How to let go of control and go with the flow

letting-go-of-control

Hey friends!

I have come to realize that I am a teensy tiny (okay huge) control freak. Nothing sends me into a spin like friends spontaneously dropping by or plans changing at the last minute. I love planning, organizing and being prepared at all times. This seems to be simultaneously a blessing and a curse. Because if you need someone reliable…I’m you’re girl. I’ll be there when I say I will. I won’t forget our plans or run out of time or flake out on you. I’m little miss dependable. 

But this need to be in control is also a huge burden in my life. 

It means that simple things flip me out. Like not having proper shoes when someone suddenly suggests we go for a walk. Or someone interrupting my blog writing time. Or meetings running over time. 

My inability to let go of control means I miss out on the joy of the spontaneous.

I miss out on the easy, breezy child-like fun that others can so readily embrace.

And I’m realizing more and more how debilitating being a control freak is. Instead of enjoying the precious time with friends my mind is flittering from stressing that I didn’t bring a coat to feeling guilty about the essay I should be writing. 

Trying to be in control 24/7 is exhausting and impossible.

Because life is full of curve-balls. It doesn’t matter how many sticky note reminders we put on our mirror or how many different coloured gel pens when use in our planner…we cannot be prepared for everything. Part of being human is accepting that the unknown is just part of life.

The beauty of life is the spontaneous. Nothing is certain which is both equally exciting and terrifying.

The beauty of life is that we never know what's gonna happen next. Click To Tweet

And because of that, there are plenty of times we are gonna be flung into unexpected situations. So us control freaks need to learn the art of letting go and going with the flow

letting-go-of-control

How to let go of control:

Trust God for real

At our last church service, our pastor got up and shared this picture he had recieved from God. It was of a fist that was tightly clenched into a ball and God was gently uncurling the fingers one by one.

And I knew immediately that this was for me. Because I am that fist. I am tightly balled up. I am structured and organized. I want a plan and I need clear directions. And I can see that bit by bit God is teaching me to uncurl my fingers and release everything to Him.

I know in my head that God is good and I can trust Him but that knowledge doesn’t always trickle down to my heart. I use these flowery words to say that I trust God but my faith is superficial…when push comes to shove I’m still scrambling to be in control.

So what does trusting God look like?

It’s surrendering control of EVERY area of your life. It’s unwavering belief in His goodness. It’s remaining so deeply rooted in His love that you cannot be shaken.

Start saying YES more

Refuse to be dictated to by your rigid plans. 

When spontaneous situations present them-self, don’t overthink it… just say yes.

You and I both know that all you are really doing is coming up with silly excuses. But it’s the best feeling to shrug off those excuses and jump headfirst into whatever adventure awaits you.

That means going for a walk even if you are wearing the wrong shoes. Having coffee with your friend even though you were planning on going for a run. Getting pizza for dinner with your flatmates even though you defrosted chicken to make a curry.

Embrace those unexpected and delightfully unplanned moments.

At the end of the day you won’t remember that run you went for or the curry you made…but you WILL remember those precious moments spent with friends.

Create space in your life

I’m completely obsessed with my planner and I genuinely feel like my life would fall apart without it. I think it’s a great thing to be organized as long as you also know how to be flexible.

You don’t need to plan out every second of your life. I am learning to leave room to just sit and be still. I’m leaving gaps in my agenda to be filled with rest. 

On a side note: I’m also learning to told onto my plans loosely. The things I hope and dream for one day may not be the same the next and that’s A-okay. Nothing is set in stone and our goals shift as we grow.

I read a really great post on this the other day which you should definitely check out: Creating blank space in your life

Having plans is awesome but you have to learn to be flexible. Life is full of the unexpected. Click To Tweet

letting-go-of-control

Shake things up

At first this one totally freaked me out just thinking about it. I love my routine and I didn’t wanna go messing with it. You know what they say: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 

So I started off with something super simple to ease myself into it (don’t laugh.) I shower in the morning because that’s what I’ve always done and I was a firm believer that night showerers were freaks. Anyway, to shake things up a little I started showering at night (oh I am wild.)

And you know what? I found the change was so refreshing for me.

Sometimes we need to let go of the little things we become obsessive about. So shake things up…shower at night, wear blue eyeliner, walk to a different bus stop or buy a new kind of granola.


So my challenge to you is to let go of control this week. Be spontaneous. Be unpredictable. Surprise yourself. Let go of your rigid plans and desperate need to know what’s coming next.

Embrace the messy, scary, crazy unknowns of life.

And remember: Don’t sweat the small stuff. 

Pin this for later:how to let go of control and go with the flow, control freak, letting go of control, perfectionist, self care, self development, self improvement, rest in the unknown, embrace the spontaneous

M x

Now tell me…

Are you a control freak?

How do you let go of control?

 

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25 Comments

  1. I’m TOTALLY a control freak and I need to have a plan for everything. I like to know what we’re doing over the weekend and how the week is going to look like, but then it’s become all too much.

    I have a hubby that’s the complete opposite so I’ve kinda HAD to learn how to let go and just try and go with the flow and it works sometimes, but not always hahaha

    http://www.elleisforlove.com

    1. That’s kinda nice that your husband is the opposite to balance you out. Although I can imagine that must drive you crazy sometimes haha! Thanks for reading Seppy

  2. I LOVE this and honestly this is such a struggle for me as I am a bit of a control freak. Okay, maybe a lot of a control freak, hahaha. God is definitely working on me in this area!

  3. I’m super control freak to the point where I used to deny spending time with people if I hadn’t planned on doing it ahead of time. I’m trying to be more mindful of accepting offers as they come, but it’s just so hard!

  4. Great perspective. I used to be quite a control freak but I’ve learned to trust. Instead of praying that everything will go just right or a certain way I want it to, I now pray that whatever happens, HE equips me to handle it. I love how you shook things up with showering at night. It’s funny what we get tied to. It’s so freeing when we can try things a different way no matter how small that thing seems.

    1. That’s a really great attitude to have. Showering at night was such a small, insignificant thing but it’s made a huge difference. It’s so funny how obsessive we become over these things!

  5. I wish I could express to you how much I needed this post today Megan. Thank you for sharing. I’m having a hard time lately giving up control over things I literally have no control over. It’s been giving me so much stress and anxiety. Thanks again girl.

    1. That’s my absolute favourite comment to hear. It’s just the best knowing that something I wrote could help someone so thank you for sharing that with me.

  6. I love this post! I wrote one a few months ago about how I’m learning to let go of control. It’s really hard as a self-proclaimed perfectionist. I really had to learn that I can’t control everything and I need to let go and let God!

  7. Megan, I love your transparency and vulnerability in sharing this. I too, am a recovering control freak… Haha. I am the same as you – freaking out about not having the right shoes, being wholeheartedly disappointed when plans are changed and feeling anxious about using a different colored pen than I’m used to. I’ve learned to apply some of the same things you have! But one thing that has really helped me get out of my control-freak mindset is surrounding myself with adventurous, spontaneous people. They encourage me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. It has really helped along my journey 🙂

    1. Totally. Those friends that challenge you to step out of your comfort zone are the best. My best friend is like that. She balances me out perfectly. I always wanna stay home and back out and she always wants to go out and say YES to everything.

  8. AMEN sister. I used to be a really huge control freak, and now I’m working on being more dependable and seeking the Lord’s will on when to say ‘Yes’ and not to just say yes out of wanting to people please. I totally 1000% agree that the spontaneous adventures are so much more memorable to me than many of the runs I’ve gone on or the curry or spaghetti I made. When I come to New Zealand if the Lord wills, let’s go on some spontaneous adventures.

  9. I too am a control freak, but am learning how to let go and relax a bit as well. You can’t control the world. You can’t control what others are going to do or not do. You can only control your reactions. Take a deep breath. Everything will be ok.

  10. Yes I am a complete controller, which has it’s benefits at times. My time management is pretty on point. But when things go off-rail, I get into a mood. Must learn tolerate the chaos.
    One way I do that is like what you said, blank space. I plan to not plan. Spontaneity doesn’t come easy to me so I totally get this.

    1. Yep my time management is totally on point too *high five* 😛
      It’s awesome that you are making more room for blank space in your life and trying the whole spontaneous thing.

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