We all want things to go our way. When something is important to us, we want to do everything within our power to make sure it goes exactly as planned. Letting others contribute may feel frightening because you lose the assurance that everything will be the way you want it. Collaboration is important in every aspect of life. From work to home, collaborating with people openly and freely will result in a better outcome. That can be difficult if we are always needing to control the situation. Letting go of the need to control can improve your relationships and increase the value of your projects. So how do we learn to let go?
Find your Why
The first step in letting go of your need to control is to determine your reason for wanting to control things in the first place. Take some time to reflect on the situation and figure out why you feel the need to control. Once you identify a few reasons, you may see that your initial reason for wanting control is a side effect of a larger issue in your life. Once you find your why, overcoming your need will become a lot easier. You will realize that your need to control stems from a separate event and not because of a genuine belief that no one else can add value. Once you realize this, relinquishing control may become a lot easier.
Visualize the Future
If you find yourself having trouble letting go of control in a specific situation, remove yourself from the moment and try to imagine the future. What are the possible outcomes if you give up complete control? Will it be worse or better? Visualizing the outcomes will often show you that releasing control will not actually cause the outcome that you originally feared. When we visualize the future, we can set our mind at ease that any possible issue with the outcome can be solved if and when it happens. You may also be able to see possible outcomes that are more valuable because of the collaboration that you allow to happen.
Live in the Present
Although visualizing outcomes is a good exercise at the beginning of a project or situation, living in the present is the best way to get over your need to control. Focusing your energy on the here and now will ensure that you are outing the experience first. When you focus on the present, you will be less consumed by fear and worrying about what could happen in the future. You will find that focusing on the present will bring you much more joy and way less stress.
Living in the moment will also allow you to perform better at the moment. Your mind will be free of worry and you will be able to put your full attention on the task at hand. This can be difficult. Every time you find yourself thinking about what can go wrong in the future, take a few deep breaths and bring yourself back to what you are doing at that very moment.
The “if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself” mentality may be causing some undue stress in your life. Do yourself a favor and let it go!