Being a "control freak." isn't exactly a term of endearment.

If you're on the controlling side, you may find that you constantly have to suppress your tendencies to want to control everything and everyone.

But it's possible, that your controlling nature can be used for your advantage.

Because there are some things in our lives that are calling out for being controlled.

1. Your stress. As the old saying goes, it's not the load that breaks you down but how you carry it. Gaining control over stress will keep you calm and level through the crunchiest work day or the biggest crisis .

2. Your time. Time flies, but the good news is you can be the pilot. Take advantage of control to spend your precious time on what's most important, at work and in your personal life.

3. Your actions. Getting it all done can be a huge challenge, but focus your control on structuring the most efficient path through your priorities. Remember that action you take brings you closer to what you want.

4. Your decision making. Waffling on a decision is a common source of problems for people in leadership. Your sense of control can toughen you to think on your feet and be decisive--giving you a huge competitive advantage.

5. Your thoughts. Your thoughts are something you create, so they should be something you can easily control, but in truth it's among the most challenging of areas. When you can gain a handle on your perceptions, conclusions, and attitudes, you can grow beyond any problems and barriers.

6. Your development. Turn your wisdom to your own life. What can you tell yourself about where you have the most room to learn and grow? How can you mold yourself into what you want to become?

7. Your environment. One of the best things about being a control freak is bringing care to your surroundings. Getting rid of clutter and chaos leaves you thinking clearer, increases focus and reduces stress.

8. Your relationships. The people and relationships you surround yourself with don't just reflect who you are--they also exert a huge influence on your daily life. Take advantage of controlling your relationships by making them matter, nurturing those that nourish you and pruning out those that are toxic.

9. Your emotions. Most important of all is the ability to control your feelings. Left unchecked, emotions like frustration and confusion can kill your drive and energy. But it's always possible to reverse the charge and convert them into a positive force. Frustration usually means you are the verge of a breakthrough, and confusion means you are about to learn something new.

Learn to take the focus of your control off others and focus it instead on yourself. When you do, you'll lose the "control freak" reputation and gain new impact--and that's how you take control.