Are you a controller? I am. I have controller tendencies. If a decision hasn’t been made, I’ll step in and decide. If a situation needs to be brought under control, I’ll be there first to step in. If something needs to be done, I’ll roll up my sleeves and get cracking.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
But it’s not all good. It’s based on a thought that if I don’t do it, then someone else will, and then they will control me. And not matter how much I like to think I’m not this kind of person: no one tells me what to do.
This is an aspect of myself that I begrudgingly admit. I wish I wasn’t stubborn this way but I hate being told what to do. Maybe that’s why I never wanted to be a consultant? Maybe that’s why I love coaching: it’s one place where my controller almost never shows up.
I also strongly believe that when I step in, I’m being helpful. Indecision is painful. Chaos can drive you crazy.
But when my controller is activated, I can make a situation worse.
Here’s something that’s happening now that my controller could ruin.
I’ve submitted some proposals for some really cool projects.
Like a full year long development program to create agile, confident, inclusive leaders who get shit done in a sustainable and humane way.
Oooh I love this!
Or a team training day to help a broken team start to mend and repair. Such juicy work that can be immense fun for everyone. Be still my heart.
Yet a proposal process takes time. You leaders have lots of things going on at the same time, plus those fires to put out. So I have to wait.
and I hate waiting. Patience is a virtue that I am trying to grow. But it’s growing like my carrots: I can see the little leaves but at this rate they will only be big enough to feed a gnat.
See? I’m even impatient about growing my patience.
There is danger ahead.
If I let my controller loose, I’ll go out to get an answer. No more maybes. No more waiting. I’ll go out and force an answer.
And I’ll get an answer. I’m 100% sure that I will. It will most likely be a no but I will have ended the misery of not knowing if it’s happening or not.
Because my controller only wants to ease the discomfort of not knowing. It doesn’t really care about what the answer is, it just cares about controlling the situation.
Ever done that? Pushed too hard because of anxiety, only to get the answer you didn’t want?
Same buddy, same.
But it doesn’t need to be that way.
I’m dealing with the urge to charge in and being patient. Doing helpful follow ups, not being pushy. And it’s working.
Your controller doesn’t need to control you.
Getting to know your controller’s voice is the first step.
Then developing your mental muscles so that you can shut them up is next.
As a client recently told me:
“I love the clarity and calm. The nagging voices are so quiet now. Even with things I’ve always been comfortable with I’m even more calm and confident.”
If you want that for yourself, ask me about my mental fitness program.
In the meantime, take this test so you can get to know your controller (or other nagging voice) better.
The test takes 5 mins.
This post is part of my special Coaching Tips Series. This series was inspired by my clients and the core themes in their challenges. When we can apply these tips, we bring a lot of ease into our lives and step into our leadership. Want to talk it through with me? Call me and let’s make a Game Plan together.