If you read my post last night, you would know that I’ve been struggling with trying to control and manage a few things in my life recently.
The past few weeks have felt as though all of my efforts have gone to waste because I’m not seeing any kind of results.
Well, ranting and raving about it yesterday was a great way to come to an epiphany regarding how important times of stagnancy are – especially for a control freak like me.
Times of stagnancy force you to be still, to find something else to focus on and to move on. Which is exactly what I need/needed to do.
There are a lot of things that are just out of your control, such as the way people behave, how fast they reply to you, and how willing they are to give you an answer.
This is where the majority of my stress comes from, I’m realising. I’m constantly trying to control other people to make them work for me.
I get myself frustrated and annoyed when someone’s actions do not line up with what I had planned for them. Whether that’s getting irritated because my boss hasn’t replied to my email, stressing about how a friend will react to my actions, to even getting annoyed at strangers who walk too slow, speak to loudly or simply don’t act in the way I want them to act in that very moment.
It’s daft, because ultimately I’m the only one suffering. This is because I’m the only one who actually knows what’s going on in my brain.
My boss will continue to work on whatever she needs to work on, with my unread email sat in her inbox despite the fact I’m sat at my desk stressing. My friend will react however they want to react to whatever I decide to do, because they too are telling themselves a story about what to expect. And strangers in the street don’t know who I am, mightn’t even see me, so why would they even consider what I might be thinking about them?
Letting go of these expectations, letting go of the stories I tell myself is the only way to be free. Which of course, is easier said than done.
My rant last night regarding my frustrations (at other people’s inaction) helped me realise what was really going on in my brain, because it can be hard to figure that stuff out on your own. Expressing my thoughts in writing is a great way to move them from the forefront of my mind so I can have room to focus on something else.
So after that blog post was published, I started thinking about something else because I now had room to. And as soon as I focused on something else, I got what I wanted.
I got the reply from work I needed; I finally found out what was happening with a flat I was looking at renting, but the most important thing is I found out what I actually wanted too.
Giving myself the space to think about something else, rather than stressing about the email I need to come in or the message I want to receive, allowed me to focus on myself. As I said, it is trying to control the actions of other people that causes you stress, because it’s an impossible task but you can control what you want and how you behave more easily.
Removing that focus from other people allowed me to focus on myself and how I could act.
That is why today, I’ve focused on other things that matter to me. I’ve tried to keep away from the screen when I can, getting outside, reading actual books and just listening to myself to see what I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it.
Then , when I was ready to check my inbox, there were the replies I was so desperate to get yesterday. As if they’d appeared by magic.
It’s kind of annoying, actually, how things work out like this, but I’m glad I’m learning to understand it when it does happen.
The key to letting go, whether you’re a control freak or not, is putting your energy elsewhere. Distracting yourself with another task, another hobby or another place is a great way to take your mind off the thing you’re trying to control.
You can keep yourself busy while waiting for it to happen.
Without the constant chatter in your mind about what should happen and when it should happen, there is room for it to actually take place. Then, without your input and when you’re not looking, it’ll happen.
Get busy, move on and look at something else while the powers of whatever is controlling your life get to work on what you want/need.
What are you trying to control in your life right now?
How can you let go of the story you’re telling yourself about it?