“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” The more I learn about life the more certain I am of the truth in this statement. All of us at different times learn to act helpless, blame shift and generally give control of our lives to others. The problem is that this behavior is the exact opposite of what we need to do if we desire fulfillment in life.
We all have a long list of people we could blame for the state of our lives: My mother who didn’t hug me, my father who was never there, my boss who doesn’t like me, my cat who won’t purr when I pet her…
Let me ask you this: who do you want to have the power to control your life?
As long as we continue to blame others for where we are in life they are the ones with the power and they are the ones who control us.
You will know you are not taking responsibility for your life by the fact that you are still in the same situation with the same problems you had 1, 5, 10… years ago.
It is only when we take responsibility for our lives and the situation we are in that we can begin to change things.
(This is also my primary problem with 12 step programs but that is a rant for another time; all I will say about it right now is, “Who the Son sets free is free indeed John 8:36)
It doesn’t matter what your struggle is. It doesn’t matter how bad things seem right now. The solution is still the same: Take responsibility for your life; take back the power to change your life.
You are the only one who is able to get yourself back on track. Are you ready? Here’s how:
What Do You Want?
What would it take to make you happy? What is lacking in your life that would cause you to feel satisfied and fulfilled? Humans don’t like change. Even if our situation is hard we still tend to prefer it over the effort it takes to change. The best and most effective way to change is to figure out what it is you desire and use that as your inspiration to make the change.
- Do you want to move to a different country or see the world?
- Do you dream of giving up your secure job and pursue the career of your dreams?
- Do you want to sell your small apartment in the city and move into a big house in the country?
- Do you want to get rid of that ungrateful cat and get an awesome dog instead?
We all have dreams but so few of us ever attain them. Step one is clarifying exactly what our dreams are.
What Is Keeping You From It?
Once you know what you want, you have to figure out why you are not going after it.
- Do you let others control your life?
- Do you fear of giving up the security of your current job?
- Do you think there will be more time later in life to travel the world?
- Do you think people who are constantly succeeding in life are just “lucky” when really you are too scared to step out of your comfort zone?
Be honest with yourself. Be ruthless. This can be ugly but trust me, it is the only way you will ever get out of this rut.
Face Your Fear
What is it about these problems that is so scary? We tend to jump right to the worst possible scenario but take the time now and ask yourself how rational these fears of yours really are.
- Will making time in life to travel bring bankruptcy or personal fulfillment?
- Do the negative people around you really prevent you from being lonely?
- Is the job you have really the only alternative to living on the street?
- Are cats even real pets?
Be as objective as possible, even if it feels very uncomfortable. Once you get honest with yourself you will soon see that most of your fears are just as irrational as my aversion to cats.
Time To Change
For some of us, getting to where we want to be will be a lot more work than it will for others. It really depends on where we are now and where we want to go. If it is a particularly big change don’t get overwhelmed. Pick a simple change you can make today and plan out small incremental changes that will get you to your desired goal.
- Maybe your diet is worse than it should be? Limit yourself to fast food only once a week (or cut it out entirely).
- Maybe you don’t know where you want to move in the country? Plan a few short trips out to potential locations.
- Maybe you want to do some traveling? Go talk to your boss about when you could take a few weeks (or months) off or how you can set up a plan to get your work done while not at the office.
You don’t have to jump head first into your life change. Make small changes to begin with to help build your confidence to take back even more control of your life.
As you grow through these victories you will soon find freedom and fulfillment in life like you’ve only dreamed of in the past making future changes (even the more difficult ones) much easier and even exciting!
Question: What do you need to do next to take back control of your life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.