I am giving it up. Actually, I gave it up. Thursday in my office, from behind my desk, around 1:45pm, I gave it up. It was extremely hard but in the end it was just as good as if I had done it myself.
I don’t know where this need to control came from. Maybe it’s innate. Maybe it was birthed through fear. Maybe it is rooted in instances where I had none. Maybe it’s a reflection of abandonment issues that compliment adoption.
When the pounding in my head would not allow me to lead the presentation, I handed it over. Almost immediately, the headache ceased, either from the Excedrin Migraine I had popped twenty minutes before or from the relief in letting someone else take control. I was able to relax, a little, but the idea that my expectations would not be met in the delivery of the information lingered. Expectations breed disappointments, or so they say but lack of expectations do too.
Today and I learned that not only is it ok to delegate tasks but that often times, the candidate succeeds. And if they don’t, so what…assess the outcome, explore alternatives and move on. We are so determined to have control that we exhaust ourselves and provide a disservice to our subordinates by denying them the opportunity to shine.
So I gave it up and in giving it up I gained something…peace.
But there is another side to the control coin. Sometimes, we don’t give it up…we lose it. In these instances, there is no peace there is only pain. I can recall several occasions where I lost control and my words or actions had consequences that I was not prepared to accept.
From behind that same desk, on that same day, I lost control in a conversation with a friend. I allowed emotions derived from miscommunication and holding things in to consume me and made accusations that I truthfully didn’t believe. In losing control, we unwillingly give power over ourselves to someone else. I’ve spent countless nights in torment over allowing someone else to take control of me and in those moments I replayed the event over and over trying to figure out the how, when, why, where, what and who. There is no tranquility in losing control as there is in voluntarily giving it up.
Control is like money, power, sanity, love, freedom, and friendship in that I’d rather give it up than lose it any day.