Hello....my name is Gina and I'm a recovering Control Freak. I know some of you can totally relate. When our Mental Load gets heavy how do you handle it? I used to handle it by taking a tighter grip or trying to control even more in my life and getting frustrated when things didn't workout as planned.
Well you can't control everything! When we try, it typically makes things worse. Part of my step-by-step plan for relieving your Mental Load is about the process of letting go. (Check out the other steps in the last blog post.) When we hold on tightly, it means there's no room for creativity or flexibility. Everything is rigid or prescribed. It's in the flexibility and space that the magic happens.
I'll never forget the first time I went sky diving. I was terrified but I knew the very act of letting go of the fear would be freeing for me. It's the only way I can describe that experience. You literally have no control as you're strapped to someone else and they control when you fall, when the parachute comes out, and when you land. You're only there for the exhilarating ride. It was such a ride I immediately signed up to do it again when we landed! What happened to that terrified girl afraid of heights? I'm still afraid of heights!
Some time later, my family convinced me to go rock climbing. You can read all about that experience in the Oh the Heights You'll Go Blog post. I can't say I had the same freeing experience but let's check that off the list of trying to control what I fear.
Some fears I hear most often as a health coach:
I'm afraid of gaining weight.
I'm afraid of aging.
I'm afraid I won't be around to watch my kids grow up.
I'm afraid of not being able to handle everything on my plate.
I'm afraid of asking for help and looking weak.
These are things we generally don't say out loud and yet they are taking up mental energy. What do you fear? When it comes to your Mental Load and all the balls you have in the air, what are you afraid will drop and WHY would that be such a bad thing? I think when we boil it down to brass tacks, it's more about perception. What will other people think of me if my Tuesday house doesn't look as organized as my Sunday house? Tuesday is the lived in house full of clutter. Sunday I've had time to clean up. There are many layers to this idea of letting go.
Where is the fear around letting go?
What would happen if your worse fears come true?
Are you holding yourself to a realistic standard given this space and time in your life?
What can you delegate, hire out, or let go completely?
Here's what I know to be true.... when we let go, some of those concerns above resolve themselves. When you're living a healthy lifestyle, your weight comes into balance and you age well. You'll grow old with energy and stamina to be there for your kids. When you're living into your values and purpose, you're asking for help (with a crucial conversation) and getting assistance so your plate isn't so heavy. People perceive you as strong because you're able to ask for help.
I'll never forget a conversation with a good girlfriend of mine. She has young kids and was telling me her husband said to her: "Don't worry about the laundry. It will get done later." In her mind she was thinking: "It's going to get done only when I do it!" All that mental energy to control all the doing, creates more stress. What if she chose to spend time cultivating and nourishing her relationship instead of the laundry? What will be renewed and what will suffer? What's more important? So many good questions we never dare ask!
Often times, we only seek to control all those little fires. We need to widen the scope and look at the big picture of life. What is vital versus what is urgent in this situation? If we asked that question more often, we'd be less inclined to control.
As a health coach, my job is to get you curious. Let's start thinking....Where can you find more freedom in your life?