Guys, this one is a big one for me. Almost all of my problems in life, work, and relationships can be traced back to a need to control or predict an outcome. I feel like if I don’t know for sure what is about to happen, I will be blindsided. I’ll end up hurt, alone or lost. Especially in our career of public relations, it is hard to “go with the flow.” We work tirelessly to be prepared for all situations and offer our clients counsel or “predictions” of what results will look like from certain actions.
I’m here to call BS on the whole shebang and try a new outlook.
I was recently told I need to “watch the waves” rather than “try to catch every single breaker.” Trying to predict and plan for any kind of outcome or scenario is not only completely exhausting, it’s maddening and ridiculous. Life does not go according to “your plan.” If it ever does, it’s really a coincidence. That is not to say that your hopes and dreams mean nothing, but if you open up, often times the result is a much more pleasant and exciting experience than you ever thought was possible.
Here are a few things to catch yourself on next time you feel yourself spinning out in control freak mode:
What am I really afraid will happen? Am I texting the boy 100 times because I’m afraid he won’t call? Would my world collapse if I don’t get home right at 5:30pm tonight? If I get caught in traffic, will my brain really explode?
Is this really any of my business? Am I trying to make something happen for someone else? Is the interview I just had really all about me, or is it also about whether or not the company and I are a fit together? What other players are there? Can I or should I really influence this at all?
Would letting go feel like freedom right now? Often times, the answer is yes. Think of it this way – would you rather be paddling against the current, trying so hard to go the way YOU want that you don’t even notice the beautiful view around you? Or how would it feel to put the paddle down, drift down stream and look at the scenery? Yeah. One is better than the other. Duh.
So say buh-bye to your inner control freak. Watch the waves this time.