What Is Control Addiction and How To Deal With It

Control Addiction Deal With It

The choice was: I can spend my time resenting the situation or embrace it. The work had to be done. The homework had to be done.

I could either do it with an attitude of contentment and acceptance or as a victim full of resentment.

You get to make the same choice.

The task is going to get completed irrespective of the mood and state you bring to it. However, the impact you make on those around you and how you experience your day will shift dramatically based on your choice.


When homeschooling became a reality in March 2020, I had to reduce my regular training and coaching hours to be present for their school day. The drop in working hours affected me dramatically because I had linked my self-worth purely to work achievements.

What Is Control Addiction and How To Deal With It
What Is Control Addiction and How To Deal With It

Linking self-worth to factors beyond your control is referred to as an external locus of control. I had gained my validation from the number of meetings, bookings and clients I had. If I was busy, I felt terrific, and if I were having a quieter period, it would fill me with self-criticism.

We link our worth to numbers too — the number on the scale, the number in our bank account, our number of friends and the number of likes. The result is an internal narrative of never feeling enough now. It is always “one day when”…

One day, when I have that figure in my bank account, I will feel worthy.

I was clinging to the control that being busy gave me and ultimately only increased my anxiety. So, control addiction is not good for your mental health.

I had to shift my perspective from seeing homeschooling as a distraction from my “real work” as equal and part of “my actual work”.

Permit yourself to reframe how you internalise your self-worth. It should come from multiple areas and roles in your life. We are not one dimensional; our sense of achievement cannot be so linear either.

Perhaps you are facing home-schooling, looking after elderly parents, or supporting your community. When you find worth in all the roles you play, you bring more meaning and purpose to the time dedicated to them.

The time is not “spent” on them, but invested. When you choose to place value on the roles external to work, you drop the sense of resentment about where your time “should be” better spent.

When you can operate from this space, you become more present in the moment and accept what the situation is rather than your ideal of how you want it to be. That’s how you slow down control addiction!

control your emotions or be consumed by them.
What Is Control Addiction and How To Deal With It


Introducing remote working has meant a serious revamp of your daily routine. You now have a choice of how to structure your day. You are no longer in the confines of a traditional 8 AM to 5 PM workday.

Instead of this choice filling you with energy and excitement, it created more stress.

The majority of my coaching clients have experienced an internal tug of war about allowing themselves to embrace going for a run at 8:30 because it worked better with the new setup.

The self-talk was “I should probably log on now. How can I go for a walk at lunchtime?”. Even though it worked way better, there was a fear of letting go of the old routine.

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