Oh, control...

Having spent many of my earlier years as an unapologetic control freak, I can tell you that it can be hard to just let things go. Somewhere, somehow, it had been ingrained in me that I needed to worry about everything. And, if I could just worry about everything enough, then I would be prepared for, and able to handle, anything (unless something unforeseen would come up and then I wouldn’t be prepared, which was something else to worry about entirely).

Wow. How exhausting!  Seriously, I just got tired even writing that! But isn’t this what we do? We obsess, perseverate, hem and haw, and attempt to keep every little thing in our world in its perfect place, tightly fixed to whatever confines, schedules, etc. that we believe are right. And, what does that actually give us? What is the return on that investment of time, energy, and attention? For me, it was usually raw nerves, anxiety, irritability, frustration and—did I mention—exhaustion?

So, I’m just going to throw this out there: we don’t really have all that much control.

We don’t control when the mail comes. We don’t control the weather. We don’t control what our neighbors, boyfriends/girlfriends, or family members do (though many of us may try!). And, if you’ve ever had a 24 hour stomach bug, you know personally that we don’t even control our own bodies. To the contrary, even our bodies run thousands of processes every day without asking for our input. So, what is this incredible need to keep our fingers on the control panel in every aspect of our lives? Is it just something we have internalized from parents, teachers, or mentors while growing up? Is it a way of being in the world that we have cultivated after we’ve been chewed up and spit out a couple of times? My guess is that it is likely a combination of both for most of us. And, to be honest, it doesn’t really matter why we are this way. What matters is that we don’t have to live this way if we don’t choose to. To that end, I have some deep-dive questions for you…

What do you get from trying to control everything in your life?

What happens for you (emotions, sensations, thoughts) when you consider letting go of some control in your world?

What would be possible if you didn’t have to maintain such strict control over everything?

Hopefully, these questions helped you to dig a little deeper and to connect with yourself a little more. If you find your need for control recking havoc on your life and want some more support, just call or email me for a consultation. They’re always free.

To your best life,