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Unmasking Control – Hidden Patterns That Shape Your Life And Relationships – Part 2

Written by: Lynette Chartier, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Lynette Chartier

In part 1 of Unmasking Control: Hidden Patterns That Shape Your Life and Relationships, I explored how the fear of failure, perfectionism, extreme people pleasing, and the need to shield oneself against life’s uncertainties, all in the name of finding emotional or physical security leads many adults to behave in an array of controlling ways; generally with the controlling being unbeknownst to the particular individual, after all it is their blind spot. These behaviours are varied, run on a spectrum and unfortunately are very costly to the individual.

Woman covering her mouth and nose

The hidden costs of controlling behaviors


Controlling behaviors can come at a high personal cost. One common pattern involves leaving, quitting, or escaping from jobs, career opportunities, or relationships prematurely, rather than staying long enough to address the underlying issues and gather valuable insights. It's like reliving Groundhog Day, encountering the same challenges with different people and circumstances. Life seems to offer more of the same until we've absorbed the necessary learning.


Another prevalent pattern is traversing through life burdened by a constant sense of exhaustion, depletion, and a pervasive lack of motivation. Fun becomes a rarity, and that nagging inner voice persistently questions, 'What's the use?'


In essence, these energy drains take a toll on one's well-being, impede personal growth, and obstruct the ability to nurture meaningful connections and find fulfillment in work. Recognizing and addressing these costs is a crucial step in the journey toward a more balanced and fulfilling life.


The transformative process to letting go of control


What is this transformative process that allows one to go from trying to control one’s external environment to arriving at a place of self-trust, trust in others, and in life itself?


First and foremost, let's clarify our goal here. It's not about abandoning all forms of control because, as with most things in life, control has two sides to its coin—both constructive and destructive. Instead, the aim is to find a more harmonious balance within ourselves.


This journey is about cultivating a healthy relationship with the idea of control and discovering more constructive ways to satisfy our legitimate needs—needs that we might have suppressed for years, if not decades.


The transformative journey encompasses several key phases:

  1. Examining Our Beliefs: It commences with a deep dive into our beliefs, not only about ourselves but also about others and life in general.

  2. Witnessing Our Ways: It encourages us to observe our behaviors, triggers, and reactions to daily occurrences. Additionally, it calls for allowing others to witness our authentic selves.

  3. Cultivating New Skills: This journey pushes us to develop fresh skills and capabilities that go beyond the false identity we may have constructed for ourselves.

  4. Embracing Vulnerability: A core element of transformation, it demands the courage to embrace vulnerability, willingly leaning into emotional exposure, uncertainty, and risk.

  5. Acknowledging Our Gifts: Surprisingly, it asks us to recognize the unique gifts we've developed precisely because of our perfectionism, people-pleasing, and our attempts to 'fix' everything, as well as our hypervigilance.

  6. Adopting New Beliefs: Finally, it nudges us to embrace new beliefs and encourages us to engage with the world in fresh, authentic ways.


This process invites us to embark on a profound journey of self-discovery and growth, as we move from a place of control to one of trust and vulnerability.


The transformative journey is far from linear; it unfolds like peeling the layers of an onion, in what SAM likes to call 'divine order and timing.' Embarking on this path empowers us to discover the ability to find our safety and inner security. It's about aligning ourselves with a higher power, whatever that energy may mean to you – whether it's Source, the All, God, the Universe, or another divine presence.


As you discover your own source within and cultivate the skill of turning inward, healing your wounds, and tapping into feelings of safety and security within yourself, you'll observe life becoming more manageable. You'll notice a growing ability to trust, to open up, and to face familiar situations with a vulnerability that feels far less daunting.


This transformative journey not only leads to self-discovery but also to a greater sense of inner strength and resilience. It's an empowering process that allows you to embrace life with a newfound ease and confidence.


But how can I begin to release control?


The path to letting go of our need for control may seem daunting, but it's a journey worth embarking on. Remember, you didn't develop these habits overnight, so be patient with yourself as you work to transform them. Step by step, you'll make the inner shift towards a more sustainable sense of control, one that doesn't grip you with fear. And throughout this journey, always show yourself compassion.


Here are some practical suggestions to help you start loosening control's grip on your life:

  1. Identify Your Triggers: Recognize the situations, events, or interactions that trigger intense reactions within you. Understanding your triggers is the first step in regaining control over your responses.

  2. Replace Negative Self-Talk: Whenever you catch yourself engaging in self-critical or fear-inducing thoughts, pause, and choose to speak to yourself more gently and compassionately.

  3. Explore Repetitive Thoughts: Pay attention to recurring thoughts, scenes, or memories that surface in your mind. They may hold subconscious significance that can be unveiled over time.

  4. Move and Connect with Nature: Spend time outdoors, take walks in the park, or engage in physical activities. These practices can calm your nervous system and broaden your perspective.

  5. Identify Patterns: Take note of the specific times and places where you feel the strongest urge to control your environment or outcomes. Is it mostly at work, at home, with certain individuals or groups? Understanding the context can help you address the underlying causes.

  6. Keep a Journal: Consider maintaining a journal or, if you prefer, dictate your thoughts into a digital device. Over time, reviewing your notes will reveal recurring patterns and emotions, helping you identify the themes that drive your behavior.

  7. Practice Self-Acceptance: Remember that self-acceptance is an ongoing journey. Embrace your imperfections and vulnerabilities as essential parts of your authentic self.


I also encourage seeking the support of a skilled practitioner who can witness your story and provide valuable perspectives. It's important to remind yourself that this journey isn't about achieving perfection; it's about progress. With practice, you gradually shift the needle on the control dial, allowing your nervous system to operate with greater calmness. As you release emotional blocks, your days become more manageable, and you navigate life with increased ease and grace. In doing so, you set the stage for improved outcomes on your personal game board.


Embracing vulnerability: The empowering essence of authenticity


In the words of best-selling author Brené Brown, 'Vulnerability is not weakness; it is our greatest measure of courage.'


But what exactly is vulnerability? As Brené Brown so succinctly puts it, 'Vulnerability is the emotion we experience during times of uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.'


Being vulnerable means leaning into those uncomfortable, soft, and guarded places we often keep hidden. It's about doing so with people who create a safe space, genuinely care about us, and can offer support. If you're not accustomed to exposing yourself emotionally, you're well aware that it doesn't feel comfortable. My personal hack for navigating this journey was and still is to start with small steps, tackling areas where there's less at stake.


Being vulnerable can look like having the courage to:

  • Tell someone what you need instead of going with what someone else expects.

  • Stating a preference or opinion in a meeting or family gathering if you normally go with the majority or remain quiet in order not to upset anyone.

  • Eventually, it can be putting your heart and soul in a project or a relationship, in other words being all in even if you don’t know what the outcome will be.


This concept of vulnerability is gaining more attention in recent times, yet for some, it may sound perplexing or even off-putting. To those who view vulnerability as a sign of weakness, neediness, or excessive emotion, the idea of embracing it can seem counterintuitive. Your level of comfort with vulnerability is influenced by various factors, including your upbringing, cultural background, and the environment in which you work.


For some, the mere sight of vulnerability in others, or even acknowledging it within themselves, can be a trigger for discomfort. However, it's essential to recognize that as relationships deepen – whether in business, friendships, or romantic partnerships – the stakes become higher. With higher stakes come increased feelings of vulnerability and exposure. It's in these moments that our fears tend to surface, urging us to protect ourselves and reactivating outdated beliefs and patterns.


In reality, these fears often cause us more harm than good, and many of us have experienced the exhausting merry-go-round they create. It's a cycle I, for one, was more than ready to step away from.


In all honesty, embracing vulnerability has been an ongoing journey filled with moments of discomfort, embarrassment, and humility. But I wouldn't change a single step of the process. Letting go of my controlling behaviors, whether it was people-pleasing, perfectionism, or the tendency to step away too soon from people, opportunities, or places, has allowed me to create a life that is surpassing my dreams.


If you, or someone you know, is grappling with similar challenges and yearns for different outcomes, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'm here to help you gain clarity and embark on your own transformative journey. Your story deserves to be heard, and a brighter, more authentic path awaits.


Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Lynette Chartier Brainz Magazine
 

Lynette Chartier, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Lynette Chartier guides smart, motivated women who feel stuck, unfulfilled, or are playing small to overcome long-buried pain and fears that limit them. Drawing from over 17 years of experience in spiritual work rooted in SAM’s philosophy, as well as extensive study and accreditation as an EFT practitioner, Lynette offers a practical framework of empowerment and results-focused approaches. Having navigated personal challenges across various domains and transformed her own life, Lynette is dedicated to empowering women to make their desired transitions and enhance their quality of life.


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