31 Days of Soul Searching – Day 8 {Control}

Day 8

Welcome to Day 8 of this soul searching journey! Today we are focusing on a topic that challenges me every single day… {Control}

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? Well folks, my name is Tris and I am a control freak.

I have a distinct need to control everything in my life. And while I am fully aware that this is not a good thing, I feel completely powerless to stop the madness.

My control issues hold me captive at times. Since I realize I cannot actually control the outcomes of any situation, I try tirelessly to control each little bit of life that I can. It is truly exhausting at times!

If I am going somewhere, I would prefer to drive. If there is a decision to be made, I would like to make it. If I have to live with the outcome, I want to play an active role (maybe the only role) in the input. Exhausting.

Oh and sometimes, my control freakish ways do some very cruel things to me. The exhaustion of having everything on my shoulders all the time leaves me wanting someone else to lead or decide. (you might see where this is going here) In itself, that may not be a problem. But, when I am brave enough to relinquish my control, I then have the strangest desire to control the decisions of the person who I entrusted with the control in the first place. Good golly, what is wrong with me?!

My very sweet, very tolerant, very loving husband ever so kindly pointed out my control freak Catch 22 while we were discussing this topic last night. You see, he is all too often the “one” I choose to relinquish my control to. And he is then also the “one” that has to face my frustrations when however he chooses to handle things isn’t exactly how I would choose to do it. And yet, by some miracle, this amazing man still loves me anyway and still cares about me enough to be honest with my challenges in this area. I am one lucky girl!

It is hurtful and disrespectful for me to treat him that way. As gracious as he is about it, my control issues are not fair to him. And they are harming me too.

How do you know if you are a control freak?

If you have trouble delegating tasks at work or at home, you may have a problem too. If you find it difficult to accept other ideas sometimes, maybe you struggle with control issues as well. If you reluctantly entrust things to others then often feel disappointed in the outcome, perhaps the kettle and the pot are kindred spirits.

So how do we conquer this need for control?

<<Feedback from recovering control freaks is welcome here!!!>>

Here’s what I am planning to do…

The next time I find myself in a downward spiral of details when I am tightly clenching my fists to every little decision, I will take a 5 minute break. Get up. Move around. Walk away.

During that break, I will ask myself a few important questions:

1. What would be the worst thing that could happen if I give up my control here?

2. If that worst thing actually happened, would it really matter a week from now?

I think those questions will help me to put some perspective on the true need for control. I do need to control some things from start to finish to ensure the outcome in my life. Mostly in my job, but sometimes at home as well. Although I certainly do not need to control every single thing, every single time.

And in those moments where I decide to give up the control and entrust someone else to take charge of the situation, I need to trust them. That sounds so simple and silly, but doing it seems to be hard for me. I need to really and truly trust them to handle the situation completely and respect their decisions. 

The big kicker is that no matter how things turn out and no matter how they have chosen to proceed, I need to support that outcome fully and the decisions that led to it. This is where my biggest control struggles come, and therefore this needs to be my biggest commitment to change. 

I’m planning on starting small, so that I don’t give myself a complete meltdown, but I will start giving up control. I need to! It is just not healthy for me or for my loved ones.

Wondering how you may choose to loosen your grasp on control?

What changes will you make next time your need for control rises up?

Will you be able to live with whatever the outcome is if you allow someone else to take charge?

How will these changes positively impact your peace of mind?

In reality, we can personally control very few things in our lives and that can be difficult to come to terms with. But what we can control is how we choose to behave or react in any given situation. We can control our attitudes and we can control our thoughts. It may take some self-discipline, but it will be worth the effort!


*This is the 8th post in a 31 day series on Soul Searching. To follow the series from the beginning, simply click here and you will be directed to the introductory post which contains links to each day’s topic.


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