For a small woman, I have a lethal grip. I tend to clench tightly to projects and initiatives, even when they’re dying a slow death. I am a self-proclaimed control freak somewhat in recovery; I am learning to let go.
I have always felt that the more control I have over a project, the better it will turn out…and sometimes it’s true, but at what cost? High stress = NO peace. No peace in my mind, my workplace, my body or my relationships. Noticing the hereditary control-gene is a good start, doing something to keep it in check is even better. Maybe it happens when you turn 40, and for some it may never happen at all, but for me, it’s happen-ING as I write–I’m finding ways to relieve stress. Low stress = MORE PEACE; it begins with ME!
There are all types of 12-step programs out there that teach about “letting go and letting God” and “accepting the things we cannot change,” but is there a program for the perpetually controlling stress mongers like myself? Nope, I even Googled it. It was time to self-evaluate and kick this habit, so I created my own plan for when the best laid plans hit the fan and stress starts to control my actions (or reactions):
- Acknowledge that I’m doing the best that I can, and if I’m slacking, acknowledge that, too
- Breathe and count to 10 to clear my head when I feel the stranglehold coming on
- Ask myself if there’s another way besides the one I’m hell-bent on
- ALWAYS, always have a contingency plan
- Include fresh ideas and new perspectives
- Have a reliable resource “to talk me off the ledge” at crucial moments
- Make amends with the people in my workplace and get a fresh start (chances are I’ve ticked someone off by being so controlling)
- Simply accept the fact that I cannot affect the change in everything
- Admit that there are things out of my control
- Get over myself
- Use my PR skills to create a positive spin
- Hit the Easy Button (previous article) as often as possible
It really is that easy, but the truth is that it’s never done alone. I have the people I work with, the friends that support me and the spiritual guidance from many to thank for helping me look beyond the obvious and for shedding light on the not so obvious.
I notice a change in me, I have no idea if the people around me do, but recovery of any kind requires the patience of an ebb and flow progression. I am now embracing my ebb and my flow…it’s all good…and it’s so much more peaceful being me these days!