“Control is an element of weakness and insecurity. You truly cannot control anyone or anything other than your effort and attitude.” – Sylvester McNutt

Think of a person you know that has control issues. What are some of their characteristics? How much do you like being around them or working with them? Better question:

What is the probability that you are that person?

Recently, I had a significant insight into my own personality. Unbeknownst to me, but probably very evident to others, I discovered that I have a fairly strong tendency to control things.

Because of my love for my son Rock, I threw away all of my practical considerations and bought him a puppy for Christmas. I listened to my heart instead of my head and totally underestimated the amount of time and work that was involved in raising a new puppy.

After a few hours at home with a rambunctious, over the top, un-potty trained puppy, I immediately went into the mindset of, “I’ve got to fix this and I’m the only one who can do it.”

My thoughts were:

I am the only one who can…

I am the only one who can potty train her.

I am the only one who can mix up her food and meds and feed her 3 times a day.

I am the only one who can take her to the vet because I know what questions to ask.

I am the only one who can adhere to a rigid schedule to make sure she gets potty-trained ASAP!

I am the only one who can mop the floors every day so as to remove the scent of her accidents.

Are you exhausted reading this list? I was dog-tired, no pun intended, from day one.

Getting this puppy trained was consuming me; it was taking up all my time. My productivity took a huge hit and I wasn’t sleeping at night. I was running myself ragged physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Then I realized that the very thing I thought I was in control of was actually controlling me.

 

What is controlling you?

Control Freaks are passionate individuals who share a plethora of positive character traits including a powerful drive to succeed.

Let’s look at some of their strengths.

Strengths of the Control Freak – They Are:

  • Dependable
  • Decisive
  • Intentional
  • Action-Oriented
  • Persistent

People with control tendencies can be trusted with everything that is given to them. Because they don’t operate from a drifter’s mindset, they will do whatever it takes to get the job done. When was the last time you saw a control freak sitting around waiting for something to happen?

However, there is a dark side to these positive traits. All strengths have the potential to be overused and become weaknesses. Unfortunately, controlling personalities possess some very undesirable qualities that could potentially be disadvantageous to them and those around them.

According to research conducted by The Harvard Business Review when testing the effects of overused strengths, they found that a strength taken to an extreme is detrimental to performance which will eventually undercut productivity.

Negative Qualities of the Control Freak – They:

  • Aren’t good at delegating
  • Are impatient with others
  • Stifle creativity; their own and that of a team
  • Are unwilling to compromise
  • Can be unhealthy Workaholics

Control Freaks are governed by the strong need to do it all and have convinced themselves that no one can get it done like they want it done. The consequences of this behavior can be threatening to their health, their relationships, and their careers.

So what can you do to loosen the hold that a controlling nature has on you?

3 Steps to Surrender Your Inner Control Freak and Find Freedom

 

1. Have a Growth Mindset: Be Open to the Thinking of Others

Do you know the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset? People with strong control issues have a fixed mindset and are better talkers than they are listeners.

When you have a growth mindset, you eagerly listen to the suggestions of others. You have an open mind to be flexible enough to see that others might see things from a slightly different angle which could have a positive impact on the outcome of what you want to achieve.

Trust and Multiple Yourself - Rita Hudgens Life Coach2. Develop Your Leadership Skills: Multiply Yourself

Leaders who have control issues are typically very impatient with others, move at a fast pace, and become easily frustrated. If you want to create lasting change for the better, you must learn how to develop leaders and thus multiply yourself.

To develop your leadership skills, the first place to start is by adjusting your attitude and your focus. Controlling personalities struggle with trusting others. Trust goes against their deeply ingrained belief system thus entrustment does not come naturally for them.

However, if you are willing to change your focus to multiplying yourself by developing other leaders, you will experience the peace of mind, power, and freedom that delegating brings all the while empowering others.

“Leaders who develop leaders multiply their growth.” – John Maxwell

3. Find Your Safe Place: Master the Things You Can Control

Research shows that an obsessive need to control is based on fear. People feel safe when they are in control.

This leads us to a very simple yet profound question, what are the only things you really have control over?

  • Your Thoughts
  • Your Decisions
  • Your Attitude
  • Your Personal Growth
  • Your Emotions
  • Your Effort

Hopefully, you see that the common denominator in this list is YOU.

It’s obvious that there are plenty of options for you to exercise 100% control over. Because of this, you will never be at a lack for using your strong control tendencies. Take advantage of your compelling need to control in these areas and see things change dramatically.

People who learn to yield control and delegate are more resilient minded individuals. They view obstacles as opportunities and believe that they can achieve what they work for. They have learned that by doing so they have control over their choices and outcomes.

In other words, people who surrender control remove all limits to what affects their success, happiness, and fulfillment; consequently, they experience greater freedom.

 

Surrendering your strong need to control things is life transformational.

 

It will give you the freedom to live more in the present and not be obsessed with trying to make everything happen yourself.

 

You will actually find the freedom you need to develop stronger leadership qualities and have more time, find greater success, and build deeper more meaningful relationships.

 

Digging Deeper

Think about your future. How close are you to living the life you were designed to live?

Do you know how to push past your limitations and create balance in your life? The Life Clarity Assessment is designed to help you do just that; create awareness.

Are You Ready to Find Clarity and Focus?

Take Transform University’s Life Clarity Assessment to discover your unique blueprint for change so you can embrace courage and walk confidently into a life of greater purpose, meaning, and fulfillment.

Rita Hudgens
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Rita Hudgens

Leadership and Personal Development Coach at Transform University
Rita is a Performance Improvement Coach. Her mission is simple; she helps entrepreneurs, achievers, and leaders make positive changes in their behavior. She empowers her clients so they are more in control of their present which in turn gives them a greater sense of self-confidence. She creates a safe environment for them and builds on their values, passions and strengths so that they can achieve their personal and professional goals.

Rita helps her clients:
• Embrace their true potential
• Change their limiting beliefs/thoughts
• Create Purpose
• Live Empowered, Confident, and Successful Lives
Rita Hudgens
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