The only person who can give you the life you want...is you!
Updated: Mar 3, 2022
When did you last reflect on whether you’re where you want to be in life? By this, I mean where you want to be based on what’s important to you and fills you with joy. I don’t mean where you want to be compared with others. Take some time to reflect, think about what you’re enjoying and what you’re not. What would you like to be different?
Taking responsibility is empowering, it helps you to realise that you can make a difference.
For me, taking responsibility is about owning my behaviour, working towards the outcomes I want to achieve, not making excuses and not blaming people or circumstances for what I’m feeling, instead I do something to make the situation better.
This is something that’s followed me through life. I had some unhappy times when I was younger, it would have been easy to find things or people to blame, but I always wanted better and did what I could to improve things.
When I wrote the first blog on self-esteem, I thought I’d blend this message into other areas, but on reflection, I think it deserves a space of its own. Applying this thinking will help you when taking action in relation to the other aspects of self-esteem that I'll be writing about.
Sometimes life doesn’t feel easy; and sometimes things don’t go the way we want. What do you do when that happens?
Do you worry, do you moan, or do you do something about it?
For me, sometimes I quite like to moan a little, I usually like to talk things through, but it’s rare that I moan without doing something to improve the situation. Even if the only improvement I can make is how I see things – and you would be amazed at what a difference seeing things differently can make.
One small example of how this has shown up for me is that I recently saw someone I know a few times and she didn't say hello to me. In the past, I would have wondered if I'd done something to upset her, but instead, I thought she probably had a lot on her mind and hadn't registered me saying hello. I decided that the next time I saw her, I'd approach her to say hello and ask how she was. When I did, she let me know she had been preoccupied, we walked and talked a little. This is also a reminder that not everything is about you.
Another example of how I make things happen is with exercise. I love exercise and it's been present throughout my life. I've also had a lot of injuries, which means I avoid doing certain things. I don't do press-ups, sit-ups or anything that resembles them. A downside to that is some of my favourite classes have lots of those types of activities in them. Instead of missing out on those classes, I go to them and my instructors know that I'll do alternative exercises when needed. Being able to do this means I get a great workout without causing any pain to the parts of my body that need me to be extra mindful of them.
It’s important to take ownership of how we’re feeling and behaving; and where our life is going. If we leave things up to chance or up to someone else, we might never make it to where we want to be.
It’s often easy to find something that we’d like to change and then not do anything about it, but taking a step to improve the situation is essential. Think about it…the next time you worry or moan about something, ask yourself – what can I do to improve the situation? Follow this up by taking action.
At times, this is easier said than done, but it is possible. When I’m in a tricky situation, I weigh up how much I dislike the current position and want it to change, compared with the potential discomfort that can come with making that change happen. It always helps to be clear what change you want to see, so you can make the best decisions.
The trickiest situations I’ve found myself in are around relationships. At times I've spent years giving a relationship the opportunity to improve, opted to see the good in those involved and not wanted to break ties - especially with family members, but ultimately, there have been some negative relationships that I’ve walked away from. This has been important for my mental wellbeing, which is a key part of what keeps me living a life I love.
While you're the only person who can give yourself the life you want, you will need support in one way or another. Just as important as removing negative relationships is forming positive relationships, where you add something positive to each other's lives. Whether it relates to home life, career or anything else you're involved in, building those relationships makes life more enjoyable.
Remember you don't have to accept things the way they are. You can live a more satisfying, enjoyable, fulfilling life by seeking out and taking opportunities that fit with what you want; by not holding yourself back; and by not allowing others to hold you back either.
Note to self
Each time I write about one of these topics, I'll include a little 'note to self'. A positive statement that you can tell yourself to help you move towards where you want to be.
Here's what I chose for you this month:
If there's something I'm not happy with, I can do something about it
Do you sometimes find yourself in a situation you're not happy with, but don't do anything about it? If so, saying this can help to move you away from that and towards making a positive difference.
Give it a go and s