Five ways to shut off your inner control freak…

1.) Respect other people’s turf. In a blended family like mine, this means that you need to accept the custody agreement and work with what you have. At work, this may mean delegating work — and letting people do things their way.

2.) Pick your battles. Figure out what’s most important to you — and fight for it. Let the rest slide. This tip works with adult coworkers, family members, and toddlers alike. Adult tantrums are just as stressful — if not more so — than your 3-year-old’s.

3.) Understand that perfection is a myth. Control freaks want everything to be “just right,” and get frustrated when things go “wrong.” But the truth is, there is no “just right” in real life. Hold on to your ideals, of course, but abandon the idea that things can only be good if they’re perfect.

4.) Ask for — and accept — help. Really. I am not good about asking for help. But doing so is a great way to build bridges, accepting help is a great way to reduce stress levels, and once you see how competent everyone else can be, it may be easier to dismiss your inner control freak more often.

5.) Ask yourself: What are you really trying to control?
What’s more important, that things get done exactly your way, or that things get done, period? Sometimes, we waste tons of energy trying to control the method, when the important part is the outcome.


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February 2009
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