Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Getting in the Driver's Seat of Your Life

Last week we defined "owning one's space" as having healthy boundaries with others and the outside world, as well as internally managing our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Obviously this is not easy, especially if we have a history of dysfunctional family patterns, addictions, etc. But nobody's perfect, and it's okay to approach progress one step at a time. The important thing is to be willing to take an honest look at your life and to assume responsibility for any changes that need to be made.

In taking this personal inventory, let's start with the potential elephant in the room and work our way down to the old shag carpet. First things first, right?

Are you living in a dangerous or destructive situation? 
  • violence or other threats, unsafe neighborhood, etc. 
  • emotional or verbal abuse 
  • substance abuse or other obsessive, compulsive, or self-destructive behavior 
  • unmanaged mental or physical illness, injury, or obesity 
  • inability to take care of yourself and/or those who depend on you
  • serious financial problems
If you are experiencing (or perpetrating) any of the above, extreme action is called for. Denial or delay will only make matters worse, and you and /or your family need help now. If you don't know how to get help, look or ask around for resources or call an emergency hotline for referrals. Don't wait for disaster to strike.

Are you functioning in the world but experiencing any of the following?
  • low self-esteem, fear, anger, mild depression, unforgiveness, or other emotional issues
  • "bad" habits that prevent you from moving forward in your life
  • lack of confidence or assertiveness that keeps you playing small
  • unhealthy or "negative" belief systems that limit your good (may be cultural or religious in origin)
  • attachment to the past or worry about the future
  • any of a million other possible issues that prevent you from taking charge of your life
If you suffer from any of the above, welcome to the club! Identifying where your issues lie can help you direct your efforts for positive change. If you're stuck in a problem area, I suggest that you stop doing what you've always done (soliciting others' advice, starting a new diet, making a resolution that you won't keep, etc.) and instead work on developing your inner guidance which is ultimately the key to resolving all issues and taking ownership of your life. If appropriate, your inner guidance will direct you to external resources that are best suited to help you. 

There are a lot of great books, articles and classes available to help you learn to tap into your inner guidance (including many past posts from this blog, and my book, Remembering Who you Are...) If you need further recommendations, please feel free to email me at jvshinn@wakeupsweetheart.com, or leave a comment below. 

This is your year, and this is your life. Isn't it time to go for it?