I’m writing this because it sucks to finally notice – and I am not the only one with this problem. And, yes – it is a problem. The inability to let go of your control.
I had no idea that I needed or wanted the amount of control I desired. I woke up to it because I read an article on recognizing the controllers in your life, and as I read the article I found my self within it. And I wasn’t happy with what I found. Here are a few that I have personally dealt with:
- Believing that you are 100% responsible for your success. This sounds really nice because I do believe you are responsible for your success, but not 100%. We have this motto that “failure isn’t an option” and we tend to be overly critical of ourselves, and others when things don’t go as planned. Ex: we didn’t get the job we wanted – we thought we had a perfect resume and a flawless interview – nothing was wrong with it. But, there are circumstances such as good timing and blessing. I was so shocked, and proud, that my significant other got a job just by talking his way into it BECAUSE he was there at the right time with his brother who was interviewing for a job. It’s a coincidence and a major blessing for him! I wouldn’t have thought it possible.
- You invest too much time trying to convince other people to change. We tend to have this mentality that we believe we know what’s best for everyone. We will even do our best to see what we envision for their lives to come true. We will “give you advice” when you didn’t ask for it, or paint of picture of what your life “could” be like, and even get upset when you do something different than what we think is best! Reality check – the only person who knows what’s best for them IS THE PERSON – not you (or me).
- Most of our energy is zapped by trying to prevent bad things from happening. Rather than being smart and preparing for the hurricane, we will altogether try and stop it. All that energy is spent trying to prevent the big bad wolf from entering our home when in reality he eventually breaks in at some point.
- We do everything ourselves – we don’t assign our to-do list to anyone. I can already see how bad this could be if I ever want to make it to the C-Suite. I KNOW I have taken on everything possible because I do believe that I can do it exactly right – without fault! And when I do fail – it’s really hard for me to admit and I am already trying to correct it OR MAKE UP FOR IT!
Having too much control essentially removes you from the quality of life you were meant to live.
I have compiled a list below that also defines a control freak, and some of them sting! Because I absolutely love people, but I see myself in a few of these and I hate it. Want to know if you are a control freak too? Read some of these below:
- You believe that if someone would change one or two things about themselves then life, and yourself, would be better so you try to “help them” change this behavior by pointing it out, usually over and over.
- You micromanage others to make them fit your (often unrealistic) expectations.
- You judge others’ behavior as right or wrong and passive-aggressively withhold attention until they fall in line with your expectations.
- You give out “constructive criticism” to meet your own agenda.
- You manage how others see you by changing who you are or what you believe so they’ll accept you.
- You present the worst scenario to influence someone from certain behaviors and certain people.
- You have a really hard time with ambiguity and not knowing something.
- You talk on behalf of others to explain or dismiss their behavior to others.
The ones I see myself in are: 1, 2, 6, and 7! And I wouldn’t write this blog post UNLESS I have personally been working on these issues myself. I have learned a great deal about myself and the people around me, and I hope the people around me have noticed that I’m trying to change.
However, if you are a control freak like me then here are some things that you need to do to help yourself – and you shouldn’t be trying to change others to make it happen.
- We are only responsible for ourselves, and we should take care of ourselves to build beautiful relationships.
- Be vulnerable and open. Your mistakes don’t define you – they are a part of what happens in life and teaches you lessons to give to the next generation. We learn from mistakes – not self-de·struct from them.
- Be realistic when it comes to your expectations of others. And be realistic about what you can actually do.
- Stop being passive-aggressive and be direct in how you feel.
- Learn to live with the fact that life is full of the unknown.
- Accept confrontation.
- Take responsibility for your own happiness – don’t find happiness in others, but for yourself.
- Practice controlling your own emotions rather than the people around you.
Matthew 19:26 – But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
I am a Jesus follower! So, being a control goes against what I believe. I just never noticed that I was, and no one honestly pointed it out to me. We are not perfect people, and we are never 100% in control and we must come to terms with that. Because, as a human being, our efforts make it impossible to complete everything and without flaw, but with GOD all things are possible – it becomes a reality. But that requires me to give up control and lean on God. I cannot do everything on my own, and to be honest I really don’t want to because I have learned first hand how exhausting and worrisome it can be.
Especially when it comes to the lives of others.
We must really learn to rely on God and not our abilities. We will drive ourselves nuts, and ruin the plan that God has for us AND the people around us. Our idea of what people should be doing isn’t God-spoken. We don’t know what’s best for everyone because we don’t know them at an intimate level like they do or like God does.
This also applies to the kids we love and mentor, and even our own children. We can’t force our reality of them onto them. It’s their life, and God has a life for them. We can’t force them to listen to us, but we can nudge them to listen to God instead.
We have to step back. Breathe. And only control what we should and that is ourselves.