For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
The fastest way to block your vision is to try to control it.
To obsess over how it needs to come to be. To put a lot of pressure on it—and ourselves. To set a strict timeline. Or demand certain actions and activities from partners. Or put certain expectations on ourselves.
The more we tighten and control our vision, the more we dominate it. Like it’s a lifeless servant. An object for us to possess.
If it’s lifeless, we have to will it to life. If it’s already alive, we only have to be in relationship to it.
If we don’t see our visions as alive or real, we’re going to spend endless effort trying to will them to life. And, truth be told, I’ve never been a master of resurrecting the dead.
We’re not seeing our visions as alive. We’re not seeing them as already existing. We’re pretending they’re something we solely create, rather than something that we simply partner with to help the world.
Having a marriage would feel impossible if I felt like I had to bring Garrett to life. Or, at the very least, if I felt totally responsible for his happiness. But it’s a hell of a lot easier if I see Garrett as a fully alive and capable being without my will.
Because now all I have to do is know myself, know Garrett, and work together.
When we try to control something, we’re objectifying it. Literally turning it into an object. A lifeless thing that we have to will every which way.
But we can’t control that which is alive. Trust me—I might want to control how, say, Garrett or clients or even my dogs might act from time to time. But I can’t. Because they’re alive. They have free will.
And that means I can only exist in relationship to them.
Control is a hard one for us visionaries. Because we’ve spent so much of our life not being in control. We’ve been “too much” and “not enough.” We were never quite fitting in. So, from an early age, we learned to control our emotions as a means of controlling our place in the world around us.
We had to learn control to keep us safe.
If we aren’t in control, if we don’t know what happens, we might not be safe. It might trigger our old trauma. We might not be able to survive.
Control is at the opposite end of trust. And it’s pretty hard to trust when things haven’t worked out in the past. When we’ve been told we’re wrong. When we’re not getting the results we’re seeking.
Control is a tough one for us visionaries. Because the world has told us we’re wrong time and time again. To loosen that grip feels so foolish.
And the irony is that control actually becomes the main thing stopping us from getting what we really want. From realizing that vision.
If I were to commission a painter and then micro-manage every brushstroke, I probably wouldn’t get their best work. Because I’d be trying to objectify and control them. I’d leave no space for their subjectivity, their genius, their life force.
Our visions are alive. Sometimes they’ll ask a lot of us. Sometimes they’ll give a lot. Sometimes we’re at polar opposite ends of thinking, and that tension fuels new creativity and understanding. Sometimes the relationship is pleasant, and sometimes it’s not.
But seeing it as alive—as already existing up in the ethers—is the first step to loosening that control.
When we objectify, we control. When we subjectify, we exist in relationship with.
As a writer (and former PR pro), I can tell you firsthand that the more constraints you put on me, the less creative and genius my work will be. Give me a lot of pressure and a short timeline and very specific directions, and I’m not all that likely to come up with anything creative.
But give me freedom. Work with me. Support me. Believe in me. Fight with me. Give me creative tension. And I can pretty much guarantee that whatever comes forward will be genius.
We produce our best work when we’re not controlled. So our vision can only come fully forward when it’s free to do so, too.
We don’t have to tighten and control so much. We can pause. We can assume we actually don’t always know the best and only way. We can open up and stay curious. We can take off the pressure. We can give ourselves and the world around us space.
Objects are fixed and rigid. Living beings are dynamic and moving. The more rigid our thinking, the more we can tell we’re actually trying to control the situation. The more we know we’re trying to objectify.
And, when we objectify others, we can pretty much guarantee we’re objectifying ourselves, too.
Maybe we’re not lifeless robots. Maybe we don’t end up making that deadline. Maybe we take the work in a shocking direction we never expected. Maybe we recognize when something isn’t working out and pivot.
That’s the thing about living things—we’re dynamic. We’re evolving and flowing.
But water can’t flow that much in a tiny little cup. It needs ponds, lakes, oceans to really start flowing.
Can we gift ourselves the space to flow? Can we gift our visions the agency to teach us and surprise us and force us to grow, ourselves? Can we gift our partners and collaborators the opportunity to ignore our rules and defy our expectations, to give us their own genius?
Knowing in my heart that I am a genius helps to stop me from objectifying myself. Knowing that I’m surrounded by other geniuses helps to stop me from trying to control others.
If all the world—including my vision—has a genius, then it’s simply my job to create enough space to be in relationship with that genius.
And I’m safe to deserve my vision. I’m safe to create my vision—even when it looks entirely different than I ever expected.
We visionaries are safe to co-create with our visions. Because we are geniuses.
And genius is so much better than control.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another.
Are you trying to control your vision?
— Do you put a lot of pressure or time constraints on your vision? Can you be really demanding with yourself and with partners or collaborators?
— Do you get really stressed when things don’t go as planned? Do you want to grip on and control more, or hustle and push yourself harder?
— What if control is actually the thing preventing you from realizing your vision? What if you saw your vision is alive and working with you? And all you have to do is connect with it?