Early in my career, I wanted to make sure everything got done correctly. This included creating the right plans that would lead to success. If we did everything right, success would be assured. In reality, I was trying to control everything around me. If I paid close enough attention, it would get done right. In short, I strove to be in control.
It is fascinating looking back, it sounds a lot like micro-managing. I also had to believe there was a right way to do things. These days I have a very different perspective. Sure, there are proven ways to get things done well, but there is a lot we can’t control. The future for one is uncertain. Nothing can be guaranteed and yet I acted like I could control the things around me. As I outline in my book, ‘Do Less, Lead More‘, it lead me to burn out.
The Desire To Control
The sad thing is I still see the same desire to control in many of my clients. They have a fear of letting go. That things will go horribly wrong if they aren’t exerting control. They too are usually on the path or are already experiencing burn out. They are exhausted, knowing they can’t keep on doing this. Something has to change.
The alternative is to recognize that without control we have to navigate the path ahead. Navigation is all about sensing the forces that are exerting their power on us and figuring out how to mitigate or take advantage of them. Rather than trying harder, it is about being present and being open to new possibilities. Rather than clinging to our plans, it is about being willing to change them at a moments notice.
This sounds a lot like being out of control, and yet being in control is only an illusion. How are you facing the future? Are you trying to control it or are you leaning in to learn how to navigate it? The difference is important.