1) Who decides how you feel at any given moment?
2) Who decides what you do with your time?
3) Who has the most say about your career?
4) Who prods you about how you’re raising your children or perhaps the decisions you’re making regarding their future?
5) Who makes the decisions regarding your finances?
6) Who defines your personality?
7) Do you have people around you telling you to stop doing that/stop saying that/stop spending that/stop watching that?
8) What aspects of your life and personality do you feel have been defined by someone else other than you?
Blogger Ali Luke, asked the following in a submission on Pickthebrain.com – How often have you said something along the lines of:
I’d start my own business if only my partner was more supportive.
It’s my father’s fault that I smoke.
Well, I wouldn’t drink so much if it wasn’t for my friends.
My boss really stresses me out.
I can’t quit my job to travel the world … what would people think?
I have to lose weight so that I can look more attractive.
30-something year old author Kimbriel Dean had had enough. Secretly, she resented just about everyone. “Why couldn’t they just let me say what I wanted to say and be who I wanted to be? Why were they holding me back? My relationship with my family was not good. We talked once a month or so, but I never told them anything about my life.” So she marched in one day and delivered a speech she’d rehearsed in her head half a dozen times. It was long and covered thirty years’ worth of subject matter. The punch line was, “I would rather you hate me for who I am than love me for who I am not.”
The completely crazy thing about her speech was the response it garnered. No tears, gnashing of teeth or broken plates. Instead, all she got was: “OK.”
In that moment she realized no one was holding her back. She was holding her own self back and held the power to take charge of her life. Her own assumptions kept her from doing so. Ultimately, she says “I was just scared. I didn’t put myself out there because I was afraid of potential rejection, of bruising my precious ego. I blamed everyone else for my own lack of courage. Once I recognized this truth, I was able to break through some of my blockages.”
You can break through some of your own barriers and reclaim control of your life by following these simple suggestions:
I love Kath Andersen’s suggestion to *Change Your Shoes and Take Control of Your Life.* Kathy, who is an International Success & Wellbeing Coach, says that we should begin quite simply, with this choice, and one small step. “Change your shoes.” Step out of the shoes that are keeping you trapped and into the shoes that will set you free. Then, continue as you take one more step each day until you have taken back the control in your life. She says “When I changed my corporate high heels for hiking boots more than 10 years ago, I was looking to discover “something more.” My life was full, but it was full of things that exhausted me. Change was a risk, but so was staying in a life that felt like a constant spin class. If I had never “changed my shoes,” and stepped away, I would have missed out on extraordinary adventures that were waiting for me to take that leap. Each day, that leap awaits each of us — we simply need to choose to take it (even if we start with a small step!).”
Slow down. Get still and look inside. The real work is in allowing your emotions to deliver their message. Kimbriel suggests that you practice becoming aware of your thoughts and feelings. When you feel angry at someone else, turn the focus from what they are DOING/DOING TO YOU to how you FEEL about the situation.
Tell the truth based on the message you receive from your emotions. So instead of: “I’m mad at him because he talked to another woman,” try: “I feel insecure in my relationship, and I’m afraid to be alone,” or whatever applies to your situation. That way, you can address your REAL feelings and approach your partner with an honest sense of what’s going on from your standpoint. Remember if you’re telling an untruth about a situation you’ll NEVER be able to resolve it.
What situations do you refuse to take responsibility for? Only when we can admit our part in the way things are, do we reclaim the power to DO something about it.
Learn to ignore expectations. We get so many messages about how things should be done. The media tells us how we should look (by presenting fake, airbrushed photos) – and what we should wear, eat, do, and buy… On top of that, our friends and family often tell us, explicitly or implicitly, that we should behave like them. Blogger Ali suggests you ask “What would I do if there were no expectations on me? Where am I letting other people dictate my choices and preferences?”
And finally – take a stand for yourself. Stand up for what YOU want! I know…it feels odd doesn’t it? But it will take practice and over time you’ll get better at it.
Napoleon Hill, bestselling author of Think and Grow Rich said “You will NEVER find peace of mind allowing other people to live your life for you. The Creator gave us the complete and unchallengeable right of prerogative over one thing and ONLY ONE thing: OUR OWN MIND. Mark Bowness, instigator of life, community and world change says “Your life and purpose are far too precious for someone else to decide them for you. Whenever you decide to take back control of your life, you will empower yourself to be the author and creator of your own destiny. As you do so you build stronger relationships, are able to manage your finances better (and therefore create more wealth) and will increase your peace, joy and satisfaction knowing that every action that you take is one that is decided by you, putting 100% into it.”
Take back control of your life today and be amazed at what’s possible for you!