Are you the captain of your life, or do you allow others to chart your course? Many of us seek approval from others, follow the crowd, or try to keep up with the Joneses. This isn’t a call to disregard your need to fit in or to reject the support of others. But if you’re letting others control your agenda, you may be putting their preferences ahead of your own. It’s your life. Are you in control?
It’s important to make your priorities a priority. While you may think that you’re in charge, take a moment to review this list and then come to your own conclusion. Are you in control?
Is Your Life Out of Control?
Here are a few ways that we lose control:
Defer to our parents. When we’re young, we listen to our parents. When we grow older, it’s hard for some people to pull away.
Respect authority. We’re taught to respect authority. It comes as no surprise that we sometimes let “authority” unduly influence us later in life.
Follow directions. Some people would rather be told what to do than take the time to think for themselves.
Ask permission. Some folks request permission to do things even though they have the freedom to choose for themselves.
Afraid to say “no.” Some people get sucked into commitments because they’re uncomfortable saying “no.”
Conform to groupthink. Some folks change their opinions to bend to peer pressure.
Look for acceptance. Some people go to great lengths to win acceptance from others.
Join the bandwagon. Some folks follow the crowd simply because everybody’s doing it.
Keep up with the Joneses. Some people do or buy things because they want to prove they’re more successful than their neighbor.
Take Charge of Your Life
Here are nine ways to take control of your life:
Be self-reliant. If you’re too quick to ask for help, you’re undermining your confidence. Before asking of others…do for yourself.
Know thyself. Form your own opinions, set your own priorities, and follow your dreams. What makes you think others know you better than you?
Find the right balance. If you focus too much on making others happy, you may end up sacrificing your own happiness.
Step out of your comfort zone. Build confidence in your decision-making ability by securing small wins; then progress to more-significant decisions.
Listen to your conscience. Don’t blindly follow the crowd. If it doesn’t feel right, just say “no.”
Set the bar high. Make yourself proud rather than looking to others for acceptance. Always do your best, and you’ll never regret the outcome.
Keep your ego in check. Be content with what you have rather than trying to keep up with the Joneses. When you compete against yourself, you both win.
Know what you know (and what you don’t know). Seek guidance from others when matters lie outside your expertise. But don’t accept their input blindly. Make sure the rationale is sound before accepting it.
Trust your gut. Listen to others, but trust yourself in the end.
Be in Control
Get real. When you constantly seek approval, you give more weight to another person’s opinion than to your own. When you’re hijacked by other people’s priorities, you don’t have time to tackle your own. And when you follow the crowd or change your viewpoints to fit in, you’re not being true to yourself or your values.
Be the person who makes you proud. Follow your grandiose dreams. Reach for your highest goals. Do the things that excite you and give you the greatest pleasure. Most of all, live a life that gives you purpose. This isn’t a journey for the faint of heart or for others to take for you. Accept ownership of your life rather than relinquishing that responsibility to others. Get it under control. You owe it to yourself.
Are You in Control?
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