Hi friends! If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, or you follow me on social media, then you know I’m a pretty positive person. I truly love life and try to always focus on the good stuff.
But, this wasn’t always the case. I have learned to greatly appreciate all of the wonderful things in my life, because I spent many years being stuck in darkness. For many years, I felt like life was just happening to me, and that I was a victim of my circumstances.
It wasn’t until I learned to take responsibility for myself that my life started to change for the better, and little by little I’ve become one of the happiest people I know.
Learning to take responsibility for my life helped me end a dysfunctional relationship and create space for the amazing marriage I now have.
It helped me stop drinking, smoking, and numbing myself from the world, and instead start experiencing life as it is meant to be experienced.
It allowed me to stop making excuses and move to the beach where I always wanted to live.
It lead me to decide that the time was right to become a mother even though it felt out of my comfort zone at the time.
It guided me to start this blog and start doing work to support other women.
It helped me decide that working full time was no longer right for me and guided me to quit my job to focus more on my family and other interests.
Learning to take responsibility for myself has become my guidance system. It has helped me develop trust in myself and my intuition and know that it will never lead me wrong.
But, it is not always easy. Taking responsibility for ourselves requires us to make massive decisions that are not always easy to make. It means taking complete ownership of our lives and deciding that we will not be victims to our circumstances. Many times, it means we have to step outside of our comfort zone and do things that feel hard.
Taking responsibility for yourself is not always about major life changing decisions like making a big move or having a child. It is a decision you make everyday. Taking responsibility for yourself might mean having a difficult conversation, setting some boundaries, or taking better care of yourself. It is about taking ownership over the kind of life you want to live and the way that you want to feel.
Taking responsibility for yourself means knowing that you alone have complete power over your feelings, thoughts, and actions.
I’ve developed a 5 step process for taking responsibility for ourselves and improving our lives. Follow the steps below and you will be well on your way to living the life you desire.
1) Notice how you feel.
Our feelings are our central guidance system. When we feel good, it is because we are on the right track. When we start to feel a little off, it is often because we are not listening to our desires and needs. For me, my go-to feeling is anxiety. Anytime I notice that I am feeling anxious, it is usually a sign that things aren’t working in some aspect of my life. Anxiety is the feeling that comes up most often for me, but for you it might be anger, sadness, or even dissatisfaction. Noticing that you are not feeling as good as you would like to feel is the first step to making positive changes.
2) Pay attention to how you are talking to yourself.
When times get tough, it’s easy to find ourselves wallowing in negativity. Paying attention to the words we use to describe ourselves and our current situation is the next step towards change. Even during challenging times, phrases like “I’m so anxious”, “I feel terrible”, or “This sucks” aren’t particularly helpful. If you find yourself repeating these negative phrases over and over, guess where that will get you? Yep, you will end up feeling anxious, terrible, and stuck in a sucky situation. Watch your words, because the stories we tell ourselves become our reality.
3) Change your words.
Now that we’ve noticed the negative thoughts we’ve been having, and the stories we have been telling yourself, it’s time to switch them into something more proactive. So, instead of saying “I’m so anxious”, you might say “I am managing my anxiety in creative ways.” Instead of “I feel terrible”, you might try, “I find small ways to feel good everyday”, and instead of “This sucks”, you might say “I am doing my best during a difficult situation.” Do you notice how much more empowering these words are? Make these new phrases your mantras, and repeat them to yourself over and over again until you start to believe them.
4) Focus on what you can control.
Many times, when we are facing challenges, we start to feel out of control. Many of life’s biggest challenges are completely out of our control, yet we spend so much time and energy fixating on these things that we cannot change. The best thing to do is to focus on what you CAN control. Even in the most seemingly hopeless situations, there is always something that is within our control. Sometimes, we may not be able to control the things that happen to us, but we can control the way we react, and the ways in which we choose to participate in our lives.
Noticing that there are parts of our lives that we CAN control, and taking ultimate control of them, is the best way to feel better during challenging situations.
5) Make the necessary changes.
At this point, you have recognized that you are feeling a little off, changed your self-talk, and noticed what is not working in your life. Now that you have this awareness, it’s time to make some changes.
For me, many times, the necessary changes that I need to make start with taking better care of myself. No matter what my circumstances, I can always make sure that I take a little bit of time for myself each day, and take good care of myself by meditating, exercising, and eating well so that I don’t make my anxiety even worse. I can talk to a coach, a therapist, or my husband about my feelings instead of keeping them all bottled up inside.
After my self care needs are being met, I am in a stronger mind space to make any bigger changes that need to happen in order for me to live the life of my dreams.
By being purely reactive to life circumstances, we quickly feel hopeless. Being proactive about the things within our control is the only way to live a happy and healthy life.
I have used this 5 step process to get me through many difficult times in life, and I know that they will continue to help me. I hope that this process is helpful to you as well.
Take responsibility for yourself, your feelings, and your actions, and your life will inevitably improve.
P.S. If you are noticing that you need to make some changes in your life, I would love to work with you to support you in taking the necessary steps. Working with me as a life coach means that you have me in your corner for support and encouragement. A life coach is a non-judgmental person who helps you look at your circumstances in new ways and pushes you to make the changes necessary to live your best life. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, I’d love to be that person for you! Fill out the contact form below, or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.