OK, straight out of the gate, I want to talk about one thing – taking responsibility for your life. Your life is your life and nobody else’s. Let that sink in for a minute.
YOUR LIFE IS YOUR LIFE!
It is empowering, isn’t it? Doesn’t it give you OWNERSHIP of your life? Your life is yours, and nobody else’s. You control your mind. You control your feelings. Nobody else. Period.
There are a few things that result in your life once you have this powerful belief. One is that it gives you control of your life; you can make decisions for yourself. In fact, no matter what anyone else says or does, you are the one making decisions for yourself in all situations, how you want to react, and how you want to feel – no matter what.
The second thing that happens once you have this powerful belief that your life is yours is that you inherently take responsibility for your life. You immediately change the way you see situations – you lose the (I hate to say it, but it’s important).. the “victim mentality”.
But life does get in the way, and bad things sometimes happen to us. We’ve all had a string of bad luck hit us, had people screw us over. We’ve all been hurt by someone, and we’ve all had days where nothing just goes right and bad luck just won’t leave you alone.
That was a test. Do you know what the problem is with the commiserating statements above? It is so easy to feel comforted by words and phrases like that. We are human, and we do need companionship, and for people to understand our suffering. Understanding is good, but commiseration is bad. Re-read the paragraph above, and think about how it is phrased. I purposefully worded things so that things were happening to you, pain was put upon you, bad luck was personified into a villain.
Successful, happy, optimistic people aren’t accidents. In the beginning, when you’re young.. you learn from people around you – by modeling what you see… interpreting the events in your life, building your beliefs about what is possible and what is not possible. But now you’re an adult, and you’re able to make decisions on your own. You’re able to learn on your own. You sometimes wonder how someone you see can accomplish so much – it defies your beliefs. You think they’re different in some way. Well, it’s true – they are different in some way. They’re different in their beliefs, and that’s something that you can change. They believe that they can do anything. They’ve pushes through the point that they thought was their own limit and have become limitless. You now are also learning that you too can change your beliefs.
I’ll write more about beliefs soon, but for now I don’t want you to be left without any tools to use. Simply saying something to yourself, while good if it’s something positive, isn’t enough.
Listen To How You Talk To Yourself.
If you catch yourself wording things in a way that things are happening TO you, change the way you’re looking at the situation and take ownership. For example, suppose you’re late to a meeting because you get stuck at every light along the way. The meeting is important, and because you’re late a deal falls through. You lose your commission. In your mind, you have a ton of frustration, maybe even anger and some of the people that were driving slowly in front of you blocking all the lanes so you ended up getting stuck at a light instead of making it through… You hear yourself thinking, “I can’t believe that those ***** slow people made me lose this deal!”. How should you be looking at this? You should take responsibility and be doing two things… 1.) Thinking “I knew I should have left earlier…that won’t happen again”, and 2.) Reframing (something I’ll write more about) the event from a negative into a positive…”I slipped up today, but I’ll find a way to fix this tomorrow”, or “something better is coming and I’ll be ready for it when it does”.
Observe How Other People Talk About Things That Happen To Them
Because with many people, it seems like they always word things so that things are always happening TO them if they’re bad, but if something good happens, they’re always the one that DID it. Don’t be critical, just observe. The more you see it and hear it in other people, the more you’ll be aware of it in yourself.
Watch How Other People Talk To YOU
This is important, because you can catch yourself talking to yourself and change it. You can listen to other people talking about themselves, and observe it. But someone else talking to you, trying to be a friend, family member, parent, etc… might inadvertently be passing along some of their way of looking at things, which is NOT always going to be the RIGHT way of looking at things. It’s easy to listen to someone consoling you… it feels good, it makes you feel loved, cared for, not alone. But be careful – take in the emotional gift of support, but BE CAREFUL! If you hear someone consoling you and saying something like, “I’m so sorry, I can’t believe this happened to you again”… Don’t let those words ride the emotional highway into your brain. With some people trying to console you, you might need to turn things around and console them – rephrasing what they’ve said so that they hear the change in perspective! Pass along your GOOD way of looking at things and you’ll help them more than you know and they won’t even realize it. Magical, isn’t it?
Be Aware of How You Talk To Other People
Don’t keep this gift for yourself. You don’t have to preach to other people, or judge them when you hear them phrasing things in a way that you hear them giving up their lives. Over time, you’ll come to recognize this pattern of behavior in people almost all day, every day. Instead of judging, stepping up on a soap box… Listen to them. Give them understanding. And most importantly, phrase things in a way that gives them control of their lives – you’ll help them more than you (or they) will know.
You’ll see how this shift in perspective will build a foundation of belief… a belief that is extremely powerful in all aspects of your life, and how your life effects the lives of others.