Taming Your Inner Control Freak

Is trying to control everything getting in the way of you thriving as a complementary practitioner, therapist or coach?

Taming your inner control freak

My inner control freak

Growing up as a perfectionist in a house full of them, there was always a plan.  I grew up with stories and rules from my parents which nurtured my need to control things myself.

My inner control freak hid as being someone who’s organised and gets things done and I felt a sense of security and safety from it.  The challenge came when I wanted to control the things outside of what I could directly influence (me, how I operate, how I respond to things and how I feel).

Wasting time and energy trying to control everything affected my confidence and even my relationships.  Addressing this was a huge reason for training as a practitioner and one of the best things I did for my own happiness.

Life is so much simpler now I can let go of things that used to keep me stuck.  It’s taken work and it doesn’t mean my inner control freak doesn’t come out every now and then to test me.  I know this is when something scares me and I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone.  Fortunately, I now know what to do to work through it.

Working with other practitioners, I often see this sabotaging pattern stopping them from thriving.

Signs you’re a control freak – you…

…are a perfectionist

…are super organised and like routine

…avoid delegating tasks as you think you can do a better job yourself

…are inflexible and can get easily stressed when plans change

…think in black and white terms – there is no middle ground

…have high standards, both for yourself and your expectations of others

…can be critical and judgemental

…struggle to relax

There are times when some of these qualities are useful.  They can also be very destructive and cause more problems than they solve if left to run.

Taming your inner control freak

Awareness

The first step is becoming aware you’re trying to control things.  You’ll start to notice particular times and situations when you feel the need to control what’s happening.  Becoming aware of your patterns will help you to notice them faster and change them to something more useful.

Reflect

Ask yourself “what’s really going on here?”  Why is it so important you control this situation?  This will help you to work out what is driving your need to control.  It’ll help you to gain perspective on what’s happening so you can consider the situation in a more objective way.

Accept and let go

Recognise what is outside of your control and accept it.  There’s no point in using up your energy trying to control something you have no direct influence over.

Especially when it comes to other people, everyone has the right to their own opinion or way of doing things.  Just because something isn’t done the way you would do it; it doesn’t mean it’s not right, it’s just different.

Make the choice to let go of something you are trying to control and literally tell yourself to “let it go”, it’s not your business/choice/responsibility.

Take time out

Do something that relaxes you whether it’s a short meditation, taking a walk, doing exercise, or reading a book, anything that helps you to relax and engage with something else.

Make friends with change

Change is one thing in life that’s guaranteed!  Recognise that the more flexible you are, the easier it will be for you to let go of things and move towards thriving as a practitioner.