I was a very free-spirited child.
I was outgoing, gregarious, and energetic. Some probably would say loud. 🤣
When I look back, I think I recognized that I had a certain power.
But as the years passed in elementary school, and then in middle school, I started to internalize a destructive and dominant message in our society.
That message is that my power as a young woman was dependent upon how I looked.
Because I always had such a strong personality, I really tried hard to reject this notion, but I wasn't very successful at it.
And over time, I guess you could say I got beaten down and I started to realize I had to conform.
If I wanted to be liked I had to act a certain way.
I also had to dress and look a certain way, and frankly, I was never very good at that.
As I got older there were a series of events that made me feel empowered such as traveling to Japan on my own, learning to speak Japanese fluently, marrying a wonderful man, and giving birth to 2 children naturally.
But at the same time, my sense of power and control over my life was dampened, more and more and more as I went through life.
Generally speaking, I felt like I didn't have power over my life.
And I don't think that I'm unusual.
I think that most of us walk around feeling like we don't have a lot of control over our lives.
It is true that there are many things that are not easily within our domain of control, such as the past, what other people think of us, the future, the economy, etc.
There are forces that seemingly control our lives. And that is a very valid observation that one could make in this world.
And I don't really want to discredit that.
But what I do want is to focus on what is within your realm of control.
If you solely focus on all the things that you can't control, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that there are many things within your realm of control.
I have learned that it is incredibly empowering to recognize what is within your realm of control and to actively be conscious of those things.
Our thoughts and our actions are within our realm of control.
We can't always control outcomes.
Like I can't necessarily control what my weight is, but I can control how much I eat.
I can't necessarily control how much money I make in a year, but I can control the way that I work and the way that I run my business.
But even more important is that I can control my thoughts, my attitude, and my perspective about all of this.
One example is people who are very successful financially and yet they're still very unhappy.
They are not really exerting proper control over their thoughts, their actions, and maybe their beliefs.
If you would like to exert more control over your life, the place to start is with observation and awareness.
The level of control over your thoughts and your actions is actually very, very high.
But you're not going to be able to even begin to tap into that power if you are walking around unaware.
So what I would encourage you to do after reading this article is to become mindful and aware of your thoughts and your actions.
And there are great ways to do this.
- Keep a journal
- Keep a food diary
- Do a time audit of your workday
- Have conversations to get feedback on your behavior in relationships
- Notice patterns of behavior in your life
- Pay attention to your thoughts during the day
- Meditate in the evening and reflect on your behavior, thoughts, and actions throughout the day
The first step in controlling your life is to become aware of your own thoughts and your actions, your patterns of behavior, and ultimately your beliefs.
As you become more and more aware of those, you can start to take steps to exert control over your thoughts and your actions.
And that's a whole process that we do with our clients.
But none of it can be done without observation, awareness, and reflection.
My next article will give you tools for the next step in being in control of your life and living the life you desire.