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  • Jerry Phillips

The Need for Control

My wife and I are traveling to a wedding soon. We have a different approach to travel. I plan for days in advance, make lists of what I need to pack, and then have plans “A”, “B”, and “C”, if something goes wrong. My wife, on the other hand, goes with the flow. She plans differently, packs differently, and enjoys the moment. Why do I stress over things, and she just enjoys them? Opposites attract. Yesterday, as we were having a conversation over coffee, it occurred to me that I might be overthinking things. If I just relax and allow things to flow, I might find the trip to be more enjoyable.

When I first started my business, I was stressing every day, worrying about where the next opportunity may come from. I had a friend tell me that after about five years, she quit stressing about it in her business. She just knew the business would come. It took me a little longer to get to that point, and I’m much less stressed about it now. But I still allow stress to creep in.

At a dinner this past week, I had a good friend state something that hit home for me. He was talking about the need for control, and I believe that is the basis for my stress. I simply cannot control everything. He also suggested that if something feels uncomfortable, we should not avoid it. We should stop and figure out why it’s uncomfortable and address it. Otherwise, it will always be there. I believe that is a powerful statement, whether in business, or personal life.

I recently wrote about preparation and research when prospecting and selling. I laid out the steps I take to research and prepare. In essence it is the same approach to our travel. I research where we are traveling to and try to prepare for everything. Once I do the research and preparation, I can relax a little more. My need for control becomes less and my stress becomes less.

I have several suits in my closet which I haven’t worn for a while. With video conferencing, they haven’t been needed. I was stressing over whether they would fit, and which was appropriate to wear for the wedding. I finally broke down and tried them on. My favorite fits me perfectly. My stress level diminished. Preparation and research!

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