When I mean “holding on too tightly”, it can refer to several things, like:
- holding onto an object when you no longer need it
- being possessive of a project when you’re on a team, and need them to succeed
- holding onto a person when you no longer love them, or for another reason, and the situation has become toxic
- holding onto an idea until you’ve become delusional and fixated on it
There’s a lot of other scenarios, but I’ve seen all of this in other people, and have experienced a couple on my own.
I’ve been a person that choose to fight a lot of battles, probably some I should’ve never even considered. It causes strife in myself and in others. I’m a pretty dominant person, and sometimes can be a bit over the top for people. Because of friends who cared, they gave me some great advice, that helped me tone down my approach with people.
Sure, I have my old habits crop up, and it was like a game of tug o’ war to keep them from coming back, but I’ve been more aware, and have done my best to go back and try to be a bit more considerate. People usually understand and try to work with you, when you are sincere.
My Struggles with “Holding on Too Tightly”
Struggle 1: Team work
For me, I’ve struggled to work with others, because I had this idea that I could do things better, and people weren’t being fast enough in their duties, for the team, that I’ve taken over just to get it done.
I didn’t do this to get extra recognition or money or anything. I did it, because there was a project that needed to be done, and a time that it needed to be done, and for me, others didn’t seem to want to get their assigned tasks done.
However, in the end, this made me tire out and get crabby because I was doing more of the project, and others weren’t. My only goal was to complete it in a more than satisfactory manner, and hopefully, on time. I got so fixated on this, that I just wanted it done, and it was costing me the joy of why I loved to do my work. Sure, there were people to delegate it to, but sometimes those people dropped the ball when I needed them the most. How was the team to succeed in completing the job, when people weren’t even working on their assigned tasks?
End Result: Some of these people, I’ve completed several projects over the years, and recently, I stopped. Yes, me, as the overachieving hard taskmaster, just stopped. I let them do the project, even though the project finished in a less than satisfactory manner. The client wasn’t happy. I wanted to teach them a lesson on what happens when you don’t do your part and think other people are just going to take up the slack.
Then I told them that I won’t be working with them anymore, unless they can promise that they do their part. Then, I went to the client and said I’d be happy to fix the rest. Since then, the team has cooperated and done their part, and I’ve been able to deliver excellent results.
Struggle 2: You Can’t Make People Do Things If The Don’t Want To
Then there’s times, I’ve asked people to do something. I wouldn’t say I tried to control people, but I would be on top of people who were tasked a job. They did some tasks, but didn’t do them right. I admit, that I’m a person that when my inner boss mode is activated, I tend to push to get something done immediately. Seems a bit controlling, but I would never be rude about it. I usually ask. But I’m a person that stays on top of a person to make sure the job gets done. Yeah, bossy, I know.
So, in my case, I’d wait a couple days, then I would ask them about it, and send instructions on how to fix the issue. There were legitimate reasons why the changes should’ve been made.
The reason why I needed them, is that I had no keys to the kingdom, to make those changes. I needed someone else, that had that access. What would happen, is that they didn’t. Now, the access to what needed to be changed, could’ve been shared, and I asked if could have access, but they were stubborn and wanted to bitch about it.
In this case, my hands were tied, because it was family and they didn’t want to be caught between some non-existent argument, because one party was too stubborn to just share. Even though my strength was in the task, I was willing to work with them to make sure that the client looked good in the end.
End Result: The job didn’t get done, and some of the reasons why I said it needed to be done, wouldn’t happen, which doesn’t help the client in the end.
In regards to this, I let it go. It’s not worth getting family upset with me, but it also made me sad and disappointed in them. All you can do is explain why something needs to be done, and if they do it, great. If they don’t, it’s on them. And if they decide to include you into helping, be grateful.
Struggle 3: Extra Is Not Always a Good Thing
I’m an extrovert, and find a lot of energy when I’m among people. Sometimes I get really excited. Some of this excitement is shown through a few things: talking over others, and sometimes being a bit extra. Now, being bossy usually it is sharing my strong and loud opinions, that people just find they have no room for sharing their own feedback. I was always putting out my hustling spiel. This kind of stuff makes people proceed with caution, out of politeness.
End Result: This is a huge flaw of mine, and I’ve been working on for a while. A lot of my actions stemmed from being a woman in the tech field, and having to listen to guys put women down. I felt I needed to always be fighting for my place in the world. I’m grateful that I have friends that weren’t afraid to point this out.
Sure, it hurt to be faced with this, but as a person who meets a lot of people, and does public speaking, and even runs large online communities, I had to swallow a large pill and make a change. I had to accept that I don’t have to always be in hard core hustler mode. I also had to embrace that I could be a person who is charming, and willing to make a good connection with others.
It’s hard, but I’ve been able to open channels of communication with people that I’ve always wanted to talk with. I’ve listened more, and learned a lot.
So, in most cases, the time to stop holding on too tightly, or make a change, is when it’s causing unwelcome stress. You have to make a decision on what’s better for you.
Choose your battles wisely. After all, life isn’t measured by how many times you stood up to fight. It’s not winning battles that makes you happy, but it’s how many times you turned away and chose to look into a better direction. Life is too short to spend it on warring. Fight only the most, most, most important ones, let the rest go.C. JoyBell C.
So… pick and choose your battles.