The Art Of Controlling And How To Let Go

SunsetTower1If I were to qualify myself by the Behavioral Disc Guide, I would fall into the Controller/Analyzer category with the controller being the dominant one. Without giving it too much thought, you might think it’s good to be a controller because we all have this idea of being “in control” and how that’s a good thing. But let me give you a look from the inside about the good and the bad and why sometimes the best thing we can go is let go.

The Good

– Things are pretty much always organized around me: my home is clean, everything is neatly arranged

– The ability to compile data and see the patterns behind the numbers

– Nothing is impossible. We’re doers, we figure out solutions. We get a challenge or a task and we start working on it, figuring out the best strategies for everything

– If you want a task done quickly and efficiently, give it to us

The Bad

– Lack of flexibility – if things don’t go my way, I lose focus. Even if it’s for a second, I just get completely unbalanced and I need a minute to get myself back

– Tunnel vision – sometimes I get so focus on certain things or goals, that I don’t see I have already accomplished something because it doesn’t look the way I thought it would

– We’re really hard on ourselves and on other people – not in a “you can do so much better” kind of way, but it a “beating ourselves up” way and telling ourselves “you’re never good enough”

– Sometimes the plan becomes more important than the vision behind it

– We can push people away because we tend to set the same impossible standards for others that we set for ourselves

The Change

Don’t get me wrong, letting go of control for people like us is not easy or at least the first step seems like an impossible task. But when we do…well, it’s like the sky opening after a long storm.

I recently got an eye opening moment about how I have been so “tunnel vision-ed” in a particular aspect that I completely overlooked the reality around me. And I’m not talking about that in a good way – it wasn’t about everything coming down crumbling and I was still having faith. It was the exact opposite – I was getting everything I was asking for and even more, but it didn’t look the way I thought it should, not did it include the exact things that I was expecting. With that in my mind, I overlooked and dismissed all the good without even realizing it.

The Takeaway 

My natural tendencies so far have been created by both natural predispositions as well as environment, society, interpretation of various events. But that’s only a part of who I am. There’s also a part of me who doesn’t need to control anything, who gets a phone call, gets in her car, or even on a plane for the next adventure, the one who gets incredibly excited when she gets the smallest little things as unexpected gifts, who laughs with all her heart and smiles at strangers (in a non-creepy way).

But I’m not who I am, I am who I decide to be every day. Letting go of control might offer me more challenges than other things, but it’s still about who I want to be and what I decide for myself. With that in mind, I’m letting go every day of how certain things are supposed to look, how people are supposed to behave, to actions are supposed to take place; I’m letting go of the “supposed to” phrase entirely. Nothing is supposed to be one way or another; everything is as it is.

If you look at your life, do you find any of these tendencies inside yourself? Do you see yourself sometimes focusing on the “devil in the details” instead of the beauty of your vision? Sometimes the best way to be in control is to let go of control. Set your intention, strategize the action steps and then use one of the Navy Seals saying: “Preparation and training are more critical than planning. No plan survives first contact with the enemy.” The plans are just plans, they can shift, adapt, and change depending on the circumstances, but plans serve the mission, not the other way around.

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