Are you in the driver’s seat of your life? Or sitting in the back seat?
Over the many years I have been coaching I see that attitude, responsibility and ownership of ourself and our life is the key if we are to develop strong resilience and create a flourishing life.
We can all probably agree that, the negative voice in our head seems to shout the loudest when we are confronted by situations we feel we have no control over. And that can be totally debilitating.
When I was 20 I was in a head on car accident that almost killed me. My life changed dramatically and my dreams were shattered. Emerging from the bleakness of my situation, came a remarkable discovery – that of a resilience I never knew I had.
Control of that fateful day had been lost, but control of myself and my life from then on wasn’t.
I realised I could start taking responsibility of my attitude about the accident. I didn’t want to be a victim of the crash, I wanted to be a victor. The decision to take responsibility for the new me and this new course of direction, was the key to giving me the hope and resilience I needed to come out the other side and reclaim my life dreams.
“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
We live in an age where self-care has become a necessity. Whether its waking up early for that yoga class, to meditate or hitting the gym after a day at the office, we must value our minds and bodies and what we put in them if we are to be in the driver’s seat of our life and become resilient to life’s ups and downs. We must take full responsibility for our life.
When you are busy, feeling hurried or stressed, you are likely to go through your days reacting to what is happening around you. I call it chasing your to-do list. This is a big mistake, because, as long as you are reacting, you aren’t setting the direction of your day. You aren’t being proactive and you aren’t in charge. Quite simply, when you are reacting, you aren’t in the driver’s seat of your life, you are in the passenger seat!. When this happens, life balance and self-care go out the window and you aren’t likely to feel like you’re achieving much. In fact, you might not even be sure what your goals really are.
Self-care and self-love are exercises that require daily practice to be effective and create positive mental and physical states so that we can then manage life’s ups and downs.
Once you realise that you’re writing your life story every day with your thoughts, actions, and where you focus your attention – you’ll feel immensely powerful, because now you can change that story by making conscious decisions that work better for you.
You may not be able to change what gets thrown at you in life, but you can learn the skills, tools, strategies to manage them better both mentally and physically.
Self awareness is the first step in taking responsibility for the fact that we are able to respond differently to the events in our lives.
So, next time when there is a problem, don’t ask yourself who is to blame. Instead, ask yourself – What could I have done differently?
This shifts the focus onto your control of the situation instead of feeling like a victim.
From now on, look at the choices you have available to you instead of feeling constrained or being a victim.
Whether it’s inspiring quotes, mantras, vision boards or a silver heart necklace bracelet, use the reminders to take responsibility for your life, to stay strong, to live to your values, find your purpose and passion, build great relationships that nourish you, create strong positive habits that build you up and make you mentally and physically resilient and make that voice in your head your personal cheerleader.
Because when you build a life like this, you can thrive and survive anything that comes your way
Be bold and great!
With gratitude – Learn, Live, Flourish
This was originally published in OpenTheDoor’s newsletter, E-Inspiration. You can sign up to receive it here.
Sue Kohn-Taylor is Co-Founder and Personal Development Coach of Open The Door Wellbeing, a wellbeing app that provides the knowledge you need, when you need it, anywhere, anytime. Simple programmes, where you set the course for discovery at your own pace.