How To Stop Letting Your Problems Control Your Life
There's two ways you can live your life: proactive or reactive.
If you make excuses blaming outside factors like the economy, your boss, money, or other external conditions then you are choosing to empower those things to have control over you.
Essentially, this means that you live life just reacting to whatever whatever comes your way.
Proactivity means to be the opposite of reactive, in other words, that we as human beings we are responsible for our own lives. It means recognizing our responsibility to MAKE things happen.
You can see for yourself if you are proactive by observing how you speak. Do you find yourself saying any of these?
- “That’s the way I am.” - There’s nothing I can do about it.
- “He makes me so mad!” - My emotional life is outside my control.
- “I have to do it.” - I’m not free to choose my own actions.
Of course, there are always things that may concern us that we genuinely can't do anything about. It's important not to waste energy worrying about those and to have faith and believe that everything will ultimately turn out in your favor.
Reactive people waste time feeling helpless and worrying about problems outside their circle of influence instead of focusing on the people and things they CAN reach - what's inside their circle of influence.
Anytime we think the problem is “out there,” that though is the problem. We empower what’s out there to control us.
The proactive approach is to change from the inside-out: to be different, and by being different, to effect positive change in what’s out there -- I can be more resourceful, I can be more diligent, I can be more creative, I can be more cooperative.
The degree of control we have over our problems fall into 3 main categories:
Direct control: These problems involving our own behavior and can be solved by working on our own habits and attitudes.
Indirect control: These include problems involving other people’s behavior and are solved by changing our methods of influence. Try learning new methods of communication and focus on how your behavior can change others, instead of trying to "shape up" someone by mere argument.
No control: These are the problems we can do nothing about, such as our past or situational realities. For these we just need to relax, smile, peacefully accept the problems and do what we can to make the most out of every situation. By worrying you let these problems empower you and hijack your positive mental state.
Most people feel hopeless because they worry about all the things "out there" that they cannot control, when in reality their problems can be solved simply by changing your attitude and focusing on the things you CAN influence.
So for the next 30 days try this simple challenge of focusing on having a proactive attitude toward everything, and you will see how many solutions are in your grasp.
Try the following for the next 30 days:
- Be a model, not a critic
- Be part of the solution, not the problem
- When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it - immediately
- Don't blame, don't accuse
Look at the weaknesses of others with compassion instead of accusation. It's not what someone else should do or not do that's the issue, it's how you choose to respond to that situation and what YOU should be do.