What do we really have control of? Life is full of uncertainty and in these times there are many disturbing external factors that contribute to a sense of helplessness. People are feeling powerless and subject to events that occur in their life and the way they are treated by others. On one end of the spectrum there is chaos caused by bigoted and corrupt leaders, internal unrest, natural disasters, death, crime, gang warfare, disease, then there are day-to-day challenges around employment issues, bills to be paid, children’s education, vehicle maintenance, household chores, relationships etc. It goes without saying there is much to concern us we move through life and, if we so choose, to worry about.
WORRY – a dictionary definition of worry as a verb is: give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles, and as a noun: a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems. Worry and anxiety are often precursors to depression and as highlighted by verywellmind.com, “300 million people around the world have depression, according to the World Health Organization. 16.2 million adults in the United States—equaling 6.7 percent of all adults in the country—have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year.”
Not minimizing the debilitating impact catastrophes and major losses can have in our lives, it must be said we can learn resilience and we need to take responsibility for doing so. Here are some things we can control:
- Our response
- Our attitude
- Our outlook
- Our effort
- Our heart
If we strengthen ourselves in these areas daily, choosing love over hurt, choosing fitness over laziness, choosing saving over spending, serving over telling, waiting over immediate gratification, prevention over cure, discipline over procrastination, responsibility over blame, then we build resilience. I am confident as you read these words you are aware of your default, go-to, mode when things and people are not what you expect. So as not to take away from the thoughts you are having I decided not to offer possible example default modes.
Building resilience in everyday circumstances bolsters our ability to cope, rebound and eventually thrive when faced with devastating losses. Unless you are blessed with the gift of resilience you are going to have to work at it. Firstly, identify triggers that lead to feeling impotent or vulnerable and recognize this is the point at which you need to take control. Rather than suggesting a fix for you, I sense that you inherently recognize there is a more empowering solution to your situation. In service of drawing it out, I offer that it can be as simple as asking yourself what best responses, attitude, outlook, and effort you can bring to the situation and search your heart for the strength, courage and conviction to commit to the right choices.
So why not take control by taking responsibility for your life, choose empowerment over helplessness and, challenge yourself with the following 10 two-letter words IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME. If you are stuck seek support; engage a friend, a mentor or a coach to help explore alternative perspectives and uncover an even broader pool of options, you will be glad you did!
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any – Alice Walker