the power to take it back.

This has been an important life lesson for me.

I hope that somewhere it will strike a chord of where you might be giving away power.  Yes, there may be physical things required to take it back.  But, psychologically, what you first have to do to take power back is decide.

Let us know in the Comments section below what “Aha!” you might have had reading this.  It can be very powerful.


Bio: Sharon O’Day fixes financial lives. She is a tell-it-like-it-is money expert with a successful career in global finance, plus an MBA from the Wharton School. Today she specializes in getting entrepreneurial women over 50 back on their game so they can have more money, less stress and more joy. With her “Over Fifty and Financially Free” strategies, they take actions that lead to their ultimate goal: financial  peace of mind.

  • Carmen

    Happy you’re well Sharon. We do give our control often and freely. So important to notice this. Thanks. Xx

    • It was a real eye-opener regarding the whole issue of control, Carmen, and the role it plays in my life. Honestly? It will even help me in the work I do with women and their money …

  • Susan Schiller

    Oh Sharon, first of all I’m so glad you are safe and I hope the invader has been caught! Secondly, I’m deeply inspired (and impressed!) with how you’ve changed this from something paralyzing to powerful. This is truly a great life lesson, for which one of us wants to feel paralyzed by fear.

    Home invaders come in all shapes and sizes, from all difference directions in life. While your story is of a literal home invader, I’ve also had dreams of home invaders and how my children and I have had to single-handedly oust them. Whatever it is that is causing us to feel disempowered, paralyzed, unworthy, etc… we can choose to move in the opposite direction and even become more empowered.

    Your story of a literal home invader just makes it day and night clear. But what a shocking, terrifying way to learn this lesson! Are you feeling okay now? Have you been able to sleep? I’m sending you a big hug and blessings of peace, Sharon. <3

    • After the adrenaline comes the real test, Sue, because it’s when all the “what if” demons come out to play. And, one by one, they need to be slayed. But it was truly the reminder in that quote that made me say, “Wait a minute, what made me assume all of a sudden that I was powerless?” And once I DECIDED to start taking my power back, then the real healing could begin. Slow … slow …

  • Terri Lind Davis

    I am sure that was really scary to have someone try to break in , especially being only a few feet away. I like your analogy that it is within our power to take back control and not give in to that feeling of insecurity.

    • I learned that it’s not a magic switch we throw, Terri, but having to go through the process will sure make me a better mentor.

  • Roz

    What is extraordinary and your true gift is the process you applied to deal with this terrible incident. There are many ways we feel violated, out of or loss of control and often we just talk about it to everyone who will listen. You just provided a blueprint for all of us. I’m not in touch with areas that I thought I put to rest but will look, as I see the extreme value in your words and in the words of Abraham-Hicks. Thank you for your honesty, vulnerabilty and comfort.

    • We really do have two response systems, Roz, a mental one and an emotional one. My head functioned well. My heart had more work to do and the process will continue on a bit yet …

  • Diana Foree

    Your possible break in story scared me. We live in a country setting with home around us. I always fear that I’ll wake up and someone will be in the house. I’m glad you were safe and nothing happened. Wishing you peace in your home again. #SavvyBIZSolutions

    • Oh to be living back in the 50s when people were comfortable leaving their doors unlocked, Diana! Unfortunately that’s no longer the case. I had taken the right steps for us, so was ultimately safe, but reality poked through into my world for a moment. I appreciate your wishes of peace and wish you the very same.

  • Martha Giffen

    oh Sharon, SOOO sorry this happened to you! Having a break-in or even an attempted one, is traumatic. Glad that you are finding solace in the words of Abaham-Hicks and praying for your safety and well-being!

    • I don’t know if it was really solace, or rather the hint of where to go find the strength to take back control, Martha. I’m just grateful that the A-H words were there! And at the right moment. The Universe provides …

  • Kung Phoo

    I am glad nothing happened to you.. what a terrible thing to happen.. and you kept your wits which was amazing..

    • Rob, I’m not so sure I really did. That was adrenaline speaking at first, the ‘fight’ part of ‘fight or flight.’ The mush came later … but that too wears off. Thanks for the concern!

  • Wingate Wyndham Sulphur

    That is scary! I would have had to pry it out of my mind as well. I tend to think too much of things that happened or might happen and end up anticipating things I should not. It is good to be prepared but to worry too much is not healthy. You did great. Don’t think I would have thought to turn on my lights. Thanks for sharing your story so we could all learn.

  • Diana Foree

    Sad that the safe feeling of the 50’s just doesn’t exist any longer. 🙁

  • Wow! I love that idea of if you give your power away it is still yours to take back. That is very potent! I am glad you are ok and what a great opportunity to take the stock in all aspects of your surroundings.

  • Scott Glaze

    Truly a frightening moment full of adrenaline. So glad you made it through safely and were able to do some things to deter and protect. Stay safe!

  • Maggie

    Wow what a scary moment..Glad your okay..

  • Tereza

    Wow, stay safe, Sharon!

  • Miriam Slozberg

    So sorry Sharon, be safe, that must have been very scary.

  • How frightening! I’m so relieved everything turned out o.k. and you are safe! You had great instincts!

  • Veronica Solomon

    That is a scary thought, and I’m sure you had a lot of what ifs running through your head. it never feels good not being in control of a situation. I am glad you are safe. Now I will take a look at what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to my family

  • Shari

    Sharon, this works on many different levels and invites us all to revisit our beliefs about control. Thank you for sharing this story. I’m glad you’re safe.

  • Do we not all wish that this horrible incident should never happen to us? Your reaction was wonderful, Sharon, you could have chosen flight but instead you attacked. This is powerful.

    I find your thought of “If I had the power to give it, I have the power to take it back” comforting and reassuring.

  • Good realization after that horrible incident. I’m glad you’re fine. Thank you for sharing your story and for inspiring all of us here.

  • robindavidman

    What a scary situation to be in, Sharon. Thank goodness all is well. You kept an amazingly clear head in those initial moments and did the right things. Reliving that scenario in your mind can be so stressful. I like how you arrived at knowing that you have the power to take it back. I know you’ll never forget but it allows you to move on. Thank you for another thought provoking article.

  • Kudos for the Aha Sharon, in those moments of fear and the aftermath of awakenings are the greatest of moments

  • Thank goodness you are safe Sharon. What an horrific event to have had to go through. You’re ability to take stock and learn from such trauma is so inspiring. You can feel your adrenalin pumping through your post. The way you have taken back your power is such a wonderful lesson for us all.
    Be kind to yourself as you recover 🙂

  • Gertraud Walters

    I’m glad you’re OK, not too sure what I would have done in that scenario. I admire your powerful response though. And by sharing it with us you’re disarming fear, one of the most persistent enemies we face. Love the quote: “You see, you’re giving others too much power as you even acknowledge
    how they make you feel. What you’ve got to decide is how I’m going to
    feel. Brava, as you would say.

  • Norma Doiron

    Jeepers! YOU are a brave lady! You are so right on the issue of giving our power away – too easily. Thank God you are safe. I’m sure that intruder is still shaking in his boots! And… still has nightmares. Tee-hee…. Kudos, Sharon! 🙂

  • Pat Moon

    I bet your scream scared that intruder more than he scared you. Hopefully he will think twice about trying to break into anyone’s house and especially yours. We had our CA burglarized a few years ago. It made us feel so violated and, yes, out of control. Now we have a monitored alarm system. I am doing my best to take back control of our finances after being not so wise in the mid 2000’s when the economy was going strong. The late 2000’s destroyed our finances. Now we have had to make those hard but responsible decisions to recoup control. It is a journey!

  • Gillian ~ Gilly

    What a scary occurrence! It’s difficult when things feel out of control until you can get yourself back and start covering your ground. Confidence is back 🙂

  • I know that fear well Sharon. Years ago my townhouse was broken into
    while I was at work. Like you, I had an alarm system and all my doors
    were locked. It rocked me to the core that someone had invaded my home.
    In that moment, the feeling of complete vulnerability far outweighed the
    value of what they took. I was scared from head to toe. Friends invited
    me to stay with them for a few days so I could pull myself together.
    But I realized if I left in that fear, I’d never feel safe in my home
    again. My instinct said ‘don’t let them take that away too’. Like you
    said, it was that decision NOT to give my power (and security) away that
    made all the difference. Great post! Thanks.