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Confessions of a former control freak

Confessions of a former control freak

Ever since I was a teen I liked to be on top of things. Finals coming up? I will have a study schedule to get me through the exam period. During my time at university it even got worse when I took on a lot of responsibilities at the same time. All of a sudden, I always had somewhere to be and something important to do as I was a full-time student and working a 20 hour plus job too.

After a grueling time (when it also had to be combined with taking care of a recovering mom) I was just sick of the need of being on top of everything all the time. I was tired of my own control freak tendencies. It took so much effort with not always the expected result. It has even been scientifically proven that always trying to be in control only limitedly results in achieving goals. A few years older and wiser I know this is what we call a bad business case. As I am sure I am not the only one dealing with this, I thought it would be nice to share some exercises to tame that inner control freak.

Here are some exercises to tame that control freak

  • As I still struggle with letting things go, I try to do these somewhere during my week.

  • Don’t give in to micromanaging tendencies. If you feel them coming up, just write it down to get it out of your system, but don’t act on it.

  • Do something purely intuitive without relying on research or technological tools, go for a walk without Google Maps for example. You could also drive without navigation.

  • Plan a day of doing nothing. This seems counterintuitive, but gives the freedom to actually relax and do nothing since you’ve planned the allotted time for this purpose. The night before, do not set an alarm clock and just let your natural system decide when it’s time to wake up.

  • Be in sheep modus sometimes and let someone else take the lead. I like to ask the boyfriend to plan a date night without discussing his plans with me beforehand. Or even better, let someone take the lead in planning a (weekend) trip.

  • Give your phone and watch a day off. Generations did it for centuries before us and they managed just fine. There is no need to keep track of every minute of the day. Letting go will be liberating.

To me, these little exercises help remind me to be more present and live in the moment. Without my watch and phone as constant reminders, I enjoy myself a lot more. It makes me relax and be a much more fun person. How do you tame your inner control freak?

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