I Had to Learn to Let Go
The GREAT Breakfast’s Elsa Esterhuizen has been trying to control her world from an early age. As she grew older, however, she had to learn to make things run.
My parents’ divorce was the most difficult situation I had to make. That’s the one thing I could never predict. Since one has no control over such things, it has created some fear in me. I had to learn that I cannot choose the people’s emotions and feelings. Also, the life journey you see in your mind will never be straightforward – life sometimes surprises you with a few unknown twists.
From a very young age I am a control freak. I am a perfectionist. I remember how many lists were always stuck against my walls. And how I was always very willing to do group work myself. I planned exactly what age I wanted to be true in my life and happy for me it worked out. I think it can be attributed to some fear, that something might happen and that I will not know how to handle that particular situation properly.
Trying to control as many things as possible is definitely my way to handle and process difficult issues or experiences. I may have the idea that if I make and plan lists, it will prevent unplanned situations or surprises. Although I realize at the same time that it is not how life works, it remains the most difficult lesson to learn.
I work harder in difficult times; in fact, I literally lose myself in my work. I think it’s the most important way I handle things, because by working, I don’t necessarily have to think. I also usually organize or pack cupboards if I worry a lot of stress or something. It’s not necessarily the best way, because I actually just open myself for more stress.
The moment I entered the adult world and workplace, I realized that one couldn’t control everything. Difficult situations will always be part of your daily life. The secret lies in the way you approach each situation.
In my career there were quite a few unexpected situations where crisis management had to be applied. Recently, I have clearly realized the importance of restraining my perfectionism and accepting that certain things are beyond my control. Also, one should rather have a need for balance and control. I still learn every day.