How can I stop trying to control things?
August 23, 2018 8:09 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to get a new job, my old one sucks and I'm tired of it. I'm basically going to work to sit all day and do nothing. I'm sick of it, I didnt go through college just to get told to do nothing. I'm quitting as soon as I can. However, a myriad of opportunities have shown up. There is one in particular that stands out, a startup with a heavy emphasis in machine learning, its everything I'm looking for in one neat package. I applied there two weeks ago, they answered this Monday and told me they were reviewing my CV and that they would get back to me this week. As you can imagine I'm going through a lot of anxiety waiting for their response and by wanting to quit my current job. It is getting seriously out of hand.

So like I said I have control issues. I have been glued to my email today like crazy. I have been angry because of it. Thankfully I haven't lashed out at anyone but still, this is completely insane. I cannot believe that this has made me so crazy. Its a damn job application.

I don't know how what to do. I'm trying to control everything and the stress is crazy. It's just too much, I even threw away $20 dollars on some recording app for android because I think my employer might want me to do something illegal which is outright insane paranoia.

I go to a therapist as well, and she is aware of my control issues. I am sorry if this also sounds like the ramblings of a madman, I just don't know how to stop.
posted by Braxis to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I can be like this, too. Here's something that helped me: Trying not to try, by Edward Slingerland. I read the book, but here is a 20 minute video.
Good luck!
posted by Calvin and the Duplicators at 8:21 PM on August 23, 2018

Apply for other jobs. (Your unhappiness in your current position is causing you to give too much importance to this single opportunity. You can only control your own actions, and applying for other jobs is an action you can take to create more opportunities and lower your stress levels.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:11 PM on August 23, 2018 [14 favorites]

Apply to lots more jobs for sure. And try to think of something you can do to fill your hours at work, like a hobby or a research project or plan a trip.
posted by bleep at 9:38 PM on August 23, 2018

I have applied for other jobs. The thing is that this particular job is the one I want. There's two others but one of then hasn't answered back but then I only applied this week and I'm doin an interview tomorrow for the other one.

However, the issue isn't so much the jobs its me wanting to control the outcome.
posted by Braxis at 9:59 PM on August 23, 2018

I am in the exact same boat as you right now and it's very hard and it sucks. But the only way to control this outcome is probability, and then forcing yourself to get your mind off of it.
posted by bleep at 10:03 PM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh my god, I so empathize. I just went through a grueling job hunt, and dear God, job hunting is fucking terrible and your reaction is a totally normal human reaction to it (especially when you're trying to get out of a bad situation). And it's because of this that I know my answer is going to sound like bullshit because WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT, but: mindfulness is what helped me. Setting a timer (5 minutes at first, gradually working up to 10 and 15) and meditating 2x a day, concentrating on the breath and checking in with myself and how I was feeling and noticing when I was getting worked up about whatever job application I was most excited about at the moment and getting attached to the outcome (which was... um... every time) and then trying to gently unstick myself from those feelings and return to the breath, over and over. I know that sounds like a stupid and terrible solution, but it's what worked for me.

That, and reminding myself that it's okay to feel anxious and attached and angry and obsessive, because job hunting is the goddamn worst. Like the mindfulness thing helped me stay sane and keep it from taking over my life, but I definitely did some raging and that's ok.
posted by sunset in snow country at 10:21 PM on August 23, 2018 [7 favorites]

I struggle with things I can't control too. For me, things that help are going for a run, longer the better - puts things into perspective and reminds me how capable my body is. Also doing small projects or DIY at home - something you can take ownership over and feel proud in. Good luck, it does seem like this will be a trying time for you regardless - hang on in there with current job and endure until something better comes along. Try not to overimagine possibilities or focus on any one particular outcome.
posted by JonB at 12:13 AM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

The old standby parables work for me. Imagine the thing that you want as a butterfly that may or may not be about to land on your outstretched hand. Are you going to leave your hand outstretched and let the butterfly do as it will, or will you make a grab for it and crush it in your fist?
posted by flabdablet at 1:56 AM on August 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

For me, it helps to recognise this kind of the anxiety as the utter waste of energy it actually is. Your worry changes nothing. Your worry accomplishes nothing. Your worry effects the outcome not at all. You can want to control this situation all you want, but I want a unicorn and that isn't happening either. Want is not an imperative.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:40 AM on August 24, 2018 [5 favorites]

My brain loves rituals for this stuff. I light the green prosperity candle , send good vibes into the universe. Very faith based but I love it and it keeps me less irritatable.
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:53 AM on August 24, 2018

When I am obsessing about things I can’t control, I set a timer - literally and/or figuratively - and tell myself “in an hour, I can think about this all I want to. But in the meantime, move on.” More often than not, when the time is up I don’t want to think about it any more.
posted by lyssabee at 5:27 AM on August 24, 2018

« Older Excellent hot air popcorn popper   |   List last update: 17/11/1995 Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.