TURNING OFF THE NEED TO MICRO-MANAGE

Learning that life doesn't need to be micro-managed can be so liberating

HEADACHES

When I was writing about my daith piercing on Monday, I got to thinking about why I had so many headaches in the first place. One of the biggest causes was stress, and my days were full of stress because I needed to micro-manage every detail of my life. This included what I was doing at any given time and also the people who were around me while I was busy doing it. It kicks in big time when I'm facing a new situation or something a bit scary - it seems to be my go-to method for dealing with new situations.

WHAT AM I ACHIEVING?

The only problem is that I know Dr Phil would ask me "How's that working for you?" and I'd have to answer with "not great!" Trying to have a plan in place for every contingency is exhausting to say the least and pretty much a waste of time because most of what I think may go wrong never does. In the meantime I've missed out on a lot of the pleasure I could have had if I'd just gone with the flow. My brain would probably be less tired and consequently less susceptible to those debilitating headaches.

WHAT HAS LIFE BEEN TEACHING ME LATELY?

I've been waking up to things in recent years and a few of these revelations include:

1) Being stressed all the time is not a healthy way to live, and trying to manage and control everything doesn't get rid of the stress, it just adds to it.

2) I can relax more and let things take their course. Trying to work it all out beforehand is utterly exhausting and often a waste of time.


3) I don't need to pre-plan every work day to try to avoid making a mistake - it's a lot less stressful to wait and see if a mistake even occurs - then fix it and enjoy the rest of the day!

4) Life happens when you're busy making other plans (thank you John Lennon!) - life will go on its merry way no matter how much I try to steer it the direction I want it to go. I'm better off going with the flow most of the time and not trying to engineer everything.


SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY

Turning simple into complex is a "gift" that keeps on giving and it's time I took it back to the store and got a refund. Life is short - half of it is gone already and I want to think less and feel more. I want to appreciate all the good things around me, the little things and the pretty things and the kind things and the lovely things.......and leave the worry behind. I love the quote below by Abraham Hicks - it's a great reminder to ease up on myself and enjoy the ride.

You are trying too hard!! Abraham Hicks

My mum always said "worry about it when it happens" and I'd think "yeah, right - easy for you to say" but she actually has a very valid point. All that worrying in advance does nothing (except give me a headache). It doesn't change the outcome, it just keeps my brain churning over things that will probably never happen.

LEARNING TO LET GO

Micro-managing is about trying to keep control of a world that I really don't have any control over. Admitting this and letting go has been (and continues to be) a huge learning curve for me, but one that I think has tremendous rewards in the process. Trusting the fact that other people can manage their own lives and that the world still turns without me telling it how to is all quite freeing really!

Letting go of the need to have everything exactly how I think it should be means that I can relax and not always be wondering what might go wrong and how prepared I should be just in case there is a glitch somewhere. It gives me freedom and allows the perfectionist in me to have a breather - and the bonus is that the daith piercing doesn't have to work so hard to keep those headaches at bay!

it's not about controlling, it's about being present

Learning that life doesn't need to be micro-managed can be so liberating
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35 comments

  1. I'm glad that my past comments may finally have helped you chill out, destress and enjoy every moment of each day. No one could be more laid back than me. Another great post. Keep it up.
    I love you just the way you are. Mum. xo

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    1. We're the same but different aren't we Mum? I am finally learning to be more like your laid back 'middle child' persona and letting go of some of my oldest child needs - like control and taking responsibility for everything :)

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  2. I hear you Leanne! Good luck with letting go, it's easier said than done but worth the effort. Your mum sounds like a wise woman!

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    1. It's so tough stepping back Deb but ulitmately all that worry and stress achieve very little, so letting more stuff float through without having a plan in place is actually quite liberating!

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  3. It is easier said than done, and the thing I find makes all the difference is to a) expect that, and b) really notice the changes that come with a changed approach. I'm reading "The Desire Map" right now, about understanding the ways you want to feel (productive, grateful, etc) should drive the activity, rather than the other way around. I found that fascinating and I'll probably become obnoxious talking about it.

    I like your messages lately about taking notes, figuring things out, moving forward. Good, good, good.

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    1. I think I might have to look into getting a copy of that book Susan - I'm still very much a work in progress and I can do with all the inspiration I can get!

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    1. Me too Diane - and I feel like kicking myself in the pants when I realize I've slipped back into old habits.

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  5. This post made me smile - and kinda laugh at how closely I relate to it! I really have trouble turning off my problem-solving brain. I need to get to where you are: realizing the world will still turn without my management.

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    1. It seems so obvious doesn't it Melody and yet we have this burning need to make sure we have every contingency covered - I drive myself crazy sometimes!

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  6. My kids, especially my two daughters, have heard me say over and over, "Nothing happens until it happens." It is amazing the amount of time spent stressing over things because we think we might control the outcome if we just "do this" or "this." I agree with you. Less stress. Things may not always work out for the best, but they always work out.

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    1. Ahhh Lisa you are my new hero. You and my mum have it figured out and the rest of us who are control freaks are still catching up! I hope your daughters see how valuable your insight is :)

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  7. Your unflinching honesty, wisdom and self-knowledge continue to inspire me. Awesome post!

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    1. What a kind thing to say - thanks so much Donna - I'm a constant work in progress, but it's never to late to teach an old dog new tricks :)

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  8. Once again, I'm right there with you sista! As I work (and it IS hard work) to 'let it go', I find that my family still expects me to be that micro-manager and to resolve their problems! It helps me so much to ask myself, "is it honestly MY responsibility to...(plan, solve, repair, absorb, etc.)?". Please keep up your inspiring posts!

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    1. Thanks so much and it is truly a constant cycle of learning to look at things differently isn't it? Things still fall to me because I know they'll get done if I have it in hand, but I'm learning it's nice to pass that responsibility off onto others and let them sort it out - I'm getting there slowly :)

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  9. You sound very much like me Leanne. I managed to burn myself out in the process of being me and have been on a steep learning curve since. I never knew that piercing was called a Daith piercing nor that it helped headaches. I must tell my friend that has suffered headaches and debilitating migraines for as long as I've known her. I love that quote by Abraham Hicks! :-) #TeamLovinLife

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    1. Hi Min - I know exactly what you mean about burning yourself out with perfectionism and the need to control - I've done it a couple of times (and I'm doing it a bit atm) I never seem to get this completely right - I'm a work in progress! And definitely tell your friend about the piercing and get them to check out the FB group.

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  10. Oh yes, I'm a control freak so micromanaging is a big issue for me and I find it hard to let go. I am trying though! #teamlovinlife

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    1. There should be a control freak club that we could all become members of Deb - it's so ingrained in me and such a hard thing to fight - but worth it in the end.

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  11. My word for 2017 is Simplify Leanne and I can tell you the load has certainly been lifted by cutting back. I'm a micro manager as well and it is hard but you are so right the added stress takes away from the pleasures of life. #teamlovinlife
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

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    1. Simplify should be the word of the year for all of us Sue - so often we take on more than we need to because we feel the need to be responsible - it's time to step back and let others share the load.

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  12. We all have a certain makeup and I think it's very difficult to change when we're just made this way. I can get very stressed too because I hate to be disorganised and not get tasks done. It would be nice to turn off the "stress" button and learn to be more easy going, but I don't think that's going to happen in my case! :) #TeamLovinLife

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    1. I would have said that it was part of my personality to want everything perfect and under control Kathy, but I'm learning that you can change if you really want to - and part of me is just tired of the stress and pressure that I put on myself (and others) so I'm trying to learn that I don't need to be responsible for everyone and everything.

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  13. Awesome post! I can really relate to this post and I know exactly how you feel! We all need to take some time to just relax and re-energize ourselves. Afterall, you can't pour from an empty cup!

    Tropical Colours

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    1. I know what you mean - we drain ourselves dry trying to have every contingency taken care of and it really isn't necessary. Sometimes we do ourselves more of a favour by relaxing and going with the flow.

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  14. I sometimes feel the weight of responsibility like it's a backpack that I keep putting on even though I know it weighs me down. Yes, it's an oldest child thing to be the responsible one, but it's my choice to continue to do it. Controlling the uncontrollable - I wish I knew how to just let it be, let it go. Yes, it's easier said than done. Great post. #TeamLovinLife

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    1. The oldest child syndrome has a lot to answer for Jo - all that responsibility we feel for everything is very wearing. I look at middle children (and youngest children) and they seem to be more relaxed about life in general. I'm planning on taking a leaf out of their books and letting life take care of itself more often.

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  15. This reminds me a bit of one of my favourite quotes ... a bit different in that I'm not so much a micro manager, more of a let things happen person which is not always a good thing as you will see: “It’s up to us as individuals to take control and responsibility for the types of lives that we want to lead. If you don’t design your life, then someone else may just design it for you, and you may not like their idea of balance.”
    — Nigel Marsh

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    1. I think that word "balance" is the key Janet - there are those of us who have to finesse every little detail, and those who don't take responsibility for anything and then moan at the consequences. We all need to get the balance right if we want to be happy and living lives that enrich us.

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  16. Good luck with that! I've started to simplify in some areas. Then I get bored and pick up more things again. But for the most part, I'm trying to sing "let it go" from the roof tops. #teamlovinlife

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    1. I'm with you on singing "Let It Go" Leanne - I smile every time I hear that song because of the application to all of us who hang on too tight.

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  17. Man I used to micro manage everything, and achieve very little. And get super frustrated. Glad you raised the subject and shared at the Pit stop! :)
    Pit Stop Crew

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  18. Learning to let go with children especially is not easy Leanne but that is part of life. I must admit to being a micro-manager but agree with all of your points. Such a burden is lifted when we relax and let go. Thanks for sharing at #overthemoon this week. I've shared on social media. Have a great week and see you at the next OTM.

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  19. I'm definitely one of those that tries to micromanage every area of my life. I realize it's not healthy to worry so much about every little detail, but sometimes it's hard not to. Thanks for the reminder to let things go, at least occasionally. :)

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