I have always been a perfectionist, which in turn makes me want to be in control of almost every situation. If I think back to high school… I was class president every year, captain of sports’ teams (volleyball, basketball, and softball), and the alto section leader for ensemble. As you can probably guess, I always had to be in charge.
As you can probably imagine during college I stayed on my path of being in control. I worked part-time jobs, volunteered, took twenty-one credit hours each semester to receive two degrees and a certificate on time, stayed active in student organizations, and more. It wasn’t until then that not being able to be in control of everything truly bothered me. It made me realize that I can’t control everything no matter how hard I try. Still, I persisted to control every single situation. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized I couldn’t control every single situation.
I’ll be honest, this is a really hard post for me to write. Because once it is written it comes to fruition that I truly have to let certain things go. Having control is one reason why minimalism had become perfect for me. It was something I could do and control. I could control all of my possessions and every aspect of them in my life. But lately, I realized that I was controlling to much in my life instead of living in the present and allowing things to be as they are. For me, that’s what minimalism is all about. However, I’ve realized that the determining factor in me wanting to let go of control was things were happening that were beyond my control.
why i’m letting go of control
The initial thought of letting go of control is hard for me. I like to be in control, but at the same time I’ve noticed that it is hindering my personality and wellbeing. I’ve learned a few things in this process and I’m slowly but surely making progress. A few weeks ago, I hit an all-time high with burnout. It was the first time in my life where I got extremely ill, my self-care fell to the wayside, and I was just overworked. I was trying to do way too much even after taking a blogging break. I realized that I needed a little bit more time to focus on myself. In order to put my wellbeing first, work on some personal things, and get back to blogging full-time with consistency.
I’ve realized that one of the main reasons why I had such horrible burnout was because I didn’t have clear goals to achieve with actionable steps. I tried to perfect my way through everything and control every situation. It came to a head and I knew that I couldn’t do that anymore. That’s why I’ve decided to let go of control and perfection, take back my life, and live it to the fullest.
Here are five things I’ve learned as I’ve embarked on this journey:
1 | perfectionism can hinder your progress
I have definitely realized that nothing will ever be perfect. As much as I try to control everything and make everything perfect, I can never live up to those standards. Realizing that nothing will ever be perfect has made be very honest with myself. Which as we can all probably admit is a very hard thing to do… don’t you agree?
2 | learn from your mistakes
Once I became honest with myself about how I have allowed expectations and things beyond my control, control me. I was able to move forward and learn from the things I have done and the mistakes I’ve made. Sometimes things go as you planned them, but when they don’t I no longer beat myself up about it.
3 | let go of impossible standards
I will admit, I have set some pretty impossible standards for myself without any actionable goals, or plans to achieve them. One of them being to stick to an evening routine and don’t stay up too late. What does that even mean? Does staying up to late mean staying up past 10pm, or 3am. It’s all relative. Instead, I’ve considered what I’d like my evening routine to consist of, like brushing my teeth, doing my skincare routine, turning off my phone, and reading a book. That’s more achievable no matter what time I decide to wind down at night.
I’m also still learning to let go of the expectations of others and doing what makes me truly happy. Getting people to like me, or getting people to agree with everything that I do is so tiresome. Let’s face it, not everyone will like you or agree with everything you do. It could be as simple as cutting your hair or deciding to move to another city. You can never please everyone.
4 | live in the present
I’ve allowed fear to control so much of my life and that has hindered me from living fully in the present. Just because someone doesn’t agree with my opinion that shouldn’t stop me from pursing what I want.
5 | consider what you can control
There are a few things in life that I can control. A few of them being slowing down and enjoying life, learning more, stop worrying about things that don’t matter, and taking care of myself.
Since I’m learning to focus on what I can control instead of what I can’t. I’m able to rid myself of social standards and fake ideologies of who I should be. I’m able to decrease the amount of anxiety and stress in my life by having a better appreciation of life. Life is a great thing and something that should be enjoyed from the simple things like taking my dog for a walk to greater accomplishments like graduating from college.
Since I’m beginning to let go of control. I’m gaining emotional stability by letting go of perfectionistic tendencies. I’m human, so at times I will have slip-ups and try to control situations, but that’s life. Although, I no longer want things to control me instead I want to live life, freely.
have you considered letting go of control?