I am a bit of a self-proclaimed control freak. This weekend I flew to Melbourne for 5 days, on my own, leaving hubby and Mr 3 at home for the first time, and of course the fear of not having control over organising them for the week sent me into a bit of a tailspin. So, what does a control freak do in that instance? Control as much as possible before going of course! All of their meals were organised – yes ALL of them. Six dinners planned out complete with sides, and 5 lunches each arranged and ready. There were 5 piles of little kindy uniforms complete with socks and jocks sitting in my son’s bedroom. His swimming bag for next Saturday’s lesson packed, including spare clothes. I repeated feeding and toileting and sleeping instructions for our puppy to hubby more than once – even though he knows exactly what to do. See the problem is not that they won’t manage, because of course they will! My husband is more than capable of running the house for a week without me (I think!). The problem is that I have an incessant desire to control the things I care about.
I don’t always believe this is a ‘bad’ thing, however sometimes it is exhausting and not needed. It has only been in recent times that I have been able to identify when I am doing it to extremes, and reflect upon why. I believe there are three main reasons for doing so.
1. I care about those around me, and as such, like to do things for them to save them the trouble of doing it themselves.
2. I know if I control things by doing them, it will probably be done quicker, easier and dare I say the way I like the to be done – yeah, I know how that sounds!
3. More than anything, there is this deep fear inside that if I loosen my grip and leave things to trust, something bad might happen.
That is the truth of the matter. Control freaks are scared shitless. And I don’t necessarily mean something ‘bad’ as in someone will get dangerously hurt, but bad can mean ‘anything different to how we the outcome to be’. If you are a self-proclaimed control freak like me, please know that you don’t have to be, you can change your story. I am! It is okay to not have control over everything – in fact it is better than okay! Despite my antics in preparation for my trip (baby steps sister!), I am learning to let go and trust more and more. Trust in those around you. Trust in the universe. They won’t let you fall. Unless you need to of course…
Rebecca Campbell in Rise Sister Rise: A Guide to Unleashing The Wise, Wild Woman Within says, “Beneath every control freak there is a fear of letting go, a fear of not being supported, held and looked after”. And ain’t that the truth? Really, truly. If you have a tendency to try and control many things in your life (for me it is most often regarding work and my son), sit with those feelings about control, and then ponder the idea of what might happen, or how you might feel, if you didn’t have to control everything. How liberating! And not only for you, but for those around you. Instead of taking control over every situation, let some of them go. Let you partner/friend/child take back their own power and do the things they are very capable of doing themselves. It may do wonders for their confidence!
Trust that someone (or something) has your back. You can’t control everything and it’s not often much fun trying to. Be a little more spontaneous. Share responsibilities. Simply leave things up to the universe every once in a while. Ditch the control freak mask gorgeous, you look so much more free and relaxed without it!