We all can admit that it's hard to one day break out of our shell and start taking responsibility for our own life especially if we always have someone to rely on to help make things happen for us, or, if we have been in engaged in the stability and comfort of that certain thing that makes us unhappy for far too long i.e. a job that kills our soul but pays well, a rollercoaster-ride relationship. These are two different scenarios but they both require the same action - deciding that we're going to take charge of our own life.
What we need to realize is that by staying in comfort because it's less scary, less terrifying, and more convenient, we let others take away our own personal power. When you always rely on something or someone to help you all the time, you don't grow your own personal power. Whatever is sharpened gets sharper. Whatever we focus on expands. Whatever we exercise gets stronger. If we never ever do things on our own and just rely on luck, someone , or something else to help change our situation, we would never get to exercise our own courage, self-discipline, and build our self-confidence.
Now are you ready to start taking charge of your own life? How's how you can start doing so.
1. Realize that it's important to start taking charge of your own life.
Whoever you rely on - whether it be parents, partner, a friend, a job, or even God - they are not going to be there for us forever and not 100% of the time. One day they may leave us. One day they may pass away. One day the friendship may end. Then when that happens, you may feel like breaking down if you have always relied on them for help. When that suddenly happens, it will not be easy for you to adjust. You will not have the inner power and capability to deal with the weight of matter that life throws at you. Building one's mental strength takes time. It's like building muscles - you're not going to be muscular after lifting weights for a week. It takes months and years of practice and stamina training. Our brain is the same. Our mind is the same. Our soul is the same. You need to start taking care of it and build its strength so that it can be ready to tackle when you really need it to be.
2. Say ‘No’ to help.
Some of us are blessed with family and friends who always want to help us. It is a blessing and it is also a curse because you'd never get to start taking complete charge of your own life until they take their hands off you. Some people find satisfaction and fulfillment in life by helping others. To them, helping others is a way to build bond and connection with other human beings. But what they don't realize is that their help is making others weak and stay in the state of being weak and helpless.
Like the saying that says,
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
It is very true. If our parents always cook for us, how can we know how to cook? We need to learn to cook ourselves so we can cook when they're no longer there.
The earlier we can learn to say no and decide to take charge of our own life, the better. Those kind friends and family might freak out at first as their helping hands get rejected. Explain to them that you love them but you want to start building your own strength and deal with life's problems on your own. Why would you want to deal with that ? - they may ask. Sometimes the best thing you can do to get yourself into discomfort and start growing is to move somewhere new, so that asking for help becomes harder to do. It can be scary, but it will surely build your mental strength, independence, self-reliance, and increase your ability to listen to no one else but your own intuition and the voice in your own head and heart.
3. Say ‘No’ to choices that make you unhappy.
Sometimes it's easy to keep staying where we are even though it makes us unhappy - this is because the soul-sucking situation provides some sort of comfort - comfort that comes with not making change; comfort of the familiar; comfort of the known and the predictable. But unless we start taking charge of our life and building our courage to get up and leave the current situation, life will never get easier. Only when you build your strength, life gets easier. And strength does not magically grow, it needs to be built.
When we're scared of making change, it's mostly because we overestimate the cost of taking the risks. We imagine the worst possible outcome which consequently makes us scared and keeps us in our own shell. Imagining the worst outcome and not taking the plunge is the result of not believing in your own personal power (which you may not have at the moment). But, let's face it - you will not have the power until you build it.
We are who we confidently tell ourselves we are. We are who we practice and build ourselves to be. Staying in the state of helplessness, we enable our weakness to get stronger and our strength to get weaker. Just like the heart and legs get stronger as you run more, the mind also gets stronger as you build its power through practice.
4. Realize that you only have the power you decide to build.
We aren't born with personal power; we build it. You may be scared of making change because you don't feel confident in your abilities. Whatever you want to have in you, you need to build.
- If you want to be confident, you need to practice confidence and put yourself through challenges where you can grow your confidence.
- If you want to be more courageous, put yourself into situations where you have to get out of your comfort zone.
- If you want to be smarter, surround yourself with people smarter than you and keep learning.
- If you want to be strong, you need to practice and grow your muscles and mind.
- If you want to be sociable, go to social events more often until it feels comfortable to start conversations with strangers.
- If you want to be open-minded, learn to listen to different opinions and beliefs with the intention to understand and without judgement.
- If you want to be patient and calm, put yourself into situations where you have to wait and force yourself to stay calm and relaxed.
We were born as blank canvases. Those with traits and characters you wish you had weren't born with those; they had to go through experiences that help them build those - and you too can build whatever you wish to have in you.
5. Know that life is a journey.
A lot of us are scared of taking charge of our own life because we're scared that we may fail and we may make mistakes. So we stay in our own comfort zone because it feels safer. If you really want to start taking charge of your own life, you need to trust in fate, in destiny, and most importantly in yourself. Remove the fear, doubt, and expectation that life will always go as planned.
Change your perception and your mindset towards life from expecting it to be perfect to hoping for inner strength to deal with whatever comes and for adaptability so that you can adjust the lens which you use to look at the world. Whatever happens in life, you will be okay, you will be fine. Positive events come in to give us joy. Negative events come in to be our teachers. Disappointments come in to close the door that is wrong for us and push us into the direction to find the door that is right for us.
When you look at life this way, you won't fear mistakes and disappointments as much. Instead, you will learn to embrace them and feel empowered. After all, you are in control of your own destiny - and whether this statement is true or not, it starts with you deciding to take charge of your own life.
I hope that in the new year you're ready to say that the direction of your life depends on you and that you're ready to build whatever traits you wish to have in you.