If I ask you to think of a person in your life who is a control freak, I know a person will pop into your mind. It might be your boss, a family member, a friend, your partner, or even you. Trust me, my friend, I am a reformed control freak and the struggle is real!
In my old corporate life, I was definitely one, and I knew when I was being overly controlling but my job expected it of me. Still, even though I knew I wasn’t popular with most of the employees, and that isn’t something I’m proud of, I had to be a “b***h in order to get the work completed – it was a non-negotiable trait in my career. By nature, I am a fixer, a true survivor. I jump in, I’m a take charge kind of gal in any situation, and I fix things. I fix situations, businesses, marriages, meltdowns, teenage angst, friendships, and even broken hearts. I’ve been involved in dueling arguments that I had no business being involved in but if you ask, and a loyal friend is needed, – I’ll drop it all and come running.
Many people with this trait, are over-controlling, and have a tendency to micromanage (not me). Why? Some people are addicted to power and control, they identify with themselves. Some may have incredibly high standards (me) and lose their mind with a disorganized environment (me). They focus on how things should be in life and fixate on how the outcome of a demand or request will be achieved. Also, another point is, they need to be needed and they tend to control things because fear is their main component and a lack of trust.
Did I want to be this control freak? No, not really, so when I left corporate America I made it my mission to become very mindful of my words and actions. I had to learn the art of surrender, by letting go of things at home and at work. I mean I had to stop resisting the reality, and walking away from situations instead of turning into an English bulldog with lockjaw. The art of letting go is H A R D, regardless of it being about your job, your home, your heart – it is incredibly hard for some people to accept and release control.
Although I’m much better than I used to be, I am mild now. On a scale of 1/10, oh, I’d say I’m about a 5, but I have learned, after some major blowouts, that being right or in control is highly overrated. It is a slow path to destruction if you are unable to face your anxiety and/or fears head-on.
I literally had to make a conscious decision to completely give up control of the small stuff. Now, it does not mean I became a doormat or relinquished my strong leadership abilities. It simply meant that I had to bite my tongue constantly in the beginning and truly let the circumstances unfold naturally. By allowing people around me to take the lead and trusting their decisions, my life became so much more peaceful and I had more time to dedicate to me. It was a win-win!!
I am not going to lie and say it has been an easy journey, people still expect me to have all the answers and take control but now I step back first and analyze what is unfolding. As for you, well, if this is a character trait you or someone you know struggles with, please be kind and take a break. You can take a few proactive steps after admitting you are one, and then you can retrain your mind to delegate and hand over the decision making.
Remember, always to choose love over your fears!