Do you find yourself derailed by other people’s plans for you? Are others controlling your decisions, objectives, dreams? Need we remind you that your life is yours and you are not in the possession of anyone but yourself – either? Even in marriage, you’ve entered into a partnership, not an ownership. The same holds true for friendships and work relationships.
Controlling situations can begin in a benign fashion: A friend goes shopping with you and talks you into buying clothes that you don’t really find flattering. You don’t need them and you can’t afford them, but you find yourself buckling under the pressure of their influence. Then you get home, angry at yourself for being so weak. So what began as a fun outing with a buddy ended with emotional self-flagellation.
Who’s in charge?
When you hand over the reins to your life, you’re effectively telling someone else, “I have no mind of my own. Whatever you decide for me, I will do.” This is a recipe for disaster. More extreme versions lead to abusive situations where someone is so enthralled of another that they can’t even think to get themselves out of a dangerous situation.
How can you prevent such a scenario from happening to you? One thing is certain… no matter how much you value the wisdom or influence of your spouse, colleagues or friends, you must always cherish independent thought. Without that, you will never be in control of you life.
When someone attempts to control you they are suiting themselves not your needs – no matter what arguments they may have to the contrary. Ensure that you’re free of the shackles of someone else’s plans for you by basing your decisions on your own thinking. Do your own research, examine situations objectively and form your own opinions. Then, if you’re in agreement, by all means move forward with the plans while retaining the option to change your mind. Otherwise, you must speak up.
Let’s say the person you’re dating wants to see you dress more provocatively, but you don’t want to look “cheap.” Don’t be afraid to tell them so and then offer a compromise that you feel comfortable with – perhaps you’ll dress like a sex kitten in the bedroom, but not in public. You needn’t dye your hair, get breast implants, a tattoo, move to another country, take a job that you detest (assuming a better one is available) or be amongst a crowd you don’t care for just because someone else thinks it’s a good idea for you.
A true friend will offer their opinion (whether or not it’s sought by you) and then politely agree to disagree if your way differs from theirs. When the friend acts angry or hurt that you don’t follow their advice or plans, you must ask yourself whether it’s because they’re truly concerned about you or whether they’re just miffed that you don’t fall in step with their every command.
The problem with allowing someone else to determine your path is that you will never feel the sense of fulfillment that you would otherwise, had you followed a path of your own making. Remember: You’re behind the wheel during your journey through life. Handing the wheel over to someone else means you’re not on your voyage – you’re on theirs.
Just remember that your own journey will always be far more fun and fulfilling.
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