If you are a well organised person you will probably have your week planned and have thought ahead about birthday presents you need to buy or phone calls you need to make. However if you are a control freak you will micromanage every little detail of a project or arrangement and anything you couldn’t predict, such as a train cancellation or a rain storm, causes you to go into a meltdown.
The problem with trying to have control over all situations is that it can result in high stress levels and damage to your relationships.
Usually if you have control issues it’s related to anxiety and black or white thinking. For example you may believe that if a work event doesn’t run perfectly then you will get fired or if you don’t keep up with social media your friends will leave you behind. This drives you to take control of everything to ensure the worst outcome doesn’t happen.
The good news is you can change the way you think. Try these tips to help you:
Give someone else a chance:
Be brave and hand over or share the organisation of something with a friend or colleague. Notice how it makes you feel but resist the urge to jump in. Allowing someone else to share the limelight will will be a new experience and will give you the confidence to allow others to take some of the stress off you in the future
Challenge the stress:
Be aware of when you feel your stress levels rising and challenge yourself “is this because I’m trying to control everything?” If so identify the irrational anxiety that is causing you to do it
If certainty and routine are key to you feeling safe and secure then practice doing spontaneous activities. Try a new sport, go to the cinema by yourself or go for a walk without a planned route. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone will demonstrate to you that disasters don’t happen when you are not in control
It’s not all black and white:
Although you can’t control everything in life the one thing you can control is what you do with your thoughts. If you have an irrational anxiety that unless something goes really well it will be a catastrophe, face the thought head on and challenge it. There is a lot of grey between black and white and even though the outcome may not be perfect it will still be okay.
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