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10 Things Only People Who Aren’t Obsessed With Control Understand

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10 Things Only People Who Aren’t Obsessed With Control Understand

Do you have a tendency to over-think? Do you worry about every single aspect and detail of life? Are you over-competitive? Does not knowing the outcome of every little situation stress you out? Chances are you are obsessed with control.

This trait has its positives. It means that you are most likely a hard-working individual, who takes things seriously and doesn’t mess around. You are motivated and competitive, and this makes other people respect and admire you.

However there are some things that people who are obsessed with control are missing out on. Here are just a few examples:

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1. They know some things are only complicated in our minds

Imagine getting into your car on a day where you happen to be extremely late for something, and no matter what you do, the car will not start. It’s a very old car and it has given you a lot of problems in the past. You begin to freak out and think of all the worst-case scenarios, how much it will cost to fix the car with money you don’t have. In the heat of a stressful moment, it doesn’t occur to you that one quick glance at the dashboard confirms that you’re simply out of gas.

For someone obsessed with control, it is easy to misunderstand and misinterpret things, and it can get very complicated. The most simple problems can get blown out of proportion when a person is stressed and prone to overreaction.

2. They accept that some things are inevitable

If you had the ability to relive the same day over and over again, chances are whatever event you were trying to avoid at the end of the day will still happen, no matter what you do differently. Instead of putting all your effort in trying to change the inevitable, why not save your energy and accept that nothing you do will change anything?

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3. They are aware that all you get from over-thinking are headaches

A person obsessed with control probably doesn’t have the word ‘relax’ in their vocabulary. There is a difference between giving careful consideration and over-thinking. People who aren’t obsessed with control know when to stop thinking about things that are not worth worrying about. Stressing about an important exam shows that you are concerned about your performance, but over-thinking will give you nothing but a bad headache, lowering your capabilities. Is it really worth the stress or not?

4. They appreciate the importance of surrender

Surrendering doesn’t mean that you’ve lost, or given up. Sometimes the concept of surrendering control can be more difficult that keeping things under control. Surrender isn’t a loss. It’s a victory.

5. They know things happen for a reason

Bad things happen everyday. Maybe your relationship just ended, or you just lost your job. It might seem like the worst thing in the world at the time, however it’s important to remember that these events give way to better things. You’ll find a better person, and a better job. Trying to control outcomes might be the only thing holding you back from moving forward with your life.

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6. They understand the fear of losing control

Control can provide a basis of safety and security for over-thinkers. It makes them feel confident and in control of their lives. It is easy to understand that losing control can be an extremely frightening thought to over-thinkers. Stressing and fearing the loss of control can be a major roadblock in success and relationships. This fear should be acknowledged in order for any progress to be made. The greatest accomplishment for a person obsessed with control is the ability to cope when control slips out of their hands.

7. They know which struggles are worthwhile

Life is all about priorities. For a person obsessed with control, the list of stresses and worries are endless, therefore the ability to prioritize is an extremely important skill. If you had to choose between stressing out about what fancy dinner to cook for your parents tonight and an important work presentation, you’d have to decide which would have more of an impact on your life. Some mental struggles aren’t worth wasting a second thought on. Your parents are going to love you no matter how bad the food is.

8. They understand the importance of trusting themselves

Never underestimate the power of basic instinct. You know more about yourself than anyone, so sometimes the biggest challenge is to trust yourself to make the right decisions. You can be up all night worrying about whether you make good or bad decisions. Sometimes it feels good to just trust that you know exactly what you’re doing and you really have nothing to worry about.

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9. They accept that they can’t compete with everyone

There are billions of people in the world. One very important lesson to remember is that you can’t compete with everyone. You can’t be number one in every aspect of life, which is a concept that is difficult to grasp if you’re obsessed with control. Overcoming this need to be number one will make you feel a lot more satisfied with yourself and therefore make you a happier person.

10. They know when control is a waste of time

Life is too short to be so stressed and obsessed with control all the time. Letting go of these desires frees up a lot more time for you to do things that you enjoy and spend time with people you love. Knowing when to let go of control allows you to live life to the fullest.

So stop stressing and start living!

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Featured photo credit: Depressed Man via sciencetimes.com

More by this author

Elizabeth Andal

Elizabeth is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips and lessons learned in life on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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