Another wonderful lesson I’ve recently re-learned in Amy Morin’s book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do relates to the importance of letting go of issues, people and situations over which you have no control. People who feel the need to be in control of everything in their lives have the false belief that in trying to control everything they will feel a greater sense of inner peace, security and well-being. What they fail to realize, however, is that this belief couldn’t be farther from the truth; rather, people who find it difficult to let go undoubtedly have greater difficulties engaging in positive relationships and ultimately suffer from stress-related health issues.
To evaluate whether you are a “closet control freak,” read the statements below and see if you relate to them:
o I must do everything myself if I want it to be done well.
o I need to go over every detail of the project to make sure we don’t mess up.
o I don’t like surprises; I need to over prepare
o I am the only one able to complete this task. If I don’t do it we will fail.
If you answered yes to any or all of the above statements, chances are you find it difficult to relinquish the reins and focus on other matters. What’s more, Morin also explains that people who try to control everything tend to ruminate longer over potential ways to change a situation, even when there is no way to change it. This denial can be detrimental to their health and quality of life!
A Better Way
To help curb this negative tendency to control the universe, Morin recommends the following strategies:
1) Get into the habit of delegating tasks and responsibilities to others.
2) Ask for help when you need it.
3) Focus on solving problems that are in your immediate control.
4) Focus on influencing rather than controlling.
5) Remember to keep an open mind and a wide perspective about what is in your control and what isn’t.
6) Take the weight off your shoulders and share project responsibilities.
Lastly, Morin explains to us that when you accept the idea of letting go of the reins, your happiness will increase, your relationships will improve, your stress levels will decrease, you will open yourself up to new possibilities and opportunities, and you will have more success. Now, that being said, who wouldn’t be motivated to change their ways?
Are you a control freak? Do you fly off the handle if things do not go according to plan? Or are you someone who goes with the flow? If you tend to desire control over every aspect of your life, did you find this advice helpful? What strategies mentioned above resonate with you; which ones would you try today if you were seeking to curb this bad habit?
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