I find myself easily frustrated when my plans and instructions aren’t followed. I will get over it, if I can be provided with an in-depth and logical account for why things were done differently. It better be well thought out, more efficient, or cover some detail that I might have missed. I find that it is hard for me to take direction without explanation as well. I want to know why I am being asked to do something and how it fits into a bigger picture. I will most likely have suggestions or amendments as well. Rather than a character defect, I used to pass my behavior off on just being analytical. To be honest, I just get out of control with needing control.
There is so much weight placed on us on a regular basis. The demands of family, friends, bosses, and society are heavy and never ceasing. When one lets up, there will surely be another that remains to fill the emptiness. Managing it all without something falling through the crack is a tall order and being controlling seems to be the best fitting solution. That solution never really works though. I have found I always end up frustrated because someone didn’t go fast enough, they weren’t precise enough, or they needed constant intervention to get things right. Worn down from trying to control others, I found there is massive variability in my own work when I get too controlling. Things take longer because I am micromanaging others or I fear delegation, putting a massive amount work on my own plate. Further, I stunt the growth and creativity of others. Not allowing them the freedom to own a project or assist in their way can hinder them from learning the whys of life. It creates this feedback loop for the next time a tasks arises. Direction is needed constantly because the reigns are never handed over for people to learn and grow on their own. This is when the need for control is wildly out of control. There are other, more effective tools exist to manage our lives without having the overwhelming burden of every detail on our own shoulders.
The biggest tool to grab a hold of in our efforts to release control, is respect. People are people. They aren’t pawns or pieces to accomplish a task. Children are individuals rather than mini-mes waiting to take directions. When we begin to look at people clearly, we notice all the amazing talents they possess. Their potential to do and our desire to teach rather than direct, creates a healthier interaction. This also causes growth in us. I had a coworker, whose strengths did not include anything with technology, quickly rig a malfunctioning printer tray with a towel. I thought she was unqualified, but since she wasn’t trying to analyze the problem from the same technical perspective I was, she discovered a quick out of the box solution.
Taking the first tool into account, building room into routines for variance eliminates the pressure to micromanage or do things ourselves. When we manage our routines well we can make room for grace. These allowances for reduce the stress of having people moving at their own pace. My son takes about 45 minutes to eat his breakfast. When I choose to calculate that into my morning routine it becomes a norm not an inconvenience. Instead of spoon feeding my 4 year old each bite, I am able to let go of controlling his pace and let him just. Even though it isn’t my pace, there really isn’t any harm in adjust the schedule to accommodate his needs. This also gives us permission to give ourselves grace. We have our own variances in our productivity. Extending the proper leniency increases the chances that we will meet or come in before deadlines rather than after.
A large consequence of controlling behaviors that get out of control is our in ability to rest. Downtime isn’t peaceful. We remain stressed about work, relationships, household management, and a constant barrage of other cares. Overtime our lack of rest decreases our efficiency. The result is we get less done in a given period and are more stressed as we see control slipping from our hands. I am the worse at leave my computer on for weeks and months at a time without restarting or shutting it down. Inevitably the computer RAM gets bogged down or those much delayed updates become a necessity rather than an option. Simply put, technology even needs to shut down so it can reboot and be at peak performance. Little times of rest help clear our hard drive giving us the ability to think more clearly and function more effectively.
Implementing these three “Rs” will help stop control from getting out of control in your life. We don’t have to constantly be doing and overseeing for us to be important or to boost our self worth. We can choose to loosen our tight grip of control and be a part of life. Enjoy life because the difficulties will surely come. We shouldn’t let ourselves be so worn out with the everyday ebb and flow that we are incapable of coping with anything else.