As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I am a perfectionist and alongside this part of me, is the need to know exactly what I’m doing, when I’m doing it and how I’m going to be getting it done. Especially, when it comes to University. I’ve spent hours upon hours of my time meticulously researching what subjects I have left to do, where they can fit into my study outline. Thus, I always know what subjects I’m doing in what semester-even two years from now. I just have to know, always, and knowing gives me anxiety, but also not knowing gives me anxiety; so I’m really damned if I do and damned if I don’t.
PSA: Before I continue, I’d like to point out that this need to know is directly related to University and my studies, not really any other aspect of my life because, despite what you may read, I am actually quite a spontaneous person!
I’ve known what subjects I have left to do, when my fieldwork will be done and when I’ll be moving to the big city for around 5 or 6 months now and sometimes, over the weekend, you’ll find me double-checking my study outline to ensure it’s all staying the same; running smoothly. You can call me totally weird and out of this world, I won’t disagree.
Then on Saturday, a spanner was thrown in the works. Instead of being able to study my last three second semester subjects, next semester from July to November, I unfortunately will have to study only two, as my third subject overlapped. Alongside this, I realised that before I can begin my fieldwork next year, I have to do a six week course which will mean that instead of my semester being 14 weeks long, it will be 20. This delay in the semester will also mean I will be moving to the big city about 6 weeks later than I was hoping and expecting.
Alas, these are tiny details but made a huge difference in my stress levels over the weekend. Who would have thought three weeks after finishing a semester, I’d still be stressing over University! As I mentioned-they are small and almost insignificant changes to my study outline and yet, I took the entire afternoon off from Saturday to stress and complain to mum about the seeming difficulty it is now imposing upon my University life.
So, why on earth am I so hung up over this change?
Because, like I said, I just love to know what my study has in store for me and I hate the sense of losing control and handing over what I know, to the unknown.
But sometimes, that’s exactly what we have to do-let go and lose control, and if you are anything like me, you absolutely despise the fact that letting go and losing control are two things that even exist. So, how do you let go? How do you let go of that fear of losing control?
You just do. You just let go. It comes with time and practice, however, there are some things that can help speed up the process of learning to let go:
1. Throw out the planner.
I think I’ve mentioned in a previous blog to have a planner and I still stand by that-but if something goes wrong, or not according to plan, then don’t be afraid to just disregard the planner, disregard the plan that you had set for yourself and just let whatever needs or is happening, happen!
Meditation is something I’ve been practicing for maybe 3 years now and I cannot stress to you enough, how much this practice has assisted in my ability to let go in all forms of my life; study plans that go wrong, toxic relationships, awful friendships, the need to be perfect at absolutely everything. I started off listening to Melissa Ambrosini’s Meditations-since then, I’ve downloaded two apps onto my phone (just search the app store for some mindfulness or meditation apps and you’ll find plenty!) Taking 5-10 minutes out of my day to meditate calms the mind immensely and you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time!
3. Write a pros list!
This is something I haven’t done for quite some time but I do find that just thinking of the good things that come out of a crappy situation can help shift your entire mindset. Which is why writing a pros list, works! So, something went wrong? Okay, let’s start by looking at why this is going to be a good thing! For example, the fact that I can’t study my three subjects next semester will now leave me with less of a workload. Having to wait an extra 6 weeks until I move means I get to hang out with my parents for an extra 6 weeks! There’s always a pros list! I suggest actually writing down the pros and possibly sticking them up on your wall or mirror-somewhere you can see them often.
4. Just forget about being in control for five minutes
It’s difficult-trust me, I am well aware of that. But if you can take some time to forget about the entire situation for five minutes, then you are well on your way to letting go and losing that need to be in control every second of every day. It’s all about finding something else to do that makes you forget-read, go for a walk, hang out with friends or family, go swimming or watch your favourite movie. Anything that gets you away from the laptop stressing over the situation!
5. Have trust in the Universe and Yourself!
I think this is one of my biggest tips in letting go and losing the need to be in control all the time-having trust, in both the Universe and yourself. If I trust that the Universe is always getting me ready for bigger and better things, then it’s easier to let go and lose control. Just like if I trust myself to let go of the things I can no longer control or the plans that are no longer able to be in my future, then it’s easier to just let go.
Letting go, and not being in control are two aspects of my life that I have trouble with and everyday I’m learning new ways to incorporate them into my life, but it is difficult and it’s okay to take one step forward and two steps back every now and then. Which leads me to my final tip which is to not be so hard on yourself. Please don’t kick yourself when you cry over changes in your studies or when you get angry over the fact that you can’t study three subjects like you planned. Things change and that’s difficult to come to terms with sometimes and it’s okay to get upset or frustrated over these changes. Just make sure to forgive yourself for reacting negatively when you do.
To tie this entire post together, I thought I’d share with you a quote I came across yesterday:
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realise that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
Let me know what you do to let go in the comments section below!