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…
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 lifeHaving plans is awesome but you have to learn to be flexible. Life is full of the unexpected. Click To Tweet
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.
Now tell me…
Are you a control freak?
How do you let go of control?