For many, being in control creates a sense of security in knowing things are going to be done the way we need it to be done, achieving the outcome that gives us personal satisfaction. Reaching a goal post successfully might feel like a representation of ourselves and instills a sense of pride–the outcome meeting a deeper emotional need.

When it gets to the point of feeling overwhelming or out of control, then it’s time to get curious and ask ourselves what we can let go of. Are we open to giving others the opportunity to do the same? If the result is the same, does it matter how you get there?

For example, the dishwasher can be loaded a multitude of ways and  the dishes usually still come out clean. It doesn’t actually matter how they go in there, as long as they all come out clean. Or does it? (lol). Here’s the choice point,  let  go of it being done “your way” or do it yourself–and be content with doing it yourself. But if this brings up the “why am I the one that has to do everything” thoughts or makes you exhausted every day then there’s a need to look at where you can let go and learn to be ok with different standards and with the fact not everyone will do something the way you do.

In the workplace, generational differences can create an environment where the old guard won’t relinquish control to new folks with new ideas, skills and technology. People get attached to having things a certain way. This is really an issue of comfort and trust. Instead of having a conversation about the different approaches, there ends up being a battle for control and a lost opportunity to create a collaborative approach and mutual respect for what each group brings to the table.

So the question is: Are you really a control freak or is there an underlying motivation? A true control freak is about a dictatorship. They need to control everything around them and there’s no freedom for anyone to have any type of expression. This type of behaviour is now usually referred to as bullying because people feel threatened and feel their options are being controlled by the bully.

Bottom line is some people need chaos while others need organization. The beauty of our society is that there is room for both needs–as long as we are willing to let go of our way being the only “right way” aka control.

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