6 Ways to Regain Control of Your Life – Right Now!
Everyone goes through times when they feel helpless, adrift in the wide ocean of their life and subject to the outer forces of wind and wave.
For short periods of time, this is not a bad thing; it creates opportunities for learning, new direction, creativity, and growth.
Many a tropical island paradise was found by the magic of letting go and merely keeping the ship upright.
But when feeling lost in your life becomes the norm, it may be time to grab the wheel and steer. Here are some ways to reset your inner compass and take control again.
SEE ALSO: How To Be Happy NOW
Begin a Meditation Practice
It might seem counter-intuitive to sit there doing “nothing” as a means to regaining mastery of your life, but it’s one of the best ways to get to know yourself and that’s a great place to start.
Quieting the mind is a gentle self-discipline, which leads to becoming less reactionary, and therefore less blown about by external circumstances.
Adding in silent contemplation can help you make careful decisions that are aligned with your best interests. There are many types of meditation, so find one that works for you, and try to keep up a regular practice. Even 5 or 10 minutes a day can make a difference.
Set Good Boundaries
If you are feeling rudderless, check your boundaries. People with too few boundaries are often harried and drained: physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Women particularly have the tendency to be people-pleasers, putting everyone else first. Sounds noble, but in an airplane you put your own oxygen mask on first, so that you can better help others. Setting good boundaries is a huge part of taking care of yourself.
So what do good boundaries look like?
- Learn to say “No”: “I just can’t join your committee right now. Ask me again sometime.”
- Draw lines in the sand: “If I don’t hear from you by Friday, I am proceeding with the plan as we laid it out here.”
- Respect yourself. You are the boss of you! “I need space right now. I will handle all of this better after a short break.”
Despite the fear that no one will like you if you set boundaries, people will respect you more when you are honest with them. It does not have to be mean, aggressive, or filled with excuses. Just state it, and regain some life control back.
Lose the Victim Mentality
When you accept the role of victim, you give away a large chunk of personal power.
Yes, there are many events that are out of your control, but how you respond to them is the key. Look at people after a disaster situation: some crawl under a rock and others find incredible strength to make not only their lives better, but the lives of those around them.
Attitudes like “This always happens to me” or “I’m this way because of my parents” trap you (or give you an excuse) from finding the energy to rise above it and fulfill your potential. Events that happened in the past are not happening right now in the present moment, and the present is the only place you have leverage.
Stand tall and tell yourself you are not a victim of your lovers, your parents, your work, the weather, flat tires, or dog poop on the carpet!
Low self-confidence is not a permanent state, and once you develop this area a little, you will be amazed at how you can steer your life.
Confidence-building actions multiply exponentially because each one gives you a bit more fuel for the next one. Start small: go to a movie or dinner by yourself, take a dance class, invite someone you’d like to know better for coffee, join Toastmasters.
It’s not about how well you do any of these; it’s the fact that you can say “I did it”. Then challenge yourself a little more. Self-confidence doesn’t come from brute bravery, but from trusting that you can handle whatever comes your way. Bonus: healthy confidence is attractive to others!
Set Meaningful Goals
Maybe you have a ship, a compass, and a map, but do you know where are you going? Creating a vision of where you want to be and setting meaningful goals to get there is imperative in directing your life path. Having a vision helps to keep you focused when life tosses you about.
Take some time to reflect or journal on what you want your future to look like, and then come up with some first steps to help you get started.
For example, your vision might be to move to California and become a nurse, so the first steps might be to research towns in the area you want to live and the available nursing schools near there.
Then make some phone calls, get applications, compare mover costs, etc… Setting up a checklist of goals is a fun way to keep track of your progress and to motivate you, and this can be anything from a list on the fridge to one on your smartphone.
Make Time for Fun
As mentioned above, sometimes being adrift is fun! Getting some control of your life doesn’t imply that you need to be serious all the time.
Relax, be spontaneous, and laugh! Shrugging off frustrations and set-backs by inviting some pleasure into your life can help push the emotional reset button, which gives you more energy in the long run.
Getting out of your day-to-day routine also promotes new ideas and creative solutions by challenging the existing neural pathways.
So take a day-trip, hike, visit a museum, picnic somewhere new, head to a spa, take a workshop, or read a trashy novel on the beach. You deserve it!
Regaining control over your life is a process, but one that leads to lasting fulfillment. So unfurl those sails, check the stars, and may you always have a blessed wind.
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