I’m the type that likes to be in control. I like the feeling of knowing what is going to happen a few weeks or months down the line. I like to visualise the possible outcomes of a situation. I enjoy living in the future and imagining what my life would be like. Nothing wrong with that. But sometimes it can become obsessive. It can lead to spending hours continuously thinking about all the things that could happen, forgetting about the things happening now.
When I was in control it made me feel like I was the boss of my own destiny. I thought that with enough planning I could avoid all the negative outcomes in my life. I told myself, if I maintained a certain level of control I would be unstoppable. But I soon realised that having this obsession was having a detrimental effect on me; emotionally. It was eating away at my livelihood and stripping me of my freedom. My illusion of control was beginning to dictate my life.
I’m analytical and perhaps too critical of myself so every move, every idea I have… I question it. I examine it. I measure it against things I’ve already done. I compare it to other people’s perceptions of myself and if it doesn’t quite add up…I talk myself out of it. Time and time again my ideas are lost because I spend too long thinking rather than executing it.
Now if you’re reading this and you can relate to what I’m saying…please understand that always being in control is a wasted cause.
My lesson was learned from someone very close to me; my partner. He is the type of person that is unfazed by life. He takes everything in his stride. He doesn’t get flustered or stressed. His favourite saying has always been “these things will sort themselves out”. Don’t get me wrong my partner is a high achiever and is one of the hardest working people I know! But I’ll be honest…his nonchalant approach angered me. It annoyed me to the core because I couldn’t bring myself to understand his way of thinking. For a long time I was like “no! how can you sit back and let life pass you by? What do you mean it will sort itself out? Things just don’t happen…you have to MAKE them happen”. We would often argue about this because I couldn’t see the value in where he was coming from.
I had to be in control and I refused to let go.
But as I began to observe both my life and his life I realised that there was a big difference. I got stressed out and he didn’t! Even when situations looked bleak…he didn’t let it consume him. He just carried on and you know what…things did sort themselves out! Each. And. Every. time. I would think…how is this possible? I was the one trying to organise everything and he sat there and focused on what he was doing and it all worked out.
After much internal resistance I decided to understand my partner’s approach to life. I began to accept the value in letting go and losing control. Once I relinquished all control I felt more at ease, things were working themselves out and most of all I wasn’t stressed! Things were falling into place.
Don’t get me wrong I have not omitted all responsibility, but I now choose my battles wisely. There’s no point forcing things before their time. So I’m encouraging you to relax, step back and LIVE!
Make sure you check back tomorrow for part 2! I’ll be discussing in more detail what it means to lose control.