Confessions of a Control Freak


Do you ever find yourself trying to control everything? I certainly do. My close friends and family can attest to that. Confession number one: I like predictability. I like stability. Routines and patterns are my jam.

I know that's not how I'm supposed to live. I'm very well aware that I can't control everything. But for some reason, that doesn't stop me from trying to anyway.

I'm working on it, though.

I'm trying to be more flexible, to hold onto my dreams and my plans loosely, knowing that change isn't always a bad thing. Things don't always have to go according to my plans. They're not going to always unfold the way I want, anyway, so I might as well anticipate changes, right?

Confession number two: I like things to be neat, orderly, and if I'm really honest, pretty near perfect. I tend to do things myself so that I can rest assured knowing they were done the way I wanted. Being in a messy, disorganized environment distracts and frustrates me. I want everything to be "just so." It's my way or the highway.

Confession number three: Trying to control everything is hard. I can't keep up. There are too many things for me to juggle; I can't possibly keep them all in the air. I'm always afraid I'm going to drop one. I know I should just lay them all down, but I keep wanting to be the juggler, the one in charge, but I can't. I wasn't made to be the one in control. That's not my job. When I try to control things, I find myself quickly out of my depth when events, situations, and people don't behave the way I expect them to. Pretending to be something I can never be is exhausting. Trying to fill a role that's just too big for me is too tiring.

Confession number four: Changing my ways is hard. People can change, but that doesn't mean change comes easily. I, for one, am resistant to it. But some of the things that are most worth having are worth working hard for.

I know there are greater things ahead than anything behind, but knowing it and living like it's true are two completely different things.

I'm a creature of habit. There are certain things that I do every day, and everything in my home has its place (or its "home," as I call it). I have some daily rhythms that I don't like disturbing, even for good things. For instance, I have evening routines and morning routines. Even when I'm not at my own home, they're pretty much the same. I eat my meals around the same times every day, I get up at about the same time every day, and I have a self-imposed bedtime. I work other things in around those guidelines and get a little uncomfortable when they're imposed upon.

But I'm learning to be a little more willing to occasionally make exceptions. If the number of qualifiers in that sentence isn't a clue to how much room to grow I have left, though, I don't know what is.

Confession number five: I'm making slow progress, but I've still got a long way to go. I don't think there's a specific end goal, a place for me to reach where I will be able to say I'm officially not vying for control anymore. But there is definitely room for improvement. That might very well always be the case for me. Progress over perfection, right? That's the goal for me, anyway.

My point in sharing this with you is that I hope it can inspire you if you're in the same boat as me. I hope you know you're not alone, and that you don't have to be stuck in your ways. But I also hope you realize that I'm not perfect, that I'm still a work in progress.


Do you consider yourself to be a control freak or a recovering control freak? Are there any tips or tricks that helped you? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!