Deirdre was a meticulous planner: from the moment she got up, nothing was left to spontaneity. She knew exactly how long it took her to get ready in the morning – the evening before she laid out her clothes, packed her bag, checked her petrol and the content of her purse – and each day unfolded the way she planned it. At least that was what she was hoping for. She made a ‘things-to-do’ list, that she HAD to go through, she needed to cook a super healthy meal for the family in order to feel a GOOD mum, she NEEDED to have the house organised and clean to get that sense of CONTROL and she was always busy till bed time……. It was her way to feel safe and secure. Unfortunately, as life goes, there were lots of challenges to disrupt her planning and that gave her a lot of stress. To such extend, that she looked for professional help and came to see me.
Control and confidence
Deirdre is the ultimate control freak. As the need for control is routed internally in feelings such as low self-esteem, anxiety and insecurity, her planning was only helping to mask these feelings, creating a false sense of safety and security, that gets shattered the moment something unexpected happened.
What Deirdre needed to do, was developing a stronger self-awareness and building her confidence. Of course, easier said than done, but this is the only way to get real control, as it comes from the inside.
‘You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.’ Wayne Dyer
Tips to start changing from control freak to a confident ‘go-with-the-flow-er’
- As with any change, it starts with taking stock of what currently goes on. For Deirdre it was about becoming aware of her internal dialogue, as what you say to yourself is a reflection of how you think about yourself. Deidre discovered that she was saying things, such as: ‘I am not good enough, if I don’t do this or that….’, and ‘They will think I am useless….’ and ‘I didn’t do a good job’, ‘I am really crap at that’….. Continuously giving herself negative prompts. Write down what you are telling yourself – be honest – no matter how painful it is;
- Go through each statement and ask yourself if it is helpful or not – most likely most of those won’t be positive and helpful – ;
- Make the conscious decision to not use any of the unhelpful statements. Change starts with awareness and this exercise will help you with this first step.
Of course this is only the start of the process, with the next steps focussed on discovering more about yourself, your self-talk, where your need for security and control comes from, replacing that need with an internal source of control and once that internal source of control is in place, there is no need for external control.
Deirdre went through this process is 2 months and says now ‘I can’t believe how different I feel and how much calmer my life is.’
If control is an issue and you would like to discuss this, why not book a free 30 minutes phone call with me? Click here to let me know.