Letting Go of Control: 3 Questions to Get You Started

Are you controlling?

My initial response would be “no”, but when I stop and really think about my actions the truth is “yes, I am controlling”.

Yes, I feel the need to ‘help’ drive when my husband pulls up to a stop light behind other cars, when a second lane is wide open.

Yes, I feel the need to plan my kids’ snacks when they head out with their dad because I figure he’ll just buy treats.

Yes, I will move around the dishes my husband has put in the dishwasher to be more efficient.

I could go on…but I have a suspicion that you might relate.

How about at work?

Do you feel a need to be cc on more emails than you want to be?

Do you say yes to things just because you know you will get it done and do it well?

What else?

I have my valid reasons about why I do the above and I’m sure you do too …but I have also realized that I was just making more work for myself.

It was all adding up and I was losing.

This past Halloween I was reminded of the value of continuing the practice biting my tongue and letting go of control.

The reminder came through a simple and trivial scenario.

It all had to do with my husband having full reign over the pumpkin carving for the first time in our 20 years together.

When I got home, I saw this.


They had carved the pumpkins from the bottom.

I never would have thought to do this. Had I controlled the situation and made everyone wait for a night when I was home, I wouldn’t have learnt anything new.

There’s such a gift in letting go so others can step in or step up.

Letting go of control can be done in two ways.

One is by hitting our breaking point. It then becomes choiceless that something has to change because it’s at the expense of our health, relationship, career, etc…

But who wants that!

The other way is to realize our part in it and start to release the control.

Here are 3 questions to help you to begin to let go:

#1. Name it: What is one big or small thing at work or in life that you would benefit from outsourcing, delegating, etc…?

#2. Impact: What is the downside of not letting go? If nothing changes 3, 6 months from now, how are you going to be affected?

#3. Opportunity: What do you stand to gain from letting go? Who else will benefit from your choice to let go?

It’s up to you to get out of your own way.

When you know better, you can do better.