Hello… my name is Jille Bartolome and I am a Control Freak. I have been recovered now for 18 years. I say recovered because I am no longer making myself responsible for everyone else and everything else.
What do I mean by a control freak? A control freak is someone who tries to control other people to do what they what them to do. A person who believes that because they think they know what to do it must be the best thing to do. Someone who walks around with their hands on their hips pointing at people and things. This is the person who tells you what you should do, need to do, ought to do and thinks you are stupid for not doing it. I unfortunately can relate to this more than I care to admit.
I am sad to say that this state of mind comes from fear. I will give you an example: There was a time in my life when I was very out of control. My parents were divorced, my mom was very ill, and we were living hand to mouth. I had more than one job at the age of 12. I was Literally out of control of my circumstances. There were other times in my life where I was out of control as well, and for the sake of keeping this light, we will skip the details but I have suffered tremendous losses over the course of my life and that certainly counts for being out of control.
When we as human beings find a sense of control in our lives after experiencing that much out of control, it is a very scary thought to lose that sense of control again. So, we do everything we can to hold on to it. Including becoming a control freak.
This is how I got to be a control freak. But there are other ways as well, such as modeling your parent’s behavior, a propensity to be a leader that is not nurtured and I’m sure other ways.
Once we recognize that we have, in fact, become a control freak, it is important to let it go. It is a toxic state of mind that can really have a negative impact on your ability to be authentically happy.
When you are in control of everyone and everything, you hold the weight of the world. You are responsible for your own happiness and the happiness of everyone you are trying to control. This puts an incredible amount of pressure on you.
In addition, people who are control freaks tend to attract people around them who need to be controlled, further perpetuating the cycle. Control Freaks rob the people around them of their ability to thrive and think for themselves.
So, what can a control freak do to only control the things they can control?
Well, that is exactly it. For me, even though I have never been in a 12-step program, I used the Serenity prayer as a mantra everyday for years.
If you are not familiar with it and even if you are here it is:
Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
As a coach I believe that coachable people are whole and resourceful, and that awareness is the key to making better decisions. So, now that you are aware of what being a control freak means, what it is, how you got that way, how it affects your life and the people around you, what are you going to do about it?
Ask yourself, what do I truly have control over? What do I need to let go of controlling? Am I willing to let it go? Don’t let fear guide you, let the promise of a more fulfilling more purposeful life be your guide.