Taking Control of Your Life

By Kristen
Updated December 04, 2007

To take control of your life, you first need to realize that you already have control over your life. Even if you have a gun to your head, you still have a choice of being a victim or fighting back. Even in the most horrendous situations (the ones we don't dare even think about because they are too traumatic to imagine) we have a choice. You may not like your options, but you still have the control, the power to choose which option you want to take.

You Can't Control Everything

Realizing your have control can be an ego boost, as it should be, but don't start having delusions of grandeur. There are some things you can't control. You can't control the weather, the laws of nature, most bodily functions, the laws of physics, other people, and so forth. You can influence these things, and you might be able to persuade them into the direction you want, but you can't control them. You just can't do it, so stop trying, and start focusing on what you can control.

This is probably the hardest part for many people, but it is actually liberating rather than limiting. By acknowledging that you don't have control of everything, you give yourself the opportunity to forgive yourself for errors. You can't control not having all the information to make wise decisions. Even if you spend your entire life researching your options, there's always a chance that a key piece of information may elude you. Likewise, it gives you the ability to forgive other people for their errors. We each just do the best we can.

You can make your best even better, though, by working toward making better choices.

Take Control of Your Choices is Taking Control of Your Life

Some people can't control their actions. Such people have biological problems that affect their brain or other parts of their nervous system. This causes them to do things without their ability to control their own actions. Sometimes they can't control their physical actions (e.g. body movements), and sometimes they can't control their thoughts (e.g. psychosis). Such disorders are rare, and it is highly unlikely that you suffer from such a disorder. If you believe that you suffer from such a disorder, please see your doctor immediately. Otherwise...

You truly only have control over one thing, your actions. Actions can be physical (e.g. I kicked the ball) or mental (e.g. I assumed that she didn't like me). Some actions are habitual while others require weeks of contemplation. Both habitual and special actions are based on decisions, choices that you make.

Recognize that everything you do is based on choice. You must always make a choice, always, even if you don't like any of your options. Choosing to do nothing is a choice. Choosing to walk away is a choice. Sticking it out, fighting back, taking charge, starting over, admitting defeat, and declaring victory are all choices. It is your job to do your best to choose wisely.