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Life In the Drivers Seat

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

Self disclaimer and confession - I like being in control.

Is that a good thing?  I don't know if I should necessarily label it as a good or a bad thing.  More like a necessary or unnecessary characteristic?  I think it could go both ways.  People who like being in control are reliable because they have a "take charge"persona.  

They sense that something needs to be done, they get it done.  If it's a group effort and they sense less than collaborative vibes, they move forward and get it done anyway.  Their Independent spirit, intuitiveness, and laser focus is an asset that keeps them rising above challenge after challenge.

That's the upside.  Now let's explore the downside.

They like Being. In. Control.  This can mean they (also known as "Cheli"...) rarely ask for help (or collaborate), rely solely on their abilities (and lack thereof), are not so trusting, and have patience in very small quantities. 

I call that life in the drivers seat.  

I've noticed, since my daughter has been driving, and I've been unwillingly sitting in the passenger seat, that too long of a life in the drivers seat has somewhat crippled my perspective on life.  You see, I am not very comfortable in the passenger seat, regardless of who is driving the car.  I hold on to the car door to brace myself during turns, I have an imaginary break I tap on (...because for some reason I never believe the driver will break in time) and if it's my car, and I can help it, I'm not relinquishing my keys.  I'd always rather be in the driver seat.  Always.

And so it is with life.  Being in control for too long can cripple your ability to let go comfortably.  I want to be able to let go comfortably.

I want the balance of being in the drivers seat as well as the passenger seat.  I want to be comfortable with being uncomfortable with life and still say,  "it's OK".

Some methods I'm trying to adopt to find that balance - 

Perfection is not the goal:   The need to perfect an assignment based on an ideal you've envisioned in your mind, can place an unfair stress on you and those around you.  This is the point when I completely own the assignment and tell everyone to take several seats out of frustration.  Instead of hastened "take overs", communicate clearly, and communicate clearly again.  Patience, and the flexibility of revising a plan/idea can and will lead to a smoother collaboration.

Meditate Consistently:  I've found that meditation brings clarity, balance and a relief from anxiety.  Starting the day, or even being still in the middle of the day to meditate, has helped shake off that anxiety.  That feeling that doing it all myself means it will get done right.  I'm a little more willing to delegate and prioritize, ....just a little. With one eye over your shoulder.  Baby steps.

Fearlessness:  The need to ALWAYS be in control has to come from a place of fear.

Fear of being let down

Fear of being turned down when seeking help

Fear that your fellow humans are not looking out for your best interest

Fear of inviting past trauma by relinquishing control

Because of these preconceived notions, you build walls and approach every situation like a war as opposed to an opportunity.  I don't have a solution for this except prayer, faith, and the hope to be surrounded by kind humans as much as possible.

Here's to more life in the passenger's seat for a change.  I heard the views can be quiet exhilarating.

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