“Learning to unlearn, growing to outgrow” Roxanne Vibes. I’ve never made it a secret that I spent most of my life as a control freak. I adamantly wanted certain things to be a certain way because it made sense to me so I did what I had to do to make that happen. I’m not proud of it, but I felt like things were supposed to be a certain way and I felt comfortable when that happened. We all have our reasons for behaving as we do and sometimes it takes a long time to own up to it. For me it started with a general feeling of discomfort when the day to day stopped feeling good. I subconsciously started looking for other things to control and that quickly stopped feeling good too. I noticed that a lot of the things that should have been routine for me and things that should have gone off without a hitch started falling apart. When it became a pattern of things just not going according to plan, the frustration escalated to the point where I knew I had to re-evaluate.
It was a learning point for me because I understood that people operate from their point of understanding so what makes sense to me may not make sense to them. I had to learn that it wasn’t my job to control people. If I’m honest it never really worked anyway. That understanding made me look at the pattern of my life so far. It made me look at what else needed to shift for me. The behaviors we take with us, including our control issues, are learned. That means we can make the choice to change them. We have to unlearn patterns we’ve repeated for years. And that is a process.
The desire to change has to be greater than the comfort of repeating what we know. The life on the other side of our known patterns is so much bigger than what we have in our safety zone. Our comfort zones feel good until they suffocate us. When we learn to lean into the discomfort of learning something new, we open up our space just a little more. Practicing to grow beyond our comfort zones will lead us where we need to be with each choice we make that aligns with the decision to move forward. It is reinforced with every yes or no we say.
It takes time to recognize our part in the results of where we are at in our lives. We are afraid of the power we have in our own lives because it means we are accountable for something. This often manifests in a couple of ways: 1. We often spend more time telling other people what they should or shouldn’t be doing than looking at what we are doing. 2. We become hyper-critical about ourselves without taking action on it.
We all fall into both categories at one time or another because for the former, it’s easier to look at what other people are doing wrong because we see it from the outside. We don’t take the time to look at the entire situation surrounding their actions and we are now trained to assume the worst in people. For the latter, it’s easy criticize ourselves when things don’t match what our perception of them says they should be. For example, we have no issue complaining about the way we look but we don’t discuss that we eat like crap or that we stopped working out or that we don’t sleep more than three hours a night. Which leads to the next point which is that it’s easy to play victim, it’s hard to take ownership. But shifting that perspective makes all the difference in the world. That ownership is a reclamation of our power.
It is far more satisfying to operate from a place of knowing the patterns you need to break than it is to continue to move feeling like you have no other choice. There is freedom in that because when you’re a victim you have no options. When you look at your actions in the situation, you know you can change that. There is power with accountability.