Do you feel stressed and anxious because your life seems out of your control? Believing that you are ever really in control of your life is a fantasy. There’s only ever one thing in life that can you control, that’s you and that’s enough.
We often measure wellbeing against how “in control” we feel. That’s fine as long as we remember that the only thing we can really control is ourselves.
When life is peaceful, predictable, and going along nicely it’s relatively easy to be in control of your thoughts and emotions. But it doesn’t take much for that control to jump right out the window. The pandemic is one of those things that has thrown many people off course. The impact of other people, illness, or maybe even your own ambitions can throw your control of yourself off course.
Your Time is so Precious
Your time is the most precious thing you have. Without time you have nothing else. So why would you waste any of it stressing out about things that you have no control over?
The idea that your stress levels and emotions are the direct result of your thoughts, is relatively new. It’s easy to blame situations and other people for your emotions. You may even think it’s justified. But by taking responsibility for your thoughts and the emotional results of those thoughts, you’ll have so much more control over your life.
Knowing that upsetting yourself with things outside of your control is unwise, is one thing. Being able to manage your thoughts so that you aren’t upset is another.
Take Responsibility for your Thoughts
Taking responsibility for your thoughts is the first step to increasing the control you have over yourself. The next step is even more challenging because it requires consistent work. Work that ultimately only you can do.
Decide which thoughts serve you and will get you where you want to go. Hang onto those thoughts tightly. Put them up on post-it notes around your workspace or on your fridge. This is evidence that you can use to create more positive thoughts.
You may be surprised when you start observing your thoughts. They’re likely to be far more negative and critical than you expected. Sometimes you’ll want to give into them. But what will help you take control of your life is to challenge them. Challenge them with thoughts that are believable. You probably won’t be able to believe that you’re amazing at something. And there will always be people that are better than you. But you can believe that you’re good enough.
What if I’m Not Good Enough?
This is the underlying thought that undoes so many people. Don’t let it undo you. It’s a thought that won’t serve you. Keep reminding yourself that you are good enough. Keep reading your post-it notes, with all your evidence displayed right where you’ll see it. But if the thought persists, at some point, you’ll need to confront it if you want to have as much control over your life as you can.
Of course you’re good enough, everybody is. And good enough for what anyway? This thought is probably coming up for you in just one or two areas of your life. Take some time to evaluate the thought. Imagine an old-fashioned set of scales. Put this thought on one side and all the evidence you have to the contrary on the other side.
If your scales continue to tilt towards the side of “I’m not good enough,” then re-evaluate what you’re trying to do. Ask people who you trust what they think to make sure that your perception is valid. Maybe there are things you could do that would increase your confidence in yourself? Ultimately there’s no point pushing ahead with something that you have a strong underlying belief can’t work.
Pushing Forward with your Best Thoughts
The scales are a great visual reminder of what’s true for you. Maybe with more information it will no longer be true. That doesn’t matter. That’s something for the future.
Right now, if your scales tilt towards the positive evidence that you are good enough to do or have what you want, then align with your thoughts and get going. You can re-evaluate later and maybe change course if necessary. But right now, use your evidence to create more thoughts that put you in control of whatever you’re trying to achieve. If not consider one of our life-changing courses.
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