Part of the vicious cycle built by those who have us trapped in professional boxes is our need for complete control. As professionals, we place this immense amount of pressure on ourselves to achieve perfection in the sense that aligns with the path created for us, whether that be by following specific job titles and performance metrics, or even the way we act at work. This need for perfection requires us to need total control. I’m a victim to this mindset. My need to control all situations coupled with a perfection complex was a lethal combination that created self inflicted roadblocks in my career.
In recent years, I’ve made an ongoing conscious effort to shift my intentions from forceful control to allowing myself to be in the driver’s seat. There’s actually a major difference.
The driver’s seat allows us to take ownership and responsibility while not holding ourselves hostage to a controlled predetermined narrative. The driver’s seat gives us flexibility to steer yourself in a personal value given direction, but the flexibility to make adjustments along the way.
Why total control is a mind game?
- Control forces you to fake it til you make it. It’s the worst advice I’d ever been given. Faking it until you make it is the moment when you completely lose sight of the value of your current self.
- Control forces you to live a life according to the status quo. When we force ourselves to live according to the status quo, we ultimately limit our true potential.
- Control leaves us with a continuous let down cycle for a lack of perfection. Control, like perfection, is unattainable leaving you in a constant state of discontent and disappointment.
How adjusting to a drivers seat mentality made the difference?
Take Ownership and Accountability: You can go as fast or as slow as you’d like, but you can’t control the outcome, only your effort. The truth is, since shifting my mindset, I find the reward to be in the effort, the journey over the actual accomplishment. The growth is the true gain, far more than any tangible asset. When I looked at success in this way, versus a controlled skillset, I thrived.
Build A Personal Relationship: Turns out a release of control allowed me to establish a better relationship with myself. The driver’s seat allows you to focus on your wants and ambitions instead of what is expected of you. I’ve found myself in a greater state of self acceptance. I’m not beholden to perfection and control, thus allowing my individuality to resurface. I can directly attribute my career advancement to my individuality and how that has allowed me to navigate a more meaningful career path.
Adaptability Over Accordance To Plan: I know the direction I want to go, but I refuse to write the ending before I get there. Release of control has allowed me to pivot and produce more than what I could have concocted in a controlled environment to meet the narrative I had assigned my ambitions. It’s the “unexpected” that has brought me the greatest victories in my career. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we must hold adaptability with the utmost regard, in all aspects of our life.
Eliminating the idea that control was of the highest value was by far the most freeing decision in putting my Revolt to action. Understanding the difference between the driver’s seat and total control was pivotal. While we can’t create our destiny by control, we can direct our path in the driver’s seat, a path that makes the most sense to each of us as individuals, not the status quo.