8 Baby Steps You Can Take to Give Up Your Control-Freak Status

8 Baby Steps You Can Take to Give Up Your Control-Freak Status

I've been a control-freak most of my adult life.

I can think of a handful of reasons why I've always felt the need to be in-control of every aspect of my life - and yes, even the people in it. The root cause being that I grew up in a broken home. My parents divorced when I was only 6-years-old, and my dad lived in a different state throughout my childhood years.

I grew into a young woman with dreams of having a particular life and lifestyle. It was picture-perfect in my mind. There was no divorce. There was no pain or suffering. There was no financial hardship. Just a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, the perfect husband, and a life filled with joy and happiness.

To get that dream, I would need to be very careful about the choices I made. I would need to be intentional in creating...and controlling...the circumstances I wanted.

Are you laughing yet?

Can you relate?

Well, life and God taught me that I don't always make the best decisions, though I've made some really great ones in my 43 years, and I can't control my circumstances or the choices other people make.

No matter how tightly I try to grasp onto the things and people I care about most, life is going to happen. I'm not in control.

The past few years have taught me a valuable lesson about being a control-freak. It's not healthy. In fact, it's stressful. So much so that you can actually set your health into a negative tailspin of self-destruction.

I know.

Been there, done that.

If being a control-freak doesn't ruin your health, it's still a complete waste of energy, it's aggravating to those around you (or so I've been told. Lol!) and if you have children, you end up raising up mini control-freaks who've learned by watching you!

That last part? Ya, I've got a mini control-freak in our home. Love her dearly, but yes, it is aggravating and results in way too many unnecessary sibling battles.

So I've learned a lot these past few years. As I've worked to renew my health and hormones, I've been intentional in finding ways to reduce stress and take on a new attitude about life.

It's been baby steps, and I'm making noticeable progress. Deep down I'm sure I'll always be a control-freak to some degree. Still, I pray the good Lord helps me to find peace with life as it happens.

In the meantime, here's how I've been working to give up my control-freak status.

8 Baby Steps You Can Take to Give Up Your Control-Freak Status

1. Pick Your Battles Wisely.

Not everything is worth a fight. Kids will be kids. Adults will do their own thing. Give the people in your life room to be who they are and love them for it. The only battles worth fussing over are those that are potentially life-altering.

2. Accept Your Circumstances and Make the Best of Them.

As much as you'd like to think you can control what happens in life, you really can't. Control is just an illusion. Accept the way life rolls and make the best of the hand you're dealt. Life's hardships are character-building. God really does know what He's doing, and everything that happens passes through His hands first. If He's allowed it, He has a good reason. You may never understand His purpose, but trust that He will bring good from it.

3. Look in the Mirror and Start There.

If you really feel you need to control something or someone, start with yourself. We all have issues. We all have room to grow and change and be better. Pour your energy into improving yourself - spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally.

4. Practice Letting Go.

You've probably heard the saying, "Let go, and let God." Practice it. Speak it. Live it. You'll find that when you release your grip on life, you'll be able to breathe a little deeper and sleep much better. When it comes to parenting, I've learned the more I try to control my kids and their actions, the more they fight for their independence. When I release my grip, they actually draw near, seek out, and respectfully listen to wise council from their mama.

5. Get Involved With Your Favorite Hobby

Whatever it is you love to do, do it! Focus your anxious energy on doing what you love. Start a new project you know will take a while to finish. You may find yourself so consumed by your project that you don't care as much about the other details of life you were previously insisting on controlling. My hobbies and projects range everywhere from writing, to coloring, to home improvement projects, to gardening, to health and wellness.

6. Speak and Think the Way You Want to Behave.

If you're trying not to be a control-freak, you have to start training yourself not to be one. This can start by speaking words that change your thinking and thinking thoughts that change your words. A great example of this is the following words shared by Beth Moore in her Children of the Day Bible Study: 

Stop Being a Control Freak, and Repeat After Me… 

I am not in control.

I cannot control all of my people.

I cannot control our situation.

Even when I want what is best, I cannot control the outcome.

I cannot make people behave.

I cannot make people believe.

I cannot make people be strong, because I am not God.

He alone knows the end from the beginning.

He alone knows how this thing will turn out.

I hereby fire myself from His job.

And I agree to see my fight for control as what it really is…

A screaming testament to my distrust. 


7. Study the Bible.

You'll never find more life wisdom anywhere. The Bible is chock full of wisdom to help you get through every day life. You've got to study it, though, to find those nuggets of truth that will resonate with you. I like to start by doing some self-reflection. I ask myself why I struggle with the fears or the anxieties I have, which are also root causes of why I feel the need to be in-control. I ask myself what those fears are specifically. Then I go in search of those particular topics in God's word.

8. Pray for God's Help in Letting Go of Your Need to be In-Control.

Pray. Pray. Then pray some more. God will answer your prayer in this regard. He will work to heal you from the inside out. He will work to help you to trust Him with this life He's given you. Submit it all over to Him and just let go. He's got this. He really does know the bigger picture, and His plans are always so much better than our own.

What do you think about this? I'd love for you to share your thoughts in the comments.

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Rosann Cunningham

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Author at Rosann Cunningham
Rosann is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach specializing in hormone health. She is also a fitness junkie, with a specific passion for mixed martial arts style kickboxing and is trained in Krav Maga - a military self-defense fighting system. After a Hashimotos diagnosis which turned out to be a very wrong call, Rosann became her own health advocate and fought her way back to optimal health and wellness. She is determined to help her clients dig deep to find the root cause of their hormone health struggles, so they too, can thrive and live the abundant life of health and happiness they deserve. Rosann believes nobody should be a victim in life or in their health, so in her coaching practice she loves to integrate a martial arts style and sense of accountability.

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