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Earlier this week I was talking to a client who said, “I am a control freak, and I am tired of it. But I can’t seem to stop doing it.”
In honor my client, I am writing this post for the Control Freaks, the Type As, the ‘get ‘er done’ lovers out there. I get it. I understand. I see it every day in my office. I live it in my life. I get the pull of being in control.
The pull of the belief that:
- no one will do it as well as me
- I can handle it all.
- If not me, then who will do it?
Somewhere you learned: Unless you are ‘doing,’ you don’t matter, AND you learned that you are good at doing things
You have an organized brain, and a ‘get it done’ attitude that allows you to excel at accomplishing stuff. Combine that natural ability with the appreciation and love you get for accomplishing stuff and you have the perfect storm of the people pleasing hustle. And then over time, you learn that the people pleasing hustle gets lonely and empty and becomes a bottomless pit.
Because what is underneath all of the to-do lists, check-ins, taking care of and soldiering on mentality is:
- You want to be seen.
- You want to be appreciated.
- You want to be loved.
- You want everyone else to be happy.
So this strong ‘in control’ exterior covers up the soft, beautiful, sensitive side that says ‘you aren’t worthy unless you are doing something’ and more succinctly ‘you aren’t worthy unless everyone around you is happy.’
You (like my client) try to unhook you read about relaxing, stressing less, becoming more balanced. You TRY to stop, breathe, do nothing, be present. You TRY to let go of your controlling ways, and they always come back:
“You do such great work!”
“I can always count on you.”
“Mom, you are the best.”
“Thanks for handling that.”
“No one is as good of a crisis as you are.”
That People Pleasing Hustle is such a sweet, sweet seductress.
It doesn’t take much for us to be back in the hustle again.
So what can you do?
Well, first off it is more complex than just relaxing, stressing less. While the concepts of stress less and breathe more are AMAZING tools they really just scratch the surface of a Type A personality’s life. Because the People Pleasing Hustle is so much deeper than just stress less. You are not a failure because the usual tips haven’t worked. People Pleasing Hustle is a seductive foe.
As with any addiction, you need to admit you are addicted. Once I saw that my Type A personality was really a form of the people pleasing hustle I started making some in-roads.
- Start paying attention to your Type A tendencies, notice how often you don’t say no, don’t ask for help, take on more than you can. Just NOTICE.
- Ask yourself, who am I looking to please here? Or more to the point Who am I afraid of making angry? Again, just notice.
- Pour on the compassion!! Don’t judge. Don’t criticize don’t try to change it. Just lovingly tell yourself how awesome you are (even if you don’t believe it at first). Nurture that sensitive soul that gets plowed over by the Type A tendencies.
Over the next few months, I will be talking more about this foe and offering tips and courses in how to move beyond the People Pleasing Hustle. In the meantime if you can relate, and you want to work with me individually feel free to get in touch for a free 30 minutes session!
I would love to hear from you in the comments: Can you relate to the Type A Personality? Do you struggle with the People Pleasing Hustle? Have you tried the stress less strategies…have they helped?