Control Freaks Anonymous

On the illusion of control.
Acknowledging my need for control was hard to accept, but I’m ready to let go for the sake of my business - and my sanity.

I struggle with the need for control. Argh, there, I said it. I have trouble trusting others to help me run my business.

I have a little problem I’ve coined the ‘MartyrDIM‘ Mentality — if you’re like me, it’s that little voice in your head that whispers ‘I might as well Do It Myself?’

You know what I’m talking about, right? Maybe it’s constantly catering to overly-needy client requests because you can do it faster. Or you resist hiring an assistant because you don’t have time to train someone. Or you put off spending money on experts because no one really gets you.

I’ve finally accepted that these are all lies I tell myself to sustain a sense of control – and that believing in them turn me into an over-worked, under-paid, resentful victim of my own business.

No matter how hard we try, we can never really have the kind of control we want. I know, I know… this isn’t news. But sometimes it’s worth repeating.

No one person can do, know or be everything all the time. It’s just not sustainable. We get burnt-out, stop enjoying our work, and forget why we started doing it in the first place.

So how do we change this pattern? We need a plan – and we need to commit to it. Here’s the plan I’ve created for myself. I’m just in the beginning phases and I’m open for suggestions. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

1. Re-Connect:
Remind yourself of the the real reason you started your business.

For me, it was freedom. I wanted creative freedom, financial freedom, freedom of time and location — and I wanted to help others achieve it too.

2. Re-Assert:
Make a list of all the ways your need for control is sabotaging your success, and then tell it that you’re breaking up with it.

For instance:
– I never have enough time to work on my own business development
– I’m swamped with busy-work all day
– I have a lack of energy / I don’t get as excited about what I do anymore
– I’m anxious
– I’ve hit a revenue cap
– I can’t stay on top of things

3. Re-Align:
Identify the things you actually love doing and get you excited – and the things you don’t love doing, but do anyway because of the ‘MartyrDIM’ Mentality

For me, I love to design, write and coach. Everything else can take second place.

4. Re-Commit:

Make a commitment to sticking to it every single day – maybe even every hour. Every new situation that crops up, your control ego is going to try get your attention. Recognize it, and then consciously choose the path that will weaken the voice. That way, each time a situation arises, the voice will get weaker until is disappears.

5. Rejoice:
Remember to give yourself a break when things don’t go perfectly and treat yourself when the work you’re doing is showing positive returns. Take time to celebrate the small steps you’re taking by writing gratitude list and sharing your success with people close to you who have your best interest at heart.

{ 2 comments }

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane February 6, 2015 at 3:18 pm

Thank you for this. I was genuinely surprised I wasn’t taken immediately to an Al anon website

Mikeala April 9, 2016 at 10:53 am

Made me realize everything is going to be alright

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