Stop the freak out – you don’t need to control everything!

Hana freaking out

Have you ever felt the need to be in control, and when you’re not you feel stressed and anxious?  It can feel like your life is spinning outta control.  But did you know that this compulsion for control can actually limit you?

We all know someone who gets their freak on!  One women I know was a pro at taking charge, she appeared like she had her shit together, and always seemed to have everything under control.  This was a total façade, inside she constantly felt stressed and anxious, powerless and frustrated. She was a master at hiding her emotions and internalising her feelings. What is it about control that makes us feel safe and secure?  And more importantly, how can we overcome this?  Let’s explore how becoming less of a control freak can liberate you both professionally and personally.

We love, love, love to have certainty, this is part of our human needs and how our brain works.  In an uncertain world our brain looks for ways to reduce ambiguity and create order.  Our brains are wired to seek out patterns, and uncertainty doesn’t fit into a pattern.  As a result, we often feel unease when we are faced with uncertainty.  Ultimately our brains crave certainty because it makes us feel safe.

Being in control is not always a bad thing.  In fact, it can be quite helpful in many situations.  For example, if you are leading a team of people, it is important to be in control so that you make sure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.  However, there are also times when being in control can be a bit of a problem.  If you are someone who is constantly trying to control everything, you may find that you are missing out on opportunities or experiences because you are to afraid to let go.  If this sounds like you, here are a few tips for overcoming control:

  1. Recognise that you cannot control everything. This may seem like an obvious point, but it is worth repeating.  There will always be things that are out of your control, so accept them and move on.
  2. Learn to delegate to others, this enables you to focus on the things you are good at and leave the rest to someone else.
  3. Take a step back. If you find yourself getting too wrapped up in something, have a breather.  This will help you to clear your head and come back to the situation with a fresh eyes.
  4. Be kind and practice patience. Sometimes the best course of action is to wait and see what happens before taking drastic measures.
  5. Talk to someone else. If you are struggling to overcome your need to be in control, talking to someone else can be helpful.  They may offer you an alternative perspective or provide you with some advice that you hadn’t considered before.

If you’re a control freak, you’re probably used to things going your way.  But what you may not realise is that your need to be in control is actually holding you back.  Trust me, I was a total control freak, and I’m learning (yes, I’m still on the journey) to surrender and be vulnerable.  Instead of having a need to control how kids eat, sleep, do homework, or how your team produces their work insisting on perfection, try to relax a little.  You may be surprised at how liberating this feels to relinquish control.  And as you become more comfortable and familiar with letting go, you’ll be able to handle bigger challenges.  Who knows, you might even find that less control leads to more happiness and success. 

Hey, it’s not all doom and gloom – there is hope!  Getting your control freak on just means you crave order and certainty in your life.  The need for control stems from a fear of the unknown or lack of trust in yourself or others.  Ironically, being in control can hold you back from achieving your goals.  To overcome, this tendency, it’s important to recognise that you cannot always be in charge and to learn to let go.  If you find that you are struggling with this issue don’t be afraid to ask for assistance – nobody has to do this journey alone.  So what are you waiting for?  Reach out today and start living the life you absolutely deserve.

If you feel like you need extra support in making these changes, don't hesitate to reach out. Book in a time to chat with Hana or follow her on: Facebook  Instagram or LinkedIn

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