A Coaching Power Tool Created by Mo Yee Ilona Tse
(Life Coach, CHINA)
We, humans, have this natural need to be in control. By being in control it gives us a sense that we can create and influence what we would like to have or happen, a sense of assurance, a sense of security and a sense of power. Whereas if we let go, we feel powerless, we feel vulnerable, we feel we are giving up our choice to act or influence, we feel uncertain, we feel out of control. The desperate urge to be in control forgo the valuable chances for learning, novel experience and new discovery to happen, forbid opportunities for new realization and awareness to see what it takes to grow and or even allowing something thought impossible to happen.
In the Oxford Dictionary, in control means able to direct a situation, person or activity.By being in control, it keeps us in a good place and space. It gives us direction and sense of security-a known path forward by owning and having this control in hand. Control keeps us safe from falling and decreases the possibilities of mistakes happening. It is a preventive measure to safeguard any unwanted, disagreeable and unpleasant situations, scenarios and circumstances to occur. Being in control seems to enable and serve our being and put us in comfort, at ease in a steady and predictable course as we go forward.This innate need to feel secure and certain is so assuring, the natural tendency and choice is to take and be in control. However, being always in control, determining certain ending or outcome and the process, be it good or bad, how would that influence and affect the attitude, actions and efforts in the process to arrive at the desired outcome?Where does that lead? Does it hinder progression, development and improvement or promotes it?
According to Oxford Dictionary, letting go means relinquishing one’s grip on someone or something. Letting go makes one feels like in a free fall, one is not in control and cannot grip on to anything. Unsure of what would happen and how it would happen, an absolute sense of insecurity and helplessness. Yet, letting go allows one to walk out of the comfort and secure zone, go with the process and flow, discover and explore what other possibilities and alternatives are there as one moves forward. The experience renders more powerful learning and discovery of what is be known prior. It is a learning opportunity for growth, awareness and realization. This permits an opportunity for new revelation and a chance to venture into territories where one would not have attempted before when being in control. The new knowledge, information, encounter, perspective picked up and acquired enhance growth and a bold way of moving forward. Experiences gained through stepping outside of being in control and shifting to letting go frees up one’s worries, reservations and fear, allowing changes and growth to happen. Thereby enabling and realizing the outcome one intend to achieve. Be in control by letting go. How liberating would that be!
Through my coaching experiences, clients have expressed that they need to be in control. This would make things perfect, predictable and feel secured. It is most apparent in parenting, my coaching niche. Parents feel they need to control as much or as far as possible to ensure their children are safe, act or behave certain way and meet expectations of the parents’ ideals. Parents exert control as much as they can to achieve the perfect situation in mind. Parents hold on to the reins with good intentions and or with worries they have for their children.Insecure, unconfident, be the perfect parents, looking out for the best for their children, time constraints, personal ideals are some of the common drives for the need to be in control. In fact, the tighter the grip the harder it gets and the situation slips further away from what the parents hope to achieve.
Yet, when the parents let go of being in control to achieve their desired outcome, both the children and the parents are unleashed and now are free to explore and see what are the possibilities. Clients shared that they find new options, have the engagement, participation and co-operation of the children. The parenting become more rewarding, meaningful and in fact one is more in control by letting go. By giving up control, parents feel at peace and are in acceptance with the situation or condition. Parents are more at ease and relaxed, thus bring forth calming energy to open-up the space and room to explore, discover and communicate on alternatives of co-operation, support, involvement and mutual understanding. By letting go of the control, in fact, it is gaining more control.
Explore Being In Control
Questions to ask about being in control:
- What are the objectives to be in control?
- Explore with the client why the need to be in control?Values, believes, experience etc.
- What is driving or pushing the need to be in control? What is missing?
- How does it feel to be in control?
- What does it serve?
- What does it not serve?
- What does it to the desired outcome? What else could be done? Take a step backward.
- By being in control, what does it do to growth?
Explore on Letting Go
Questions to ask on letting go:
- What are the problems of letting go?
- What are the fears or the biggest fear?
- What is the worst to have happen?
- By letting go, what is missing?
- What are the feelings and emotions when letting go?
- What does letting go allow to happen? Liberation, acting more and living more in the moment, exploration and discovery of new options etc.
- Where do you think by letting go would take you? What is the wildest thing possible?
It is our natural need to feel safe and secure. Therefore, we seek, search and act on what is needed to be in control so we do not feel falling out from places and running off track. However, continuously going back to serve this need, it deprives the chances to realize, understand and acquire what is truly needed to take us to another level of growth. By letting go, it sets us free from the idiosyncrasy to be certain and live in absolute predictability.The awareness and realization earned will be helpful and liberating, permitting to see from a different lens, gain new insights, pursue new and more impactful growth.
This power tool of In Control Vs Letting Go is not only applicable in parenting but in many other aspects and niches of coaching as well.
Sometimes letting things go Is an act of far greater power Than defending or hanging on by Echare Tolle
We must be willing to let go of the life that we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. From the lyrics of Pocahontas theme song, “Color of the Wind”,
How high does the sycamore grow? If you cut it down, then you’ll never know
You can own the earth and still And you’ll own the earth until…