I guess I’ve never really given it much thought before, but I have realized my need for control is rooted in fear. That fear (aka control) can manifest itself into some destructive habits. The scary part is the habits appear [on the surface] as productive and even praise worthy. And that praise? It’s music to my ears that unintentionally reinforces my hyper-focus on things I can control, destructive or not.
This all came about during a Skype conversation a few weeks ago with someone that I felt a purpose in our meeting. At the time I wasn’t sure what that purpose was but it quickly became clear. Two not-so-little words that caught me off guard and left me speechless. Two words that have set change into motion.
I don’t have all the answers, but what I need to do and where I start are actually quite clear to me:
Instead of fearing uncertainty, I’m accepting life’s uncertainties and trusting that I am going to be okay no matter what comes my way.
Letting go of control eliminates tunnel vision and removes blinders allowing me to be open to life’s possibilities. Although at first it felt like it, letting go does not mean giving up. It means having faith and trusting. Typing that last sentence I wondered can I truly have faith and trust? My answer? It may not be easy and it won’t happen overnight but, yes, I can. That, in itself my friends, is monumental!
Seek Support Within
Support from others is important and appreciated more than I can put into words, but I also need to be able to look within myself for support, happiness and answers. I need to stop looking for someone else to see the best in me and believe in me.
Appreciate the Moment and the Experience
If I’m focused on the future and intended outcomes how can I fully appreciate being in the present?
In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Eat, Pray, Love, she writes about a friend who, whenever she sees a beautiful place, exclaims, “It’s so beautiful here! I want to come back here someday!” Gilbert writes, “It takes all my persuasive powers to try to convince here that she is already here.” Appreciate being “already here” and enjoy the experience found in the moment!
I can control my actions and reactions and that leaves a whole lot of “other” that is out of my control. The thought exposes vulnerability, which is a necessary part of change.
It’s kind of empowering to [work on] giving up the need to control everything. It certainly feels less pressured. It comes with a weight being lifted from my shoulders and an ease of taking deep breaths. But, it doesn’t come without some struggles. At this point, it feels counter productive to so many things that I have believed to be true for as long as I can remember. I still believe that I’m in control of my happiness. Maybe just not in the way that I I’ve always thought. And what about goals and living life with intention? I wonder if I would have accomplished all that I have without that intention? How does that fit into letting go of controlling for an intended outcome? Can you have both? This is all a mindset shift that is going to take time.
It’s like going for a run without a predetermined route and distance and without my Garmin (gasp!). At first it’s uncomfortable then I feel a change in perspective and appreciate the experience for all that it is without judgement and thoughts of past or upcoming runs.
I’m trying. I’m taking it one day at a time and being open to change and all that life has to offer.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Is it just me?
be the best version of YOU