How to Take Control of Your Own Life

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How to Take Control of Your Own Life - elder looking at cellphoneI got so busy making a LIVING I neglected to make a LIFE of my own and that left me wondering How to Take Control of Your Own Life if that’s even possible?

I felt I was pulled in a thousand different directions and everybody had their idea of how my life should look and what is best for me.

So, just how do I regain control and even more importantly…

… do I even remember what it is that I wanted.

I got so busy working 12-hour shifts in a nursing home, raising kids, keeping up on the house, trying to find time with my husband, keeping in touch with friends and family that I literally forgot to think about myself and what I wanted.

I got so busy doing exactly what was expected of me that I no longer dreamed or had any passion in my life.

It seemed like day after day I just cruised along on auto-pilot, fulfilling everyone else’s expectations and never once considering if it was something I wanted to do.

Now the kids are raised and have their own family to tend to, I am still fulfilling other people’s expectations. Nothing has changed except I realize how much of my life I have let slip by without taking the time for ME.

Here’s how I took control of my life…

Take some ‘ME’ Time

When you work in health care the majority of your day is spent caring for your patients and at times their families need caring reassurance.

When you get home there are kids, husband and house to tend to and you fall exhausted into bed often asleep before your head hits the pillow.

There were times I would fall asleep waiting for the kettle to boil so I could have a cup of tea before bed.

Yes, my family has taken photos of me rocking my teething grand-daughter, both of us asleep in the rocking chair, still in my scrubs waiting for that cup of tea.

I put everyone before myself and it was taking its toll.

You can’t keep giving to others endlessly. At some point, you need to stop and take note of what you need or want.

How to Take Control of Your Own Life - relaxing in bathtub

I had to carve out some time to do what I wanted.

‘Me’ time could be anything from:

  • a luxurious bubble bath with candles and a glass of wine
  • an uninterrupted half-hour to read a favourite book
  • an uninterrupted workout
  • time in your garden
  • a bicycle ride

It makes no difference what you do during your ‘Me’ time as long as it is something you love and something that energizes you rather than drains you.

You must be able to come away from your ‘Me’ time feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to take on the world again.

Set Boundaries

We need to set boundaries with the people in our lives.

Don’t allow others to treat you disrespectfully.

You deserve to be treated with respect and have every right to demand it of the people within your sphere.

Realize that you can and should say NO sometimes. You don’t have to say yes to everything.

If you don’t have the time or you just don’t want to do something then don’t say you will just because you think it is expected of you.

At work delegate some tasks so you are not doing everything.

If you are at home ask your spouse or kids to help out by giving them things to do. Better still sit the family down and explain to them you need help around the house. Give tasks to everyone so no one is left out and then they can change it up every week.

I was absolutely amazed at how much better I felt when we sat down as a family to ask others to pitch in and help out around the house. It surprised me how much people wanted to help and I discovered how much fun it could be to work together towards a common goal.

Remember, if they don’t know you need help, they usually won’t offer it.

Keep in mind other people will treat you exactly how you allow them to treat you so set your standards high or you will be walked on.

Acknowledge Your Worth

How to Take Control of Your Own Life - bloggingWe are all unique individuals with specific talents, abilities and skills. We all need to feel validated and appreciated by those within our sphere of influence.

When the very people we count on for support fail to acknowledge our accomplishment it can undermine our self-esteem and confidence.

Most people may not be aware they are not being supportive. We need to speak up to those we care about and tell them what we need from them to feel supported and loved.

Some people may even withhold this support to keep a person dependent and needy. This is not a caring person and in fact, they are toxic and don’t deserve a place in your life.

Set Goals

Setting goals is an important part of taking control of your life by allowing you to:

  • clarify what you really want in life
  • provide a direction in which to focus your efforts on
  • allow you to create a life governed by your own choices (as much as is possible)

Setting goals allows you to manage all the things that are within your control and allow you to create the life of your choice even in an uncertain situation.

When I took the time to clarify what I wanted I discovered I wanted to be a writer and have my own business and be my own boss.

Now I have my own blog based website and write every day, working from home and being my own boss. I honestly couldn’t be happier.

Now…

… nobody is there telling me what to do and when to do it and I enjoy doing it plus I make my own money at it.

My advice to you is to take some time to clarify what makes you happy, what do you really want to do and then take the first step towards making that a reality.

You will be glad you did.

Choose Your Attitude

The attitude we have will go a long way to determining our success or failure in everything we attempt.

If you are at all familiar with The Law of Attraction, then you are aware that we become what we think about. What I mean is if we think we are no good and everything will always go wrong then guess what, everything will go wrong for you.

On the other hand, just like in the children’s story of Thomas the train engine trying to go up the mountain telling himself:

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” then just like Thomas we will succeed.

When things go wrong in life we have a choice.

We can choose to play the part of the victim, ‘poor me look what has happened, I’ll never be able to do anything.’

or

We can look for the lesson to be learned and move forward more knowledgeable than before.

All successful leaders in life think positively and always look for the lesson and then keep moving forward one step at a time.

Realize that you can’t control everything in life but you can control how you react to each situation.

Personally, I strive for a positive attitude as much as possible.

Positive Self Talk

How to Take Control of Your Own Life - never stop learning

OK, this is a biggy so pay close attention here…

How we talk to ourselves really matters.

If we don’t believe in ourselves who will?

In the previous section, we discussed attitude and I determined I wanted to have a positive attitude as much as possible.

How much will I be able to maintain a positive attitude if I constantly berate myself or call myself stupid every time I make a mistake.

Think of the traits you wish to have and then out loud verbally tell yourself these things in the mirror each morning.

Oh, you can’t look into the mirror to do? Then you really need to do it.

They could be any trait you choose to incorporate into your life such as:

  • “I am confident.”
  • “I am creative.”
  • “I am physically fit.”
  • “I am successful.”

Positive self-talk can reduce anxiety and make all the difference in whether you go after what you want in life.

If you think something about yourself that you don’t like then come up with a plan to change it, today.

For example, if you are overweight and you feel like a fat overweight blimp then every time you look into the mirror you will tell yourself you are healthy and thin. You tell yourself that you work out every day and only eat what you need which is a small portion of healthy food.

What happens over time is that your mind will take over and start to help you to achieve your goal because that is who you are.

It may not make sense to you right now but over time it will. The main thing is that you do the actions first and the results will come at a later time.

Final Thoughts

How to take control of your own life is not as difficult as I once thought.

We don’t have to be a slave to a career we no longer love just because we think it is expected of us.

If we take the time necessary to determine what it is we want to do in life,

then determine the steps required to make it happen

and take that first tiny baby step forward.

Carve out a block of time at least once a week for yourself. This is your ‘Me’ time to do whatever you want as long as it revitalizes you.

Don’t allow others no matter who to disrespect you in any way and be kind to yourself as well.

A positive attitude is important and remember to look for the lessons when things don’t go quite as planned.

Use positive self-talk and don’t ever berate yourself.

Start today putting into your mind WHO YOU are.

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I wish you all the best on your journey.

Thanks so much for dropping by. If you have any additional tips for taking control of your life feel free to share them in the comment section below. I will respond.

Of course, if you have any questions I am all ears.

Take care and follow your dreams.

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