12 Things You Can Do to Take Control of Your Life

Constant uncertainty and change can make us feel out of control. While we don’t have control over many things, we do have control over few important things. Here is what you can do if things have been off-kilter lately.

By Jenny Dsouza ~

How to Take Control of Your Life

We've all been feeling out of sorts lately. The world shifted for all of us overnight. The pandemic and the catastrophe it brought along with it has us all feeling out of control. It's impossible to believe that something that cannot be seen, heard, or felt can wreak such havoc in our lives. And take with it any semblance of control on our lives.

No matter the situation, a lack of control in us can shake us, deviate our goals, and change us in unimaginable ways. We tend to put in too much energy stressing over factors we cannot control and end up micro-managing trivial things just to feel in control of the circumstances.

If you have been feeling muddled and things seem wayward lately, here are a few ways to bring back the feeling of control into your life.

Accept Your Reality

We have no control over a situation that we refuse to accept. If you have been in denial of the situation because reality is devastating, then it is about time you peek at the real world. And accept that this is happening. And you are in the center of it. Accept that you cannot control everything. And any sense of control is just an illusion. This habit instills a sense of calm and drives you to achieve what matters to you.

Keep the Promises You Make

Now that you know what the reality is and that there is not much we can do about it, it is time to look at what you can do.

Our word is a sacred bond. We use our words to create the experiences and situations around us. And we use our words to make decisions and plans. Our promise to do something is a signal to the universe that we want to attract something in our lives. And our actions are strong signals that we believe in that promise.

You cannot control the consequences, but you can surely take charge of your actions and words. By keeping true to your promises, you are projecting power over your future and wellbeing.

So, if you are feeling a lack of control, then try and keep the promises you make - not just to others, but to yourself. Go for that run, finish that book; take charge of your day-to-day routine to see the world around you transform.

Forgive Yourself

If you are constantly feeling guilty and demeaning yourself, as a result, treat this as the sign from the universe to forgive yourself. While it is important to forgive others, it is more important to forgive yourself. Let yourself off the hook for things you have done in the past. The fact that you are feeling guilty and have been carrying the guilt for so long means that it was a genuine mistake and you do repent it. Show kindness towards yourself and treat yourself with respect.

You can only take back your control over your life if you allow yourself to be forgiven. This would free up your mental energy and help you channel it to constructive emotions of self-love and self-reliance.

Let Go of the Past

If life has been difficult or if someone close to you has wronged you, it is about time you let it go. Many times, the trauma of our childhood stays with us for years. We need to let go of the past to truly be able to move on. But it is not just about childhood. It is about the past overall. If you have been holding on to life experiences in the past, it is defined who you are as a person today. And if you are reading this article, holding on to your past has not served you well. It is time to let it go. We cannot, after all, control what is in the past or what is yet to come. But we can always control our present circumstances and make the best of our life today.

Venture Outside the Comfort Zone

We've all heard this before. Do something uncomfortable. Shake things up. To change our reality, we need to change the way we think and act. 

Let us take a step back and consider this. If thinking the way, you have been thinking for years has led you to this point in your life, and you do not like where you are, then it's likely that thinking and doing the same things today is not a promising idea. You need to think and act differently to get different results in life. This means taking control of your situation, making the bold step to quit, move on, or even just deciding to say no to things that do not light up your soul.

Take back that power. Make the change your life deserves. Get outside that comfort zone.

Change Your Perspective

Energy flows where your intention goes. So often, we pigeonhole our lives. By shrinking our vision to immediate surroundings, our problems and tensions sometimes get the better of us. We go to great lengths to blame our sufferings on others or why others’ problems are not our responsibility. However, taking control of our lives take much less energy and causes less mental damage.

Take notice of your current reality, pause, and take a step back to view the larger picture. Letting go of trivial things doesn’t mean losing control. By bringing the bigger view in our perspective again, you can get a bird’s eye picture of your life, realize the triviality and importance of circumstances. This would help center your mindset, relieve some stress, recalibrate your plans and approach the task at hand with renewed energy.

Say No

Saying no has been connoted with making excuses, being a bad person or letting someone down, or even being aggressive in some cases. The ingrained sense of guilt in saying no is so strong sometimes, that you would rather do something unwillingly than say no. But what you fail to realize is that every time you say yes to something you would rather not do, you are giving away some power to make your own decisions and safeguard your wellbeing.

Instead of beating around the bush, making up excuses, or stalling the task, take charge, confront the person, and politely explain your reason for the decline. Also, remind yourself that your needs are significant; and that you have the power to reject anything that does not feel constructive to you.

Set boundaries for yourself (like dedicating ‘me time,’ not answering emails over the weekend), be assertive while saying no (like saying “I’m sorry, I’m stretched too thin right now to take up a new task” instead of saying “Maybe I can take it up next week” which makes the asker continue the request for your time). These tactics take time to bring but are sure-fire ways to take back your control over your life.

Let Go of Toxicity

If you are surrounded by people who bring you down, spread negative energy, and do not support the change you want to make, you must let them go. We all have this one life. One. We will not get a do-over. Do whatever to whoever is adding toxicity to your life, for whatever reason, it is about time you let them go.

This does not just apply to people who are pure toxic. This also applies to people who bring out the toxicity in you. When you know that a person brings out the worst in you, it is time to let them go. If you cannot completely cut them out of your life, then get some distance so you can build your positive energy reserves and learn to feel good again. So that you can take the time needed to reclaim control over your life and energies around you.

Give Up on the Blame Game

We’ve all done this before. We blame other people and external situations for the problems we are in today. If you have been blaming your parents or your ex for your misery, then consider this an intervention. They are not the problem. You are a grown human being capable of making your own choices and that means choosing to not let them affect you. Or choose to walk out if the situation is intense and something you cannot control. Blaming anything or anyone is not going to empower you. It will disempower you because the control is outside of you. Someone else is in control of how you feel. That can only be disempowering.

If you genuinely want to take your control back, it is time to stop playing the blame game and take full responsibility for how you feel.

Prioritize and Focus On What’s Important

Taking control of your life means knowing what is important to you. And making that a priority. Did you always want to hit the gym and get back in shape? Did you want to start your own business? What is that one thing you have wanted to do for a long time but never got around to it? Prioritize it and focus all your attention on it.

The thing is, we often focus on what we do not want. We rarely focus on what we want. We do not want to live in this house, or we do not want to lose that job, or we do not want to put on any more weight. When we focus on what we do not want, we attract more of it in our lives.

When we live our lives without a routine, we set ourselves up for failure. If you've been struggling to change, then we recommend you read this article on focusing on change.

Get Into a Routine

Any kind of routine. Getting up at a specific time, going to bed at a specific time, working out, eating right, practicing meditation and mindfulness, it does not matter how big or small your routine is. But when you commit to doing something every day at a specific time without fail, it gives you a sense of control over your day and your life.

When you cannot control the situation, even this small sense of control can help in bringing peace and a sense of security to your life. So, when you are feeling out of control, get our that habit tracker app and pick a small habit. And commit to doing it every single day.

Be Grateful

No matter where you are in life, however low, know that there are still things in life to be grateful for. Practicing gratitude is the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself. Counting blessings have shown numerous benefits, emotional, mental as well as physical. It gives us a sense of calm. It releases happy hormones and tells our survivalist minds that we are safe. That there is good still around us, no matter how terrible things look now.

If you do not know where to start your gratitude practice, we recommend that you try these 3 simple ways to practice gratitude. It works wonders even if you are a beginner.

The best way to take control of your life is to decide that your life is your own. Your actions, words, and habits are the manifestation of your desires and beliefs. Start small but start somewhere, you are not the victim of your surroundings. Only you can control your life and happiness. So, bring in the good, take charge.

If the suggestions we offered above helped you, please share this article with others who can benefit from it. If there are some suggestions that we missed (and they have helped you before), then do let us know in the comments. Your ideas, suggestions, and comments not only help us make our articles better but also helps others who are reading the article. We hope you will consider commenting. Thank you for taking the time to read the article and spending time with us. We appreciate it.

Remember, we are all inthis together. We got this. Happy living!

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