"We must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives. We must take charge of our own destinies, design a life of substance and truly begin to live our dreams." - Les Brown
Control is a strange thing. It's sounds so negative, yet it is a very normal part of our life.
As individuals, we all want to have some kind of control - of our life, our situation, our plans... We want to be in charge of something, one way or another.
But, of course, it doesn't always work that way.
In my case, whenever I feel like my life is spinning out of control, I like to take some time to figure out three important things:
1) What is it about my situation that I cannot change?
2) What is it about my situation that I can change?
3) What is it that I can do right now, to come up with the best solution towards improving my situation?
Note in #3 that it's not about changing the situation or the things that surround it, but rather just finding things to improve it. No matter how little.
Of course, it's never ever that simple. Often, it's easier to feel like a victim and/or to blame other people/situations. I definitely fall in to this trap every now and then.
But, I know that if I didn't want to be in a vicious cycle of blame and feelings of helplessness, I have to take charge of what needs to be done in order to improve things.
"When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life." - Geoffrey F. Abert
So, as an example: Someone disappoints me about a certain plan. With my 3-point "taking charge" questions, I respond to this situation by:
1) Accepting that this person can no longer help in a situation that I need them for. I cannot change that and will refuse to dwell on it.
2) Thinking of ways that I can proceed with my plans, even without this person's help. And, if there's no one else to help, I can consider other pathways.
3) Planning to ask other people for help or guidance. Although it's tempting not to ask other people for help, in case I get disappointed again, I also realise that it's not the best course of action if I want to move forward. So, I widen my search and tap in to my network. Even if it makes me uncomfortable.
I have recently used this strategy in coping with a situation that I faced. And, from how things worked out, I have definitely ended up with a very positive result. Not only did I get the help that I needed, I even learned a thing or two about opportunities and networking.
It doesn't change the fact that I am disappointed by this other person. However, due to their refusal to help, I have ended up learning a few valuable lessons about widening my reach. And, coming up with more creative solutions to my situation.
Perhaps, something's bugging you right now as well. Something that you might wish to change on a personal or professional level. Whatever that may be, I hope that you'll find ways to get around it and have the strength to take charge.
"We can let circumstances rule us, or we can take charge and rule our lives from within." - Earl Nightingale
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children’s book.
A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology” list.
Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.