I had a bit of an epiphany this morning, I just realised what it is that’s been bothering me and why it seemed to hit so quickly and come from nowhere!
I am a control freak at the most subtle levels. I like to be able to control my life. Even being able to adjust my behaviour to other people is a way of controlling the results or expectations. I have no problems relinquishing control over a certain project/thing/whatever, I’ll do that at the drop of the hat because it means that I can control the things that are important to me: the relationship or the well-being of the person. For example, if I’m working on a project with someone and they want to say design the website, normally I would rather do it so that I can ensure the quality of the result, but if it is important to them I’ll let them do it so that it doesn’t damage the relationship. This is a great example because it can also illustrate my problem. Say that person does a horrible job of the website: they get bad feedback, I encourage them, then it happens again and they are angry at me. In that situation, it all breaks down. Why, because I had no control over the final outcome: them being upset with me.
Those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenarios are the ones that trouble me. Because I cannot control anything else but my integrity. But then when things go wrong, the knowledge that I made the decision with integrity doesn’t hold up against the fact that I “failed” – that is what sends me insane.
There have been a whole bunch of these things lately. I’m way out of my depth. For example financially: I’m used to being independent and work enough to get the means I need. I’ve never had trouble “getting” work. Recently I haven’t been able to just “rock up to work and bill for my time.”
I’m not going to go into detail, but I’ve finally it the nail on the head. I’ve been feeling inadequate because I’m used to being able to work hard enough to make things work out in a way that I don’t mind.
Now, I’ve just got to learn to accept that some things will just suck and I can’t see them as my failure, my inability to MAKE things work. They are just part of life.