I initially wanted to write about ‘taking control’ but then I thought to myself ‘why’ – I should be saying ‘take control’. So, what is the difference you may wonder? ‘Taking control’ would have come across as good advice, a suggestion, or a possible way of moving ourselves forward. It would have been a request.
‘Take control’ is a command! There is a huge difference between trying and doing, and if we are to get things done, we need to ‘do’.
Take control of your life!
None of us can control other human beings. We cannot control what they think, how they behave or the decisions they make. The only human being that you can control is you, and I can only control me. You may be thinking as you read this that why is she (me) stating the obvious, and my response to that would be, “if it was so obvious, why do we let the fear of what we think others may be thinking control our actions?”
So many of us have been disabled because we care too much about what other people are thinking, and we need to stop this debilitating habit. I say it time and time again in my training sessions that it is important to value the opinions and perspective of others, and that we should recognise that our social wellbeing is enhanced when people like us and we enjoy a sense of belonging, but we should never sell ourselves short in order to gain the approval of others.
I have lived this life – I was the doormat that people walked all over, wiped their shoes, and then moved on. I was not respected, and as a consequence I had no self-respect, which made me more needy. The vicious cycle continued. It was a miserable life that I was living. Then one day I woke up and I had had enough. I recognised that I needed to take control of who I was being and what I wanted to get out of life. I realised that worrying about what other people thought and restricting myself within those confines was keeping me small. I also realised I needed to change my mindset.
This was my thought trail:
- I don’t actually know what people are thinking.
- Even if people are thinking something that is not complimentary, why should I let that stop me from doing what I need to do. As long as I am not doing anything illegal, unethical, or immoral why should I care what they think? If they are thinking anything negative towards me when I am trying to make a contribution, it is on them and not on me. I will do what I need to do.
- With these 2 thoughts in mind I started to step out of my comfort zone. I chose to be authentic in everything I did instead of pretending to be something or someone I wasn’t in order to please people and fit in. What I got in return was acknowledgement, affirmation, and acceptance.
It was so much hard work trying to belong and trying to live up to what I thought other people’s expectations were, and the sad thing is that it wasn’t even rewarding. Now I get to be me, and I get to be loved for who I am.
I am not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, and I have made my peace with that because I recognise that if someone doesn’t like me (because I am very likeable LOL), it is a ‘them’ problem, not a ‘me’ problem.
I now enjoy self-acknowledgement, self-affirmation and self-acceptance.
I took control of my life – SO SHOULD YOU!