I am a former-ish card-carrying member of the control seeking club. Control seeking behaviors are often a result of fearing the unknown.
Fear of losing control of a situation which can lead to feeling helpless and scared. Quite unpleasant really! Sometimes it seems easier to try and control things vs feel those feelings.
Control seeking is not a personality trait, it is a coping strategy and is something you can improve.
Does this sound like you?
You experience a lot of anxiety and worry about things you have no control over
You believe you are completely responsible for outcomes in your life, you also believe you can prevent bad things from happening if you work hard enough at it
You try to convince others to think like you do and see things from your perspective
You try to do everything yourself because you cannot “trust” others to do it “right”
You hold yourself to very rigid standards and expectations
One of the things the pandemic is teaching many of us is that we really are not in control of much of our lives, even if we think we are. Even if things went as we wanted them to the past, it likely was not because of something we actually had control over.
What we really have control over is only one thing, OURSELVES. Our body, our time, our environment, our reactions to things and our feelings. The next time you feel anxious ask yourself if you are trying to control something not within your control.
Remind yourself you can control your response to it though. Put your energy into your attitude and behavior vs controlling others' behaviors or choices.
Ask yourself how you would cope if your worst-case scenario happened. Living in this control mindset can be exhausting and frustrating and can damage your closest relationships. Be kind with yourself as you work through some of these strategies and learn to give up some control. You may be very surprised that things working themselves out isn’t as bad as you may have imagined. ~ Laura