Get Back in the Driver’s Seat of Your Life Using These 5 Easy Steps
We all feel out of control sometimes. Things get out of hand. Your to-do list piles up. You are overwhelmed. There’s no time. You have worked the same job for years and you’re grasping for more.
It’s like you’re passively moving through life. You don’t feel like you are the driving force behind it - time is passing you by and you have no control. A cascade of feelings can occur, leading to depression, severe anxiety, and overall dissatisfaction with your own life.
Unlike other stress management articles, we’re here to tell you that you have total control over your own life. Maybe it doesn’t feel like it. Maybe you are stuck in a bad state of mind that you can’t seem to shake. You don’t have to be stuck. In fact, you aren’t stuck. You make the decisions that make your life what it is. So, why not make it what you want it to be?
Gain back control. Actively start participating in your own life. Yes, it can be stressful. Change is uncomfortable - Get used to the uncomfortable. Welcome it. These changes don’t have to be huge. Surprisingly, the little changes can make the biggest impacts. So, get back into the driver’s seat of your life. Kickstart your ride with these 5 easy steps.
Step 1: Reconnect With Yourself
When life gets busy, we forgot about ‘me time.’ It always comes last - if we can squeeze it in. If you don’t take the time to check in with yourself and reconnect with yourself, how do you know what you want to get out of your life?
Instead, get to know yourself. Quite riding that passive wave. Find what sparks your fire. Seek out that solo time. Start that side business you keep talking about. Try that new hobby. Have you been wanting to hit the gym? Or maybe try your hand at crocheting? Do it.
“I don’t have time.”
“Family comes first.”
“It’s not a priority.”
Here’s the thing: You can’t give your best self without first finding your best self.
Drop the excuses for a second. Talk to your husband about taking the kids for a day - Help each other out! You’re a team. Give him his alone time, and ask him to give you yours. It’s not that you don’t love your family or want to spend time with them. It’s about resetting, checking in with yourself, and cutting yourself some slack.
We can’t always be “on.” And surprisingly, no one expects you to be. Openly communicate with your family and friends. Discuss how you can make it work, then follow-through. And make it a regular thing. This way you’ll have time to discover you. It will prevent you from blaming others for your downfalls or for what you haven’t done but have wanted to.
Do you want to go back to school and finally get that degree? A little me-time can help you decide and can help get you there. If you don’t do what you want to do, take responsibility. You have a choice - which leads into Step 2.
Step 2: Start Thinking of Everything as a Choice
Our mind builds up these limiting thoughts and beliefs. It almost gets worse the older we get. We think we can’t. In reality, we are choosing not to. Yet, we don’t recognize this.
“If it isn’t easy, I can’t do it.” Replace that I can’t with “I won’t,” or “I don’t want to.”
Now, let’s rephrase that sentence. ‘If it isn’t easy, I don’t want to do it.’ It kind of changes the meaning a bit, doesn’t it? You don’t want to do it, because it isn’t easy. Of course, there will be things that you can’t do. For example, a lot of people can’t touch their tongue to their elbow. But, be realistic about saying ‘you can’t.’
We often jump to “I can’t” because there is no obvious or direct route. Instead, ask yourself if you can. The best things in life aren’t easy. But you have a choice. You can choose to try and do it, or choose not to. Take responsibility for your choices. You have control of them.
We can also take this a step further by learning to say “no.” Perhaps you feel out of control because you are stretching yourself too thin. You’ve taken on too much. Saying ‘no’ saves your energy for the things you want to invest your life and time into.
Next time a potential new obligation or commitment is asked of you, ask yourself if it is really what you want - is it going to benefit your life? Do you need it? Do you want it?
Step 3: Try Something New
Every stress management article and mood-boosting advice you read will likely tell you to try something new. Explore a new hobby or try a new activity. Why not try something that scares you? Face fear in the eye and take it down.
We often avoid trying new things because we are afraid of the unknown. Yet, new things can mix things up. They can help you avoid stagnation in your life. It can also open doors to new opportunities and experiences you may have missed out on otherwise.
Step 4: Cut Out the Things You Don’t Need
Like a good spring cleaning, sever ties with the things and people that aren’t serving you well. If you don’t enjoy hanging out with that one friend anymore, stop making plans with them. It sounds harsh but you will both be better off in the long-run. Don’t drag something out if it isn’t working.
Again, this can help make room for the things you do enjoy and the people you do like seeing on the regular. Take out the negative and replace it with positive entities. You have control over where you spend your time and your energy - Grab hold of it!
Step 5: Embrace Change & Actively Seek it Out
Change is constant. Yet, the definition of change is the exact opposite. It will be slightly uncomfortable; as aforementioned, the unknown is scary, as is change. But, if you welcome it with open arms, look forward to it, and accept it as part of life, it can gear your life toward the better.
Look at it as something exciting - something new! Whenever change happens, good or bad, frequently positive things come out. It may take time, but things have a way of working out for the best. Know this and again, accept it. Control your change by actively making choices - you have the full reins on this one.
You are in full control. You are in charge of your own life’s path. Start with reconnecting with yourself and determining what you want your life to be like. It doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s life. After all, this is your life. Take these 5 steps and strategies and make a positive change, right here and right now.
Grab that steering wheel and drive that car down the road you want to take. Create the life you’ve always wanted, one step at a time.