New Insights: Let Go of the Control Freak

It’s mid January … and at about this time you may be feeling that the warm glow of the holiday season is rapidly wearing off and you’re beginning to settle back into that dreaded ‘business as usual’ routine – some call it a rut!

During breaks, life typically takes on more of a ‘freeform’ nature than at other times. You get the chance to relax, drop your guard and reflect on who you are, where you’re at, where you want to be and and what you really want from life.

Then, just as you’re beginning to enjoy the feeling, it’s time to stop dreaming and get back to work. For many, sadly, that means getting back on the ‘treadmill’ of daily life  and hanging in there until the next break emerges – mercifully – on the horizon!

“If you want real control, drop the illusion of control. Let life live you. It does anyway.”
~ Byron Katie

Control others

One of the ways many try to cope with the routine of daily living is by attempting to exert their control over it.

“Control your life or it will control you” is an adage that many people live by.

On the face of it, this may sound like a reasonable approach to adopt, but with a little careful thought and reflection you will hopefully realise that it is fundamentally flawed and a sure fire route to frustration, anger and resentment.

You see, life, by its very nature, involves constant interactions with numerous other people (unless you have chosen to be a hermit and live in a cave, in which case the treadmill of life that I referred to doesn’t apply to you!)

So, if your life involves other human interactions and you want or feel the need to control it, it follows that you will need to exert control over those interactions.

As others will control you

Unfortunately, though, amongst those who you are interacting with, there are likely to be many who have a similar need for control.

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

Responsibility vs control

Whereas the secret to a happy, fulfilled life lies in taking responsibility for your own attitude, actions and behaviours, trying to control the attitude, actions and behaviours of those you interact with will lead to quite the opposite.

People are (thankfully) all unique. Every single one of us has different fingerprints. In the same way, we each have unique value and belief systems that result in us responding differently to similar situations.

Respect others, don’t coerce them

To interact most effectively with others we need to apply tolerance, patience and understanding – that is to show a healthy respect for others and their differences – rather than try to coerce or force them into our way of thinking or acting.

Much of the public anger and frustration that we witness in these times is the result of people demanding that others act and behave in accordance with their own rigid expectations. (One manifestation of this that I’m sure we’ve all experienced at some time or other is road rage!)

If you have a tendency to want to exert control over others and situations involving others, then my advice is to let go.

I’d like to share a beautiful writing (by an unknown author) that may help you appreciate the benefit of just taking a step back and letting go of your inner control freak!

It’s called ‘Let Go’ and our trained coaches use it as one of the motivational pieces in the New Insights life coaching programme they administer.


Let Go

  • To “let go” does not mean to stop caring; it means I can’t do it for someone else.
  • To “let go” is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization I can’t control another.
  • To “let go” is not to enable but to allow learning from natural consequences.
  • To “let go” is not to try to change or blame another; it’s to make the most of myself.
  • To “let go” is not to care for but to care about.
  • To “let go” is not to fix but to be supportive.
  • To “let go” is not to judge but to allow another to be a human being.
  • To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes but to allow others to effect their destinies.
  • To “let go” is not to be protective; it’s to permit another to face reality.
  • To “let go” is not to deny but to accept.
  • To “let go” is not to nag, scold, or argue but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
  • To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes, and cherish myself in it.
  • To “let go” is not to criticize and regulate anybody but to try to become what I dream I can be.
  • To “let go” is not to regret the past but to grow and live for the future.
  • To “let go” is not to lose power but to be open to the power within.
  • To “let go” is to fear less and love more.


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