I can make things happen. It’s a quality that served me well when I had my PR agency and clients paid me to generate results. I had the willpower and the resolution to push anything through on their behalf – no matter how tight the deadline or challenging the situation.
I was also expected to control the uncontrollable. A client once called to scream at me because they got a terrible product review on live TV when the host said that their food tasted like a hockey puck. While that was very unfortunate, it was out of my control.
Yet, I felt like it was somehow my fault.
It’s so crazy to think that the uncontrollable is under my control: like the outcome of things, what others feel or like, whether someone likes me.
It’s a good quality to be able to take action and make things happen. I am glad that I have it. It comes in handy.
But I don’t do it very often now because soldiering on comes with a high price: stress, wasted energy and the fatigue of over vigilance.
I can actually feel myself change now when I go into a mode of pushing something through, or of trying to control someone else’s feelings or reaction.
My self-talk helps me keep this tendency in check. I catch myself and pull back. I encourage myself to let things and people be.
For example, I was on vacation recently a few hours drive from a good friend whom I hadn’t seen in a few years. We couldn’t seem to make our schedules work and neither of us was keen on the drive. Before, I would have pushed hard for us to meet. But now, I said to myself that the timing wasn’t right or it would be easy. We will meet at some other point. Instead of pushing against the situation, I softened into it.
In my self-talk I will say:
- Is there anything that I need to do about this right now?
- Do I have a horse in this race?
- This is out of my control.
- It is not my business to fix/save this person.
- Let things be.
- See what happens
- I have done all I am prepared to do.
- Let that person have their own feelings about it.
- How that person reacts to this issue is their issue.