Are You a Control Freak? Know Ways to Loosen the Reins

By Mashal Sheikh

I t is quite common for someone to consider themselves a control freak when they want everything to be done in a proper manner. This assures they have complete control over things. This is what we consider as control freaks.

Control freaks are often afraid of failure, and that is because they know they have to get things done in a certain way. And it is that fear which actually keeps them from having valuable learning experiences. While free spirits tend to act without thinking, the control freak goes to the other extreme and avoids taking small risks. You can look into doing things like simply trying new foods, listening to a different kind of music as well as wearing a different style that you’ve never tried before.
But why does anyone want to have control in such calculated forms? Your need to control may come from fear of catastrophe. Example like if you sleep in and are late for work, you’ll be fired. If you don’t mail the package yourself, it won’t arrive and disaster will occur. So stop for a moment and ask yourself honestly, “What will happen if I miss my alarm one time?” Will you lose your job, or will your supervisor merely ask you to be more careful? Or more likely, if you’ve never been late, no one will even notice. By taking an extra moment to challenge your own exaggerated thinking – a phenomenon in psychology called “catastrophising” – you can resolve a number of perceived concerns and feel less tense about getting everything exactly right all the time.

But it works if you are able to exercise certain activities which ensure that you are able to maintain self-control. What are some simple tips you can cater to?
As a control freak, you must find a small task, any task, to delegate. It will not be easy, and you will be tempted to take over control, but practicing delegation will help prove to yourself that yes, someone else CAN do this task, and you should trust them enough to let them. Put someone else in charge of a minuscule task first, even emptying the dishwasher or making photocopies; then work your way up to bigger ones.
It’s essential to explore the motivations behind your need for control. Answer questions like: “When you catch yourself in the act of being controlling, what are you reacting to? What is at stake?”. Perhaps you lost control somewhere in your life and it made you feel helpless, and you’re eager to avoid that feeling again; perhaps you feel weak or meek inside and are desperate to prove (even to yourself) that you’re actually strong; maybe you’re worried that if you’re less than perfect, you’ll be rejected or even abandoned; or perhaps you just crave the rewards that come with being recognized for your achievements. For some people, being controlling stems from a desire to feel superior – and there may be motivations to unpack there as well. Having a need for control is, in and of itself, an agitated state and taking the time to discover what’s behind the need will help you begin to conquer it.
It all comes down to knowing what is the kind of control you are visualizing and aiming for. While most of them loathe to admit it, control freaks are wrong sometimes. At first this may seem difficult, but eventually, it will be freeing to admit that you do not bear more responsibility than others. It’s actually very liberating to not always be in charge, if you can gracefully accept when others step up to the plate. Allowing other people to do things their way can also open up new possibilities. This is one of the major things to know and visualize.
Having control all the time is not possible and real. It means you have to ensure that you are able to ascertain some kind of control in how you visualize and see things from a certain perspective.
Simple, little steps are what will make all the difference. Be it yoga, meditation, brisk walks, or even a daily relaxing cup of tea. All of this can help you let go for a few moments at a time of your worries. All of these are proven to reduce stress, which often drives the need to control. A need for control experienced by a control freak is often a form of addiction. But again, take small and simple steps and you will see some major change and difference in how you tackle things.



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