I want to have everything under control. I am that kind of person who wants to know in advance what is going to happen, why is it going to happen, when and how. For years I suffered from a severe fear for flying. That was a problem because I have to fly regularly for my job. It was because of this fear that I discovered that I like to keep everything under control. Which is not possible when you take a plane. I am not the pilot, the co-pilot, neither the technician that maintains the plane in good shape, technically spoken.
From the moment I realized that my fear for flying had to do with the strong desire to keep control and with the impossibility to do so when I take a plane, things started to go better. Because it would not be my fault if I would die in a plane crash. I could not do anything about it. It was not my responsibility. With this in mind I could sit back and relax. To some extent.
Losing control or having the feeling of losing control is something I still don’t like, so I started to reflect upon why is it so important to me to keep control over everything, my life, my job, my feelings, everything. And I came to following conclusions:
- Having control gives me the idea I can decide any moment what will happen, which is comfortable and feels safe.
- Having control over things means that I don’t have to depend and rely on others. I have no one to blame if something doesn’t go well which is fine to me because I don’t like conflicts.
- Having control over everything means I mainly live in my head. Because emotions are not always controllable, they are not reliable. Living in my head means I oversee things, I can manage them, steer them in any direction I want.
As there is always the other side of the coin, you can already see here where this is heading to. It means at the same time that I (often) keep distance emotionally from others, I have (often) trubble with trusting other people, and I don’t have a solid connection between my head and heart. Living in your head is also a lonely way of living, to be honest.
I just read a chapter of a book on burn-out, a session between a management coach and his coachee where he says at a given moment: ‘trust starts where the ratio ends’.
I realize that what control does for me at the same time keeps me away from establishing real contact with other people, and from establishing real contact with myself. Who am I if I can’t even make a good connection between my head and my heart?
So if I want to become less of a control freak, I have to start asking myself who I really am, and how to balance my ratio better with my heart, and most of all, how to open the door from my heart to others, and let trust come in? and just do what the captain in the plane says before taking off, ‘relax, sit back and enjoy the flight’.