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.