I recently hired an executive coach. Every coach needs a coach, right?
After my first session I wondered if I’d regret the next 8 months because that’s how long I committed to working with my coach. He said he works with “powerful people.” I thought: “ok – that would be me.” And I know most people would never call me out on my bad behavior, because after all, a lot of people think I’m awesome.
NOTE: This is why I need a coach.
I didn’t like what he told me. He said I like to be in control. Right. Who doesn’t? So what? What’s wrong with that? And what are you going to do about it???
NOTE: More reasons I need a coach.
As my clients know, when I invest in my personal and professional development, I usually share my insights and learnings if I think it will be of benefit. But, keep in mind that as of this writing, I’ve only had 2 sessions and I’m not ready to bare my soul to anyone quite yet, let alone to the thousands of people who receive and read this blog, most of whom I don’t know. Although those people are probably the safest people for me to come clean with, since we don’t know each other.
Why is it easier to share our secrets with people we don’t know than those we do?
My coach advised me that I should observe the times I want to control things… not resist or try to change anything… and just notice what I notice about what, who and when I want to control.
Geez. This is a full-time job.
I can’t even relax without trying to control everything.
I tried a form of relaxation therapy called Float Therapy or Sensory Deprivation Tank. It’s been around since the 1950’s and has gained popularity recently for many of the health benefits including, stress reduction and lowering blood pressure. Research shows it can ease symptoms from jet lag to depression to brain fog.
Cool. I’ll just jump in the pod, float in 1000 pounds of Epsom salt and relax for an hour. I’m strong. I’m powerful. I can do this! The reviews say I may experience mind-blowing creativity, spiritual awakenings and deep relaxation. Oh Boy!
I can’t breathe.
It’s hot; I need air.
My nose itches.
My neck hurts.
Why am I doing this?
Oh, right. I want to relax and learn how to not be in control of everything.
How much longer do I have to stay here?
The guided meditation they’re playing is ridiculous.
Stop it! Relax! Breathe.
The next thing I know, I hear a soft bell and gentle voice from the speaker saying: “It’s time to get out of the pod. Take your time to shower and dress.”
My first 20 minutes were clearly not relaxing. I was overthinking, over-analyzing and under-relaxing.
And there it was: I was an under-achiever in the relaxation department.
How can you relax when the chatter in your head is trying to anticipate, control, analyze or figure everything out?
Once I surrendered to “the float,” to the stillness and weightlessness of it all, I drifted off to nowhere.
So float therapy was one of my first admitted adventures into the land of no-control. And I survived and actually enjoyed it – enough to do it again!
The weird thing about trying to be in control is that most of us realize that there are so many things out of our control, but we still try to micro-manage things. Our brains (and other people) tell us that micro-managing every thought and action isn’t a good thing to do. In fact, it often produces results contrary to what we really want.
So why do we keep trying to control things?
I’d love to hear your thoughts – please respond here:
Marty Stanley, Certified Speaking Professional, is an author, national speaker and consultant on personal and organizational change. She’s committed to helping people and organizations thrive through accountability, integrity and joy. 816-695-5453 858-432-6764 firstname.lastname@example.org www.alteringoutcomes.com