5 Simple Tips to Take Control of Your Life and Live Life on Your Terms

5 Simple Tips to Take Control of Your Life and Live Life on Your Terms

What does it take for you to “take control of your life?” We all know that life can be difficult sometimes, especially if things don’t always fall into place when you want, or need them to. Sometimes those simple things that don’t go as we hope they will can make us feel like our lives are derailed. Instead of focusing on the present moment we begin to catastrophise and the negative thoughts take over. 

Often we’re our own worst enemy as we compare ourselves to our friends, family and loved ones, focusing on what we haven’t got instead of being thankful for what we do have. It’s sometimes easier to trust what someone else says instead of relying on our own instincts. Why is that though? We believe other people know better, but it’s important to remember that only one person can sit in the driving seat and if we don’t take control of our lives others will.

Table of Contents – Tips to Take Control of Your Life

Remember Who You Are

5 Simple Tips to Take Control of Your Life and Live Life on Your Terms

If you’ve found yourself agreeing with someone for the sake of it, leaving a job you love for one your family thinks is better or finding yourself backing down in arguments for a quiet life then you may be in danger of becoming a passenger in your own life. Think about what you want for your life, where you want to live, how you wish to dress and where you’d like to be in your career instead of what others believe. 

Many times we can be agreeable as a way to prevent conflict or because others have conditioned us to believe that they can make better decisions over our own lives because they see things from a detached point of view. Not only can they be doing so to retain a sense of control over us, but by instilling that fear of failure, they can alter our state of mind to keep us dependent upon them, or others in general. 

This may sound quite dramatic, but think about the times that you may have had to make a decision and those niggling feelings and distracting thoughts pushed you to ask others for their opinion on areas of your life that affect only you. Instead of feeling capable of making your own choices, you will tend to focus on the negative consequences that each choice may bring – ultimately, leaving you lost and worried that you are unable to take charge of your life. 

Spend time making a list of SMART goals, get in touch with your creative side and write, draw or take pictures of your ideal future. Try to ignore comments, remarks, and protests from the people around you, as if they’re truly your friends they will be pleased that you’re the only one in the driver’s seat to make important decisions in your life. Acknowledge that things haven’t been easy, as you start to feel stronger, more confident and in control, you may feel a sense of grief for the way you just floated through life before.

Get Some Distance

We’re not saying that you should move to the other side of the world but instead to create some emotional distance between yourself and others. Although, sometimes creating physical distance from your toxic family member (for example) can unleash a growth mindset that can be life changing. 

If you feel like you can’t make any decisions without consulting your family here’s how to break the cycle. Firstly, while communication is good unless you’d like to, you don’t need to speak to your parents every day, as a grown adult you’re allowed to suggest a convenient time to call or make it clear that phone calls during working hours will not be answered. 

Let those safeguarding methods translate unto social media, too! Just because social media can be a way to share your life and express yourself, it doesn’t mean that everyone has to have access to what you are doing online. Create different groups to share your posts or stories with select people, or block those people who you don’t want in your online space – it’s that simple, and no one gets directly offended. 

You’re An Amazing Person

5 Simple Tips to Take Control of Your Life and Live Life on Your Terms

By now you’re probably feeling a bit down in the dumps, after all, we’ve just been telling you you’ve not actually been living your life, but now it’s time to celebrate you! Everyone is amazing, we all possess our own unique strengths, weaknesses, talents and skills but only you can allow yourself to feel sad, or unhappy about something. 

Don’t rely on others to tell you you’re wonderful, say it to yourself in the mirror every morning and you’ll soon realize that you weren’t after a compliment, you were after validation that you mattered. This behavior at its extreme, can make you feel weak, needy or a burden to the people in your life and at the same time boost someone’s self-esteem by making them feel like they’re superior. 

Focus on positive self-talk and you will realise that by taking small steps you can change those negative thinking patterns. If you rely on external validation more than you’d like to (we can all fall into this trap, don’t worry) try and set goals and focus on providing yourself with that positive reinforcement when you achieve them. 

Try achievable goals such as starting a daily gratitude journal, your reward will come by way of that quality time you have set aside for yourself, and the significant changes this can bring internally. Make it a whole routine; set aside 20 minutes to sit quietly on your own, make a cuppa, and write down the good things that you are grateful for in the day. Or, write down those anxious thoughts that bother you during the day as you are having your lunch break at work. These small tasks can help you realise that you are your first line support system and it will then become second nature to value your own opinion before others’. 

Drains And Radiators

Avoid people who only call you when they need something, don’t make time for you when you’re upset or leave you feeling worse about yourself. These are the drains, people who aren’t worth your time and energy and who are often looking for a scapegoat to blame all their problems on.  Never accept friendships that feel one-sided, fraught with jealousy and passive aggressive behavior and cut ties with anyone who makes nasty, sanctimonious comments as they clearly don’t care about your health and well-being. 

Many of us may flock to the “drains”, as they can usually be the type of people that are readily available. In my experience, the drains can masquerade as successful people with energy levels that are through the roof. Instead of providing a genuine positive experience, they can drain your energy by feigning genuine interest and friendship. Ultimately, this is a toxic relationship that can affect your emotional health, and physical health, too. 

Instead, focus your attention the radiators, warm, caring individuals who support your dreams, goals, and plans and who’ll gently listen, without judgment, to your fears, worries, and frustrations. Whilst these people are more difficult to encounter they are the gems that will help you create a genuine support system in your life. 

If you genuinely don’t know how to find these people, or are unsure of what the healthy balance in friendship entails, try looking for professional support. A therapist or counselor can help you identify traits in people that will nurture you and allow you to be the best version of yourself. 

People Aren’t Projects

On the subject of toxic friendships and dealing with those people in our lives that aren’t the best for us, remember not to assume you can fix someone! People aren’t like computers, they don’t have replacement hard drives and often insisting someone is broken or faulty can make things much worse. They may not see that there’s anything wrong and instead blame you for causing them stress and problems. If you’ve tried to help someone and they’ve either brushed it away or continued to engage in a negative activity, your only option may be to walk away either mentally or physically. 

By creating distance from those who either keep you in a state of constant worry, or don’t have good habits in their life you can provide yourself with the safe space that you need to focus on your own life and your own happiness. Whilst we all want to be there for those we love, there is a fine line between being there for those we care about and allowing others to sabotage our mental health. 

Here are some ways to take control of your life and life life on your terms;

  • get regular exercise
  • create a daily routine
  • learn new skills
  • develop your emotional intelligence
  • get help for underlying issues
  • prioritise your physical well-being
  • create a vision board
  • discover different mindfulness practices

Remember, it may not be simple to take control of your own life if you find yourself in situations where other people are doing bad things to you, in those situations get professional help. But if you are looking to make small changes that can help you live your best life, then I hope this list can help. 

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