Think of your life like a car. When it’s time to do the driving, are you behind the steering wheel…or are you riding in the passenger seat while someone else drives?
Many people aren’t as in charge of their own lives as they think. Rather than steering their course and choosing where they want to go, other people are taking the wheel and making these determinations for them. Sometimes it’s obvious when another person is controlling how you live your life, but there are some occasions when it’s less prominent.
Regardless, once you know that you aren’t in charge of your life, you can use self-empowerment to get yourself in the driver’s seat again.
How can someone let another person take control of their life?
It may seem silly to think that another person can take control of your life and make decisions for you, but there are plenty of situations where this can happen. Sometimes they’re obvious, but sometimes, they’re more obscured.
For example, suppose you depend on someone else for support, such as emotional or financial support. In that case, it may be evident that the other person holds much power over your decision-making and how you live your life.
In some situations, the amount of control someone gains over your life can happen slowly. For example, they may try to dissuade you from following your passion or dream in favour of something they think is better suited for you.
They might make comments to make you reconsider how you want to live your life. Sometimes, these comments are made without the intent to control you – a loved one may wish to express their opinion without necessarily insisting you change your course, for example. In some more challenging situations, the other person may be actively trying to control you.
What are some strategies for regaining control of your life and increasing your self-empowerment?
Even if you feel like you’ve lost your sense of self-empowerment and can’t control your life, you can work toward regaining it again. Consider the following strategies to find your sense of self-empowerment again:
- Set some personal boundaries with the other people in your life.
Whether the people trying to control your life are doing it purposely or accidentally, please have a serious conversation with them. Use this conversation to explain your feelings and set boundaries about how you want to be treated. These boundaries divide what you want in life and what they’re trying to persuade you to do.
- Learn how to find your thoughts and opinions among those of others.
When others spend much time telling you what they think and feel, it can be challenging to discern your thoughts and opinions from theirs. Take some time to explore how you feel about your life – this will give you a chance to determine whether you think a certain way about something or if you’re emulating the opinions of others.
- Please identify what you want and take an actionable step to move closer.
Working toward goals is one of the most self-empowering things you can do for yourself. Identify one of your goals – not a goal someone else has for you – and do one small thing per day to push yourself a little closer toward it. Even if it seems like a minor act, it serves as a stepping stone toward what you want from your life.