Updated: Nov 15, 2022
I am a recovering control addict, so I talk from experience. I used to want to control absolutely everything in my life and stepping back to allow things to just be has been truly one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. But, one of the most rewarding things. And bonus, I'm not anxious all the time. I'm not worried all the time. I don't have this tightness in my neck or headaches all the time because I'm trying to control a situation or the outcome of what I think it should be.
I know it’s a difficult change and some of you might be reading this thinking “yeah, I could never do that” or “I need to control some things, or nothing would get done.” I’m here telling you; it can be done albeit difficult in the beginning. The trick is, you still need to do all the action steps for success just let go of what happens after that.
Below are 5 tips I've learned along the way that I hope you find valuable.
1) Controlling Your Expectations. When you let go of expected outcomes you open yourself up to all the possibilities of outcomes. Something amazing could happen that you didn’t consider. The Universe is always working to bring you what you desire but you have to have the mindset that it is coming, and you’re open to all the ways possible of getting it. One never knows when things or what things are going to happen and if you just allow them to happen, you will find it's so much easier to be in the flow and just receive. Do the things that you need to do to take action but disconnect from the desire of a particular outcome.
2. Embrace Change. Life doesn't always care about your plans. Sometimes your plans suddenly change depending on your life circumstances. Look what 2020 did! No one saw that coming but there was an immediate need to shift and do things differently. I’m sure every one of us changed their plans in some way to continue working. Sometimes things just happen that you're not ready for, good or bad, but things happen, right? And if you want to be successful, we need to learn how to ride those waves. Those waves we are talking about could feel like a tsunami sometimes I know! There are really, really high ups and really, really low downs. Sometimes all in one day too. That's just part of the challenges an entrepreneur faces. It can be a rollercoaster ride. However, at the end of the day, change is the only constant. Just embrace it. Do your best to pivot and accept this happened today. Tomorrow's a new day.
3. Stay Present. That's a new thing for me. Stop trying to multitask in your head, in your thoughts and your actions. Be very aware of what is happening now, in front of you. Instead of ruminating about the future, look at the right now. For me, sometimes it's just taking the day and being with my kids instead of work. Yesterday for example, my twins got home early from school and wanted to do some shopping and asked me to come along. Anyone with older kids knows this isn’t a regular occurrence of wanting mom to tag along so I stayed present and stepped away from my desk at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon. This was really hard for me since I didn't have everything done that I needed to get done that day, however, instead of being anxious about it, I decided, I rarely have time where I can just be with my kids, so I'm going to take the two hours away from my desk and not worry about all the emails that are coming in and everything else. We had a very special day and ended up with dinner, ice cream, and some nice memories.
Bonus, they left for school today and told me they wouldn't be home for dinner so I could work late without any interruptions and make up for the loss time yesterday. So, when I allowed it to happen (see step one), and embrace the change in my day (see step two) I took full advantage of the opportunity I had in front of me at that present moment when they came home from school yesterday (step three) and I just took it. And now I will take full opportunity of the extra time I have today when they're not home to take care of the things that I didn't get to yesterday. So that's what it means to be fully present in the moment and just take advantage of the opportunities that show up.
4. Reframing Your Failure. When things don’t work out as planned use it as a learning event instead of being down on yourself. I call it failing forward. Not everything we do will always work out perfectly. People tend to view failure as bad, but reframing your thinking can help you see the lesson you needed to learn to move forward. Failure is actually the fastest way to come up with a solution. The most successful people in the world didn't achieve any of their goals overnight. It might look like it to you, but that's not the way that it actually happened, they had to learn, understand, repeat, practice, fall, rise up again, and most of all, trust the process. If you're experiencing a downturn. I implore you to look back and see what you learned from it. Start again after you reflect on what went wrong. Get rid of that negative energy and be really excited for the new plan.
5. Believe in yourself. A critical piece in the path to success and professional growth is to believe in yourself. You have all it takes to succeed inside of you. Surround yourself with a professional community of like-minded individuals that support your goals and believe in you too. Believing in yourself means having faith in your own capabilities. It means believing that you CAN do something — that it is within your ability. When you believe in yourself, you can overcome self-doubt and have the confidence to take action and get things done.
I hope this helps you begin to let go and trust the process of life unfolding exactly how it is supposed to. We aren’t on this planet long so enjoy each moment.