Recently, while teaching a Reiki class, one of the students expressed her frustration about the gap between feeling peaceful and centered when giving Reiki to herself and living real life. I totally connected to what she said because even years after I became a Balance Expert and was very consistent with using balance tools daily, I still felt those extremes of feeling grounded and calm when I would sit and meditate and then feeling overwhelmed and stressed when ?real life? took over.
Living in extremes is hard. It takes time and energy to move from one extreme to the other. Many women say that they feel great in the morning while being on the yoga mat but then feel frustrated later in the day as work and life responsibilities pick up. The over-busy-ness of life often causes women to manage life by over-controlling and micromanaging everything: their kids, their husbands or partners, and themselves.
There are benefits and costs to micromanaging your life. One of the benefits is that things get done, and usually the way you want. In other words, you get the results you were looking for. At the same time it costs you on other levels: micromanaging your life creates tension and sometimes distance between you and others, and it drains your energy.
When I talk to people about letting go of control, their biggest concern is ?what if things just don’t get done?? A woman that attended one of my workshops recently arrived in class stressed and tired (at 10 am in the morning) because she had invested emotionally in creating a list for her husband, telling him exactly how to take care of their child while she attended the workshop. We had an interesting conversation about how it affected her energy level and her ability to get the most out of class when she was in her ?controlling? mode. She noticed how draining it was not only for her but for her husband and son as well.
Micromanaging your life gives you?a false sense of power. We feel strong while doing it. But then we feel drained and disappointed when we’re done. If you’re ready to try something different, keep reading.
Here are 3 ways to let go of the pressure of micromanaging your life:
- Let ?how do I really want to feel?? be your guide.
Your tendency to control comes from a place of wanting to make things well and truly caring about other people. It is because you care that you try to make things perfect. Perfectionism is often a result of feeling ?not enough?. We grow up feeling pressured to do better, to be better, and we interpret messages we get from others as evidence that we’re not smart enough or that we could do better. As adults, we continue to carry that responsibility, and we forget that we deserve to feel good, to be happy, and to enjoy life. Think for a minute: how do you want to feel? If there were no obligations or responsibilities and you could feel exactly the way you want to feel ? what would it feel like? You might say: ?I want to feel lighter, freer, and happy,? or ?I want to feel peace, joy, and love.? Well, my friend, how about making how you want to feel more important that being productive, perfect, or accomplished? A few years ago I made ?fun? and ?joy? my top values and it totally changed the way I show up in life. Stretch yourself and give it a try!
- Make your micromanaging realistic. Think ?manage? rather than ?micromanage.?
You might read this article and think: ?yes, from now on ? no more micromanaging!? Well, it may better serve you to be more realistic. When you are used to operating a certain way for years, a kinder and more loving attitude might be helpful. For example: Set an intention to micromanage LESS and let go MORE. If I am completely honest, it is definitely one of my natural tendencies to control and micromanage, and my husband and kids will tell you that I still do it sometimes. The good news is that I am very aware of this tendency. I also have gained experience with letting go and being ?in the flow,? so overall I micromanage less and I enjoy the ease and peace that comes with releasing that pressure a lot better than I did before. It is a work in progress. Let the process unfold.
- Be willing to try something new and then evaluate.
You might be surprised, but I often see how staying where you are feels safer and more familiar than getting out of the comfort zone and changing. Even when you know that micromanaging your life costs you, your inner critic might still tell you that you get things done faster and results are more important. Your inner critic tries to protect you from feeling like a failure. The reality is that even when you get things done faster, the sense of accomplishment does not last if micromanaging costs you your energy level and your relationships with others. Remember, you don’t have to make extreme decisions and commit for good! Simply be willing to try doing things in a different way, notice how you feel, and then decide if you want to continue exploring new ways of living. You can always go back to your old behavior if you choose to.
Are you in? What are you willing to stop doing and what are you willing to start doing right now to help you micromanage less and let go more?
Let’s start a conversation in the comments area. I?ll go first.