Loosening the Grips of Control
A few weeks ago I was in NYC for my monthly leadership training and Friday evening I stayed in Brooklyn with a teammate. So on Saturday morning we leave Brooklyn to get to Manhattan 20 minutes early. Plenty of time to grab a coffee and get ready to kick off the weekend.
On our way, we were in our Uber and came upon a large half marathon that was happening. There was traffic everywhere no matter which way we tried to go. We totally hit a standstill and decided to hop out of the Uber and run and catch the subway. It was raining, so I traded my heels in for running shoes and put on my rain jacket. We were now going to be 20 minutes late! I noticed I started to stress about not being on time. In this moment there was absolutely nothing we could do to get there any quicker and we realized it was out of our control at that point. Sometimes things happen beyond our control, no matter how much we plan for them.
When I was stressing about being late, I noticed I still wanted to be in control of the subway and I felt tense. I realized that I have a choice on how I want to respond to the situation. I was able to loosen up, breathe a bit and relax. I could have chosen to stay tensed up or I could let go of what I can’t control go.
As with many of the simpler things in life, it’s not always easy to let go, even of the things we know we can’t control. Many of us feel really uncomfortable with letting go of the grips of being in control and want to manage the outcomes. Sometimes we realize that all of this wanting to be in control can feel like an unnecessary burden. Like my stress on the subway that morning.
We can allow ourselves to be taken over by anxiety and fear or we practice lessening our grip on control. I could have stayed in stress mode about being late and let it ruin my morning but I chose to let it go. We may not be able to be in control over every situation, but we are in control of how we want to respond. This is a great reminder as I return to NYC this weekend!
Life and Leadership Coach, Licensed Counselor, outdoor enthusiast, yoga lover and passionate about wellness.