The weather here in New England is unseasonably warm, which is a good thing since just last week it was absolutely frigid! The variation in weather reminds me how changeable life can be in general. Often times it seems we are on a roller coaster, whether we like it or not, and have to just buckle in and hang on. Other times it seems like we are eternally waiting on line for our wild ride to even arrive. In both of these scenarios, we are allowing ourselves to be victims of life’s whims. If you are usually thinking things like “When is something GOOD going to happen?” or “Why won’t THAT happen to ME?” or “Why does THIS always happen to ME?” then chances are you are allowing circumstances, negative or limited thinking, and/or other people to control your life instead of taking the wheel yourself. Your destiny is your own. It is up to you to drive it if you are tired of being at the mercy of things outside yourself.
How to gain better control of your life in 5 steps:
1) Change your perspective. Basically, stop thinking like a victim. If you understand that you are the only one who can decide what direction you are headed in, then you have far more of a chance at heading in that direction. If you think life is something that “just happens” while you pass the time with your daily routine, then odds are you will be at the mercy of whatever “happens.” You will always be reacting to your world instead of taking action. Perspective is everything. So start with that daily routine. Find the joys in it. Find places in it where you feel GOOD. Find places that you can make better and try to do that. If you are just whittling the day away on auto pilot, then stop for a moment to smell the roses and be aware of all that’s good. Experience your world and be grateful for it, even if it is not the ideal world you imagined. Once you find good stuff in there, then you can make more good stuff happen. Change becomes much less scary when you can find the beauty in it. Once you are more aware of where you want to go, you can do almost anything you want to.
2) Tap into your power. What are you good at? Where do you naturally take the lead? Where in your life do you feel most confident? Tap into that power and use it to fuel your success in other areas – places where you are unhappy but you have been avoiding change. If you feel more confident, you will have the driving force that keeps you moving towards your goals. Achieving your goals, whatever they are, gives you more control of your destiny and more self-confidence because you have proven you CAN succeed.
3) Tap into your passion. What do you LOVE doing? What turns you on? A lot of people know what they love doing yet do not make time for it and then pine away for the death of it when daily life gets in the way. This leads to feeling like a victim. Self-pity is easy to get caught up in when you are not in control of your life. Self-pity keeps you stuck. Don’t feel sorry for yourself! Give yourself a chance! Find ways to DO what you’re passionate about as often as possible. If you don’t know what your passion is, then think about what gets you excited sometimes and go from there. We are all capable of amazing things if we are aware of what we love to do. Passion is your life force. Set it free!
4) Make a decision. Take your positive perspective, power and passion and use them as tools to make real life changes that you deem necessary. If you do not like your job and want out, then put your energy into finding one you do love. If that means taking some classes, moving, or even just facing your fear of change, then find a way to do these things. Don’t just wither and complain and be unhappy. That will get you nowhere except more mired in victimhood. If you are unhappy with your relationship, either find ways to work on it or make a plan to get out of it. Don’t just stagnate and stay unhappy. (Unless of course, that is what you want to do.) Make a choice. Fear of change is what you make it. If you are terrified to be alone, for example, please ask yourself why and work on that. Once you are aware of what’s holding you back, then making a change might not be so scary at all. You may actually look forward to doing it. Basically, what I am saying is that if you do not like your life as it is and you do not make a decision to make that life better, then you are allowing yourself to be helpless. If you do not know what to do but you know something has to change, really think and weigh your current situation against what you want for yourself. You will find the answer eventually and be better able to decide what is right for you. Give yourself time to figure it out – this way making a decision is not as scary as it might be if you are not sure why you are doing it.
5) Believe in yourself. Your own choices should lead the way for you, not what other people think. In our culture, it seems natural to compare yourself to the people around you, but that does not mean it makes any sense to do so. You are not your friend or neighbor and so you do not come with the same passions, ideas, experience, and situations. Always asking advice from anyone who will listen is a surefire way to confusion and inaction. Other people’s opinions are shaded by their own experiences, so they can only tell you what THEY would do, not what YOU would do. I am not saying that you cannot get some great advice from your peeps, but the best advice comes from within. You are stronger than you think, but perhaps you are just out of practice using your strength for your own good instead of only for your loved ones or your job.
Concentrating on things that make you feel confident, things that tap into your power and passion, can arm you with inner strength. Once you find this strength, this belief in yourself, then you are always free to do whatever you desire. The world will open up more and more to you. Chances are you will inspire many others who feel as stuck and out of control as you did once. You will gain even more self respect when you know you’ve made an impact on even just one other person. And you will. If most of us grabbed the reins in our own lives more often, we could probably change the world for the better. Even if it’s only one person at a time.
To me, that sounds like the just kind of wild ride I’d like to be on! How about you?