Day 13: let go of control
Welcome to Day 13 of Confidence Boot Camp. We are very pleased to welcome Carolina Millan, entrepreneur, digital business coach, and speaker from Chile.
Over the past 9 years Carolina has been training herself in the art of being an entrepreneur. She quit her corporate job in 2010 and started her journey. Although she failed at first, she continued to pursue her dreams and her purpose. She's invested in her own education, traveled the world, met her role models and become one herself. She's built a following of tens of thousands of people from all over the world. From speaking on stages in front of hundreds of people, to working one on one with her clients, Carolina is passionate about helping you create the Life and Business of Your Dreams through your Passions!
We asked Carolina to share her tools and tips for letting go of control. She was gracious enough to accept our request and shared her wonderful story below. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
How Let Go of Control and Live a More Prosperous Life
By: Carolina Millan
Although I’ve never considered myself to be anywhere near a control freak, learning to let go was a huge lesson for me, and it changed my life and it’s currently changing my business. I learned this lesson the hard way though, just a couple of years ago. To give you some background, I’m an entrepreneur, I live in Chile, and I’ve been doing business since 2010, when I quit my job in Human Resources after just two years in the real world, in order to pursue a life with more passion and purpose. It was my first and last job. That was one of the most exciting things I ever did, and probably my first approach to letting go of control. I would no longer receive a paycheck every month, or have a work schedule. I was so tired of living my life on someone else’s agenda, and most importantly, making someone else’s dreams come true instead of mine. So, I decided to go into the unknown and today I’m doing very well for myself, I’m slowly building a team, but more on that in a minute.
You might find yourself in a similar situation, and whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee, I hope you find this article useful. There are many areas in our lives where we need to let go in order to grow and live a stress-free life.
Tony Robbins says we all have 6 human needs:
He also says that we all rank these needs differently, and that there are always two of them that are the most important ones. People who rank the need for Certainty at the highest, are those who tend to suffer the most. The need for certainty is a need for control, not just to control ourselves, but a need to control others and our surroundings. And let’s face it, that’s nearly impossible.
So the first step for you to start the process of letting go, is to find out which are your top two needs, and if the need for certainty is at the top, you need to actively change that. In my case, certainty was never at the top, or I wouldn’t have quit my job and go into the unknown. However, it was still my third need, and I had to work on myself to change that. The good news is, it is possible.
They say that the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. In my case, I realized that I was having a hard time letting go of control in my love relationship, which then created a crisis that almost destroyed it. It wasn’t my fault and it wasn’t his fault. Love relationships aren’t 50%-50%; they are 100%-100%, you have to give it your all for it to work, and too many people think it’s just half and half. Anyway, we spent a couple months apart and during that time I discovered the Tao Te Ching, a Chinese text of wisdom written thousands of years ago, that dedicates a couple of chapters to the topic of control. I want to quote a chapter here for you, that I know for a fact will help you see life differently, just as it helped me.
“Do you think you can take over the Universe and improve it?
I do not believe it can be done.
Everything under heaven is a sacred vessel and cannot be controlled.
Trying to control leads to ruin.
Trying to grasp, we lose.
Allow your life to unfold naturally.
Know that it too is a vessel of perfection.
Just as you breathe in and breathe out, there is time for being ahead and a time for being behind; a time for being in motion and a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous and a time for being exhausted; a time for being safe and a time for being in danger.
The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way, and resides at the center of the circle.” – Chapter 29
I remember reading this and nodding my head. Especially the sentence “trying to control leads to ruin.” I began to realize, and I hope you do too, that the more I tried to control things and people, the less they would end up the way I wanted them.
On the business side, I realized that if I wanted to grow my business, I couldn’t do it alone, and neither can you. In order to succeed in the long term and make an impact, you need to build a team of A-Players. Personally, I still struggle with letting go of certain tasks that I perform, thinking that no one else will do them like I would do them. Can you relate? The secret is to learn to live with that. It’s true, nobody will do things the way you would, but guess what, they might do it better!
Start by letting go of smaller, administrative tasks in your business that are repetitive, and that aren’t directly connected with the value adding aspects: accounting, database management, web design, and anything technical that can be easily outsourced to someone that will do it faster and better.
Every time you’re working on something, ask yourself “is this the best use of my time?” “Is this a money generating activity, or can I outsource it?” Asking the right questions can change everything for you!
In case you’re wondering, I have a Digital Marketing company, we provide Coaching services for entrepreneurs who want to grow their business, we also provide design services, web development, social media management and growth, advertising services, and more. You can learn a bit more about me by going to here and here.
At the beginning, I was doing a lot of these tasks, and so, I couldn’t take as many clients as I wanted. Now that I’m training myself to let go, I’ve hired 5 people so far to take care of different parts of the business. And I’m just getting started. Now I can get clients and rely on team members to do the heavy lifting, that way I can go out there and get more clients.
It’s time for you to focus on the only thing you can truly control: your thoughts, your attitudes, and your behaviors. You can take a decision today to stop trying to control what others will say or do, and let everything unfold naturally. Let things be. That’s what helped me rebuild my love relationship too, and now we’re getting married!
The first thing you need to control is your thoughts, because your thoughts lead to imagination, and imagination leads to a stronghold, and that leads to reality. Change your attitude; face the world with gratitude and your life will never be the same again.
For today’s confidence-building practice to “Let Go of Control”, we’re going to ask you to do something creative and fun. You’ll need a notebook (your journal) and your favorite writing instrument. It shouldn’t take too long, but make yourself some time and space for this one, because you can get some valuable insights from this exercise.
1. Write your own story
- Sit down and let your imagination run wild. Act as if you have no limitations, no worries about money, or how this is all going to happen, or what people are going to think.
- Just write a story of your future life—the story that you want to live. Allow yourself to be in the playground of your mind, and see where it takes you.
2. Who else is in your story?
- Think about who else could be part of your story. None of us can do this by ourselves. We all need support, help from other people, and the willingness to let go of things we don’t want to do, or someone else may be better at them.
- Ask yourself, “Is this really worth my time to do this particular piece of this thing I want to do?” If it’s not, write someone else into your story who could do it for you.
3. Finally: Surrender
- Healthy surrendering is literally getting out of your own way. We are usually our own worst enemies, and if we can get out of our own way, who knows where that will lead us?
- When you inevitably have negative thoughts, like, “Who do you think you are?” or “You can’t do this!” when you’re writing your story (Recognize your Lizard Brain?), you can try a technique called “thought stopping.” It’s very easy and almost too simple, but it works. When your mind is flooded with self-doubt and negative self-talk, you simply shout out, “Stop!” (Of course, not necessarily during a group meditation or a funeral service.) Saying, “Stop!” out loud disrupts the flow of negative thinking, and is one way to practice getting out of your own way.
We hope you have fun with this exercise, and we encourage you to follow the tips that Carolina has shared. Building confidence requires practicing from many different angles and you build those confidence muscles over time. Stay with us—there’s lots more for you in the next two weeks.
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