Are you someone who always likes to be in control?
You have your fingers in lots of pies because it makes you feel alive and you can also make a decision at any time because you know what is happening in your life, your business or job, your friends or partner’s lives and so much more.
You have this, right?
I am a control freak – well a recovering one and I thought I was doing it all right. Wrong!
For so many years I just didn’t see it. I liked to do things a certain way, I always wanted to know details, of where I was going, what I was doing that day, sometimes what others were doing too so I could keep on top of everything.
If that didn’t happen I got anxious. Sometimes even angry or really annoyed with people who questioned me. Why? Because I felt like I Should Know.
Why didn’t people understand?
It also started creeping into my personal life. I’d constantly be checking my phone for updates, or checking in with my partner, about what he was doing “Is everything OK?” or “What are you up to” were my go-to text messages.
I started getting into a cycle of needing to know because then it felt like I was in control of my life.
Once I started my own business you can imagine that it didn’t get any better, it got way worse! Why? Because starting a business on your own can sometimes feel like you are out in space and nothing is under your control at all.
The worst part about it is I wasn’t even aware I was doing this. I thought the same thoughts every day, asked the same questions every day and planned my days with precision so that in my world, there was stability – everything was under control.
Was it really under control, did I have all the answers I needed? F*!K No!
Then my coach said to me “Bernie, stop trying to be the General Manager of the Universe”
BOOM! Was that what I had been trying to do? Even that statement made me anxious as I thought about it because it’s such an impossible task.
I needed some feedback from this bombshell so I asked my family and my partner “am I a control freak?” They laughed and I could feel a ‘of course not’ coming when every one of them said “Of course you are, but that’s just you!”
OK that wasn’t good. I didn’t realise I was that obvious a control freak but the closest people to you aren’t going to miss something like that.
Debbie Ford says to be able to move on and grow we must accept all of ourselves. The negative aswell as the positive traits. If we try to hide them and stuff them deep down inside us, they will eventually pop up and hit us in the face like the proverbial beach ball being held under water. One small movement and Bam, right in the kisser!
So that’s what I did. I accepted my control freak and all her weirdness and obsession. I embraced her with a big hug, because this part of me had given me a gift. It had made me observant, I looked at details and became a great organiser because of it.
Obviously some good points for when you want to start out on your own. But I also saw how this part of me wreaked havoc with wanting to know it all and causing anxiety and sometimes arguments, just because I thought I should know. Now that is insanity!
So I decided things needed to change. Everything is a process and becoming aware of those exact thoughts and the cycle you think in is a biggie to catch in the act.
But once you catch it once, you can catch it again and again and your awareness heightens. You have to start on the inside to see changes on the outside, it’s all interconnected.
If I caught myself feeling anxious or about to start an argument I would just stop myself and take a few deep breaths. Then I would say to myself ‘I am NOT the general manager of the universe’
That was hard, there were some days I didn’t see it or catch myself, but I got better at it. Noticing is just as hard to become a habit as not noticing.
You just have to be gentle on yourself throughout the process.
And now? I’d love to say I’m care-free and easy-going all of the time, not yet, but that happens a lot more than the anxious, tentative Bernie.
I am a work in progress, trying to put my trust in the universe a bit more every day. Sometimes it feels like when you put your hands in the air on a rollercoaster ride, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes terrifying, but you want to do it again when you get off! 🙂
Isn’t that what life should be all about? Let someone else drive for a change.
If you think you have an inner control freak I’d love to hear from you. What is the one thing you struggle with right now? Comment below
much Love & Happyness