The circumstances of life can cause you to lose control of the direction of your life.
You may feel pulled in multiple directions between your career, the people in your life, and whatever else demands your attention.
You may even feel you are no longer making the decisions on how to live your life. Instead, you may feel as though you are being tossed around at the whim of an ocean storm.
Is this you?
We want you to know – you can take your power back.
But how do you do that?
It is a good idea to seek professional help from one of the therapists at BetterHelp.com as professional therapy can be highly effective in helping you to take your power back and feel like that power is yours and under your control.
1. No more excuses. Take extreme responsibility.
Life is hard. Sometimes we’re affected by things that are entirely outside of our control. Sometimes, these circumstances will press and push our lives in ways we don’t want.
However, there are other times in our lives when we choose to not do the right thing, take the easy path, or just throw our hands up in the air as though we are totally helpless.
But in many cases, we’re not helpless.
There are many ways you can make choices for your happiness and how you want to live your life. But it’s up to you to make and enforce those choices.
For example, let’s say you have a romantic partner who doesn’t treat you with respect or care. Yeah, they’re doing the wrong thing. They shouldn’t be doing that. But you can’t control anyone else’s actions. All you can control is what you are willing to put up with. It may be a matter of counseling, couples’ counseling, or even breaking up. But you’re the one who must decide what you’re willing to put up with.
Extreme responsibility is taking ownership of your own happiness. You need to be the one to take responsibility, not blame anyone else, and pursue what you want out of life. No more excuses.
2. Learn the power of the word “no.”
People pleasers rarely use the word “no.” They have soft boundaries that people with harder personalities either roll over or take advantage of.
The people-pleaser may invest a significant amount of mental, emotional, and physical energy by trying to take care of everyone else around them, even people who don’t necessarily deserve it.
Wait…some people don’t deserve help?
Not if they’re taking advantage of you. Not if they’re taking advantage of your kindness. You give an inch; they will take a mile, so you can’t give that inch. So instead, what you need to do is erect and enforce hard boundaries.
You need to say “no” because you want to say no to whatever the thing may be. It might be helping a friend move, listening to someone that needs an ear, or just taking on too much at work. Whatever it is, you must learn to say “no” to things you don’t have the time or genuine desire to do.
Eliminate the word “maybe” from your lexicon. It’s either “hell yes, I will do this” or “no.” No maybes. Well, as few maybes as possible.
3. Don’t bother complaining.
Complaining is a pointless waste of time and emotional energy. The time you spend complaining could be better spent looking for a way to accomplish or work on your goals.
Plus, no one wants to listen to it. Sorry, but they don’t. It’s pointless negativity that does nothing meaningful for you or the people around you.
Do you complain? Think about how often you complain. Sure, it’s reasonable to express some dissatisfaction with a situation. However, you may need to stand up for yourself from time to time. That can look like complaining, but it’s really not. That’s advocating for yourself.
No, complaining is more like talking about how much you hate your job for the last six months without putting in an application at a different place. Pointless, unnecessary negativity.
Stop complaining and do something about it!
4. Embrace forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a complicated subject because it’s so often thought of in the context of Sarah doing something wrong to Nichelle. Nichelle tells Sarah she’s hurt by the thing she did, Sarah apologizes, Nichelle accepts the apology, and everyone lives happily ever after.
But that isn’t the way life goes, is it? So no, that’s just the light, easy end of forgiveness.
Forgiveness in the context that people actually mean is often so much heavier. Misguided fools will tell survivors of horrible things that they need to “forgive” the perpetrator of those actions. But in many cases, the person probably isn’t sorry for the terrible thing they did and isn’t going to apologize for it. This makes it impossible to forgive them in that sense.
First and foremost, you are allowed to feel how you feel. That is totally valid. But when you’re ready to try to move on, consider forgiveness from the angle of sympathy and empathy. It might help, it might not, depending on what you’re dealing with.
For example, maybe your parents weren’t exactly kind to you. Maybe they abused you. Well, you have every right to be angry about that, but the anger just eats away at you as time passes. It festers like rot in your soul, stealing your peace and happiness.
Instead, you might try looking at the situation through the lens of empathy and sympathy. How sad for them that they are so broken that they would think of treating their child that way? What could have possibly gone wrong for them where they would think that was acceptable over being loving and supportive? Whatever it was, it was probably awful.
Maybe if you dig deep enough, you may find that they did think they were loving and supportive because their parents were so much worse. It happens.
That does not mean that no one must take responsibility for their actions. That does not mean you should let anyone off the hook for bad actions. It does not mean that your trauma and pain are not important. It’s just something to remember when you finally want to start letting go of that anger.
5. Understand your own values.
It’s important to understand your own values. People who don’t understand their own values will often be tossed around on paths that don’t feel right for them.
As a hypothetical, let’s say you never really thought about stealing as a bad thing, as something you want to totally avoid. But hey, it must be okay to pop a couple grapes in your mouth at the grocery store to see how they are, right? Well, no. It’s theft. It’s highly unlikely anyone will say anything about it, but it’s still theft. And even if you aren’t going to get dragged to court over a couple grapes, it still matters because it’s what your values and your character is causing you to do.
Consider your values. You likely have beliefs of great importance that you want to stick to. Understand them, embrace them, and learn to live in tune with them.
If you don’t know what your values are or find yourself numb, consider looking at other belief frameworks to figure something out. You don’t have to convert to a religion or become a master of philosophy to use some of their guidelines in your life.
People find inspiration in many places. Find yours where you can get it.
6. Don’t rely on the opinions of others for your self-worth.
What other people think of you is not your concern – you’ve no doubt heard this before. It’s an awesome ideal in thought, but not always an awesome ideal in practice.
The unfortunate reality is that you sometimes should worry about what other people think of you. Sure, it’d be great to cuss out a customer or employee acting like a jerk, but you’re probably going to get fired for that. So you must maintain a large degree of professionalism in the face of BS. You have to care what your boss thinks of you.
On the other hand, everyone and their grandmother are more than happy to give their opinion on how you choose to live your life. They will confidently tell you about yourself, why you’re not good enough, why you don’t matter, and whatever else they feel entitled to think about.
Well, they can think about what they want. Guess what? It doesn’t matter!
They have the freedom to think about what they want. You have the option to smile at them and say, “I’m not interested in your opinion about me or how I live my life!”
7. Be willing to stand out.
People often move along the path of least resistance. They avoid discomfort, fear, and anxiety because all those feelings are uncomfortable. As a result, they tend to blur together into a faceless morass of the social standards of the group.
Well, there’s a problem with that.
The group is rarely a good representation of the beauty of individuality. You cannot be satisfied with following the herd if you want to find peace and happiness with yourself. You cannot just go along with the group if you want to reclaim your power because your power is yours, not theirs.
Be willing to dive into the unknown and stand out from the crowd. It’s the only way to honor and respect the strong individual.
8. Develop your self-confidence.
Are you confident in yourself? Your capabilities? Your ability to handle what life throws at you?
Life is difficult sometimes. It can be hard to know what the right thing to do is. That’s why you can’t focus on the intangible, potential problems of the future. Instead, what you want to focus on are your own capabilities.
Your power and strength are in your ability to problem-solve and roll with the punches. You can’t control what life throws at you. But what you can control is how you respond to those blows.
Can you adapt and roll with it? Are you willing to ask for help from people who can help you? Are you willing to spend some time poking around on the internet for answers that might help you resolve the issue?
You can handle so much. Just look at the things you’ve already handled in your life. There are undoubtedly some difficult things that you’ve survived and come out on top of.
You got this. Know that you got this. Remind yourself that you got this when self-doubt creeps in. Tell it to do one and handle your business. You got this.
9. Work on improving your self-talk.
The words that you use matter. How you talk to yourself significantly impacts your self-perception, confidence in your abilities, and how you carry yourself in the world. In order to take your power back, you must stop using negative language to talk to yourself.
“I’m so stupid. I shouldn’t have done that.”
“I can’t do this. I’m not good enough.”
“Why would anyone love me? I’m garbage.”
That doesn’t fly if you want your power and your strength back! People who constantly undermine themselves in this fashion are selling themselves short and clipping their own wings. If you don’t believe you can do it, you’ll probably not try your best.
Try to use softer, more loving language to yourself.
“I made a mistake, but that’s okay. Everyone does.”
“I can’t do this. I don’t have the skills, and that’s okay. I don’t have to know everything. I’ll ask for help.”
“I am worthy of love. I just haven’t found the right person for me yet.”
You deserve words of love and kindness if from no one other than yourself. Other people’s opinions don’t matter.
10. Distance yourself from negative people.
Negative people always have a problem for every solution. The fact of the matter is it’s damned near impossible to maintain a happy, positive disposition when you’re surrounded by miserable people who only see the negative in everything.
Cynicism is easy and lazy. It takes effort to look past the darkness that can exist in life to find the light.
Life has always been challenging. It’s why philosophers have been debating the secret to happiness and fulfillment for thousands of years. And long before that, there were probably two cavemen debating on how to best find joy in the hunt or gathering nuts and berries.
It does you no good to spend your time around perpetually negative people. You don’t need to cut them off if you don’t feel that’s right. Just minimizing the time around them and the impact of their opinions on how you conduct your life will put so much more power back into your hands.
11. Commit to changing your life.
There’s nothing more difficult than creating meaningful change in yourself. It takes a lot of effort to unmake bad habits, change toxic thoughts, and replace them with better things.
There are no shortcuts. You will need faith in your ability to create the kind of life that you want. You just have to commit to doing the work.
It’s okay if you falter. It’s okay if you get sidetracked or get off course. What matters is that you pull yourself back on the right course to take you where you want to be. Fallen off the horse? No problem. Get back up on it. That’s what owning your decisions and life is all about.
12. Remember that the worst decision is no decision at all.
You have two choices in life. You can either decide for yourself, or fate will make it for you. By fate, we’re not necessarily talking about some divine thing that drives the universe, although that may or may not exist.
No, what we mean by fate are outside factors that may influence the way your decisions and life goes.
For example, suppose you aren’t willing to assert your power in situations where you can. In that case, those random circumstances are going to throw you in whatever direction they do. The other problem is that other people will take advantage of your indecision.
If you’re afraid of those big choices, remember that every decision you make in life is a learning experience. It may be a terrible learning experience, but if you can find value in the bad decisions you make in your life, you can then apply that wisdom to your future decisions.
People learn way more from their bad decisions than good ones. This is because bad decisions are one big way to gain wisdom.
Your power is waiting for you. You just need to be willing to step up, step into the life meant for you, and push forward. It will take courage and work, but you are more than capable of handling it.
So get out there and do something great. Be the best you that you can possibly be.
Still not sure how to take your power back? Talking to someone can really help you to handle whatever life throws at you. It’s a great way to get your thoughts and your worries out of your head so you can work through them.
Speak to a therapist about it. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can help you to identify where in your life you need to reclaim your power and provide personal, actionable advice on how to go about doing that.
BetterHelp.com is a website where you can connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message.
While you may try to work through this yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can address. And if it is affecting your mental well-being, relationships, or life in general, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.
Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome issues that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.
Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service BetterHelp.com provide and the process of getting started.
You’ve already taken the first step just by searching for and reading this article. The worst thing you can do right now is nothing. The best thing is to speak to a therapist. The next best thing is to implement everything you’ve learned in this article by yourself. The choice is yours.
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- 7 Highly Effective Ways To Be True To Yourself
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- How To Stop Being A People Pleaser: 15 Tips That Actually Work!