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  • Writer's pictureDavid Stamation

From Childhood Roots to Adult Growth: My Story with Control + Quiz

At Legacy, we practice what we preach, aligning our actions with the Executive Life Coaching principles we teach our clients. As a requirement, each team member works with a coach and attends personal development seminars annually. Here's how I lead by example, walking alongside my clients on their journey. I never ask them to do anything I haven't tackled myself, whether it's summoning bravery or mastering the art of saying "no." Our approach establishes trust and authenticity with our clients.


David age 7

My Story with Control

I’ve worked on the surface-level of my control issues with my coach using a tools-based approach hoping for a quick fix. Sometimes it works; other times the undesired behavior comes back. The white-knuckle approach requiring willpower failed – I reverted back to asserting my need for control. When this approach doesn’t get a result, we know to look deeper.


Digging deeper for me meant revisiting my childhood, specifically around the age of 6-7 during my parents' divorce—a process that was amicable and equitable. I had a close bond with my mother, Hope; she was my source of love and affection. I felt adored in her arms.


No, Don’t Go!

When she broke the news, "Mommy and Daddy don't get along. I'll be moving to grandmothers in Los Angeles. You’ll stay with your father and brother and continue at your school."  I was overwhelmed with panic. For the next two weeks, I pleaded with her to stay at every opportunity. Until then, the most significant thing I had fought for was the right to play with the train set. But when those pleas were denied, I grew desperate, insisting, "Then take me with you." Her response, "Sorry, honey, I have to go alone, just me for a while," shattered my peaceful, safe, and loving world.


I suppressed my fears and exerted control to feel safe, avoiding surprises by manipulating and controlling my peers. I dictated how we played, incited fights among classmates, and carefully curated my image to appear as a good kid, a people pleaser, even though I was mischievous behind the scenes. These behaviors marked the earliest seeds of my controlling tendencies, providing a false sense of security during my youth. However, as I matured in high school, I started to outgrow this childhood strategy, especially when friendships began to dissolve due to my controlling behavior.


David's mother, Hope

The Good Kind of Control

Now in my 50s, I'm actively working to update that old strategy to align with the values of the man I am today. It's a work in progress, but I've noticed a significant shift; I'm calmer on the inside.


By delving deeper into the origins of my controlling behavior, I've learned to observe without judgment, recognizing that control isn't inherently bad. This newfound perspective has enabled me to change for the better. Today, I find that when things don't go as planned, I can laugh at myself and share the joke with my spouse.


Where are you on the control scale?

 

1.) Low Control

2.) Moderate Control

3.) Balanced Control

4.) High Control

5.) Extreme Control

 

Unsure where you fit on the control scale? Then take the 10-Question Quiz that will provide insight into your relationship with control.

 

Looking for an easy-to-use ‘sorting tool’ to help with control? Read this earlier article.

 

Finding Freedom: Navigate Control Issues with The Legacy Method

 

If you're curious about the impact of your control issues on relationships or feeling frustrated because you can't seem to gain control over your impulses, The Legacy Method offers a tailored approach and a path out at your own pace. Imagine feeling less consumed by stress and experiencing inner peace. Envision letting go of self-criticism. Consider hiring me as a guide to help you identify and address those elusive feelings you've been grappling with.

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