Are you a control freak?
Do you have an obsessive need to exercise control over everything you do and others in order to take command of any situation?
Does every aspect of your life have to be planned to work out just so?
And if it doesn’t add up to your vision, does that send a wave of negative energy through your body like someone just urinated in your cheerios?
Well, you’re not alone, it’s ok, help is on the way.
I used to be a control freak, in many ways…
Control freaks are no fun…and my controlling aspects bit me hard…and really injured my ability to help others and make lasting connections that are meaningful…because….who the F wants to be around a person who is never quite happy and tells you ‘you know, you’re doing it wrong, let me show you how to do it better?’
In the simplest way I can say this..STOP IT RIGHT NOW!
Before you hurt yourself or someone else.
Be kinder to yourself because you’re not a bad person.
You see, a person who is trying to control every aspect of every thing is someone who may have a hard time letting go…and there way to feel they have authority is to control all situations and keep you in the boat with them and they will let you know it.
You know…The side seat driver who has ‘better’ directions than you…
You know…The one who corrects you when you pronounce the name of a restaurant wrong
You know…The person who tells you ‘Oh I had (insert ailment, disease etc.) that too, only mine was much worse’
You know…The person who micromanages your every move at work
You know…the person who never lets you forget that 1 mistake you made (insert length of time, months, years etc.)
The best example is folks who are not truly living up to there purpose in life. They tend to live others wishes out, not there own.
Perhaps it’s a manager at a restaurant or retail store who keeps you down because you have to listen to them. Or people who got married young, had kids and grew up to realize they hated the other person and didn’t really want the kids…but now have to assert authority over the situation. Or someone who does not have the tools to un-stick themselves from their current situation.
Some managers and authority figures are very good, and happy with the work they do…but most everyone (spit balling here) has worked with a person or authority who, no matter how well they did there job or presented to the clients, always finds someway to knock you down a peg and to make you feel less than.
From a far, you can see these controlling folks are stuck on their path…and they sure as hell don’t want to see you climb over them…so in their authority positions, they let you know that you are beneath them (because they are as high up the ladder as they can get)….this is sad, and demoralizing to workers.
In the young married couple, you will have a parent or both who hate the position they are in and that trickles down to the kids who can sense the uneasiness and it’s demoralizing to their self esteem.
Or, you have a person, for whatever reason, has chosen not to get the help they need in order to truly live the life they have wanted.
All these scenarios unfortunately, also hurt more people than just the control freaks.
A good leader will tell you what you did right and show you how to correct what was wrong. They know a mistake is their fault, for not communicating expectations properly. Not the employee.
Good leaders, Managers and CEO’s are not people who will push you down. They understand that everyone has strengths and the best leaders use you to your strengths. This reinforces positive behavior and makes the employee feel as though they are valuable and contributing to the team.
One of the biggest complaints in the workplace (and life really) is people not being able to fully express their ideas and creativity and instead, are assigned menial, tedious, soul crushing tasks that make you feel more like a cog in the wheel.
This can be any of the above situations really…
But it’s the controlling aspect that gets me. You cannot control every emotion, outcome or anything other than your own damn self. Let me repeat that please. THE ONLY THING IN THIS ENTIRE WORLD THAT YOU CAN CONTROL…IS YOU!
Controlling things limits every other aspect of your life in such a way that you end up with blind spots or areas of your life that are easily overlooked, and closed off to massive opportunity.
A few emails back, I asked you about being ALL IN? And control freaks are opposed to this…because they can’t control it…can’t let go…and so every day they reach these points of frustration or stickiness that they can’t seem to get past.
What can you do?
This is easier said than done…but get unstuck! Find out if it’s emotional responses holding you back. Or childhood experiences that keep you trapped. Or a boss that’s in your way.
Usually…..you are getting in your own way.
And so when the next situation arises where you have the opportunity to give in a little and let it happen or, like a bulldog, hold on so tight that you don’t let the experience happen… What will you do?
Are you robbing yourself of the joy’s of life? Or are you so scared of a negative outcome, which probably won’t happen, that you overthink every scenario? And by the time you do start, is it too late?
This is where your training comes into play. I work with a lot of type A, control freaks (you know who you are) who all want to ‘get it right’ and will get visibly perturbed when I ask them to surrender a little control and just be in their own bodies.
This is counter intuitive to there natural impetus to put the head down, blinders on and power through…
However, your body does not respond to control…Your body is smarter than you are, and it knows what it needs, how to move and how to be exactly what you want it to be…IF YOU LET IT…
Now look, I love a driven person…I am one…and that mentality helps in many areas of life (business especially…but some of those people are not happy..another post) However, when it comes to your body…you cannot spend all your time in your head ‘thinking about’ what you’re going to do. You’ve got to do it!
You cannot think through a Kettlebell Swing…You perform a kettlebell Swing
Before you send me an email…but John…form, form, form….Ask my students (they’ll tell you I’m all about form, form, form) But the folks who have the hardest time are those who want to control every aspect of the movement, which, if you think about it…is impossible..
It’s the equivalent of pouring water into your hands, expecting all of it to stay in your palms, and getting mad when it doesn’t…
So what can we do to start unraveling these controlling aspects???
Surround yourself with people who can coach you on the things you want to let go of or get better at.
If it’s your emotions, get a counselor to help you be nicer to yourself.
If it’s your body, get a coach who has gotten other people the results you want.
If it’s your life, get a mirror and look in it….and get real with that person….because only then will you be able to truly let go…
If you don’t like yourself, it’s easier to control others because you don’t have to deal with your shit…
And that’s just like sticking your head in the sand and hiding…
Don’t hide from your greatness….You have unique gifts that the world needs and it’s your responsibility to the human condition to leave the best of yourself out there for others to see. Not the worst of…
So…My Dear Control Freaks…
LET IT GO…It’s dragging you under….it’s not keeping you afloat…