In the past, whenever I’d hear “success stories” of people around the world dreaming big and achieving their ambitious goals, I’d always wonder:
What is their secret?
What did they hide up their sleeves in order to pull it off?
After a couple of years and some growing up, I came to (the rather obvious yet profound) conclusion that there is no magic trick involved. There’s no mysterious ingredient.
There is, however, something extraordinary at play here: the inner fire.
It’s a deep passion and relentless motivation that kept these individuals going, persevering, never giving up, and, eventually, succeeding. At the core of this flame lies a single belief that we are in control of our lives and that we are responsible for creating our reality. How we perceive our abilities and the potential of who we can become shape the course of our lives, either positively or negatively.
In this post, you can find out:
✅ What to do to feel more in control of your life
✅ How to find the balance in the push and pull of life
✅ Ways to empower yourself and dream bigger with confidence
Do you feel that you have control over your life?
Or maybe it feels more like life happens to you?
Perhaps you’re somewhere in between the two extremes. That continuum is called locus of control. It reflects our beliefs regarding the control we have over the events influencing our lives.
On one end, there is an external locus of control, which characterizes a tendency to:
On the other end, there is an internal locus of control, synonymous with a sense of self-determination or personal agency. This end of the spectrum can be described by:
As you can probably guess, it’s generally better for our well-being to lean towards the internal locus of control. At the end of the day, it’s crucial to remember that nobody else will translate our vision into reality. We are in control of our lives. When we become aware of this simple fact:
Internal locus of control sparks our inner fire and keeps on feeding the flame along the way. It empowers us to dream bigger, create the reality we yearn for, and “Just Do It”.
However, life is not always so easy and linear. Most of the time, it’s somewhat chaotic and confusing. It’s embedded in the cyclical nature of the shared human experience.
There will always be times when we’ll feel overwhelmed, depressed or anxious, and our inner fire will grow weak. We all know how it feels to be unable to do anything, feel hopeless and powerless – devoid of this inner spark. In such times, the last thing we need is to “Just Do It” and force ourselves to be productive or engage in a cruel self-dialogue full of self-loathing or guilt shaming because we didn’t do enough. This can only lead to burnout and killing our inner fire, passion, and motivation to achieve the dreams we desire.
When we tend to feel like crap, it’s important to let ourselves experience these challenging emotions and remember to stay patient as this suffering will eventually pass.
When everything feels out of our control, we need to learn to dance with the push and pull of life. It’s all about letting ourselves enjoy the simple things, letting go of our expectations, accepting that reality, and embracing it all with grace, kindness, and self-compassion.
The danger here is lingering too long in this state of low expectations towards yourself, letting go of your standards, and being complacent to whatever life brings you. That’s how you lean, little by little, towards the external locus of control and the infamous comfort zone.
Hey, I get it. The comfort zone is the best. It’s cozy and warm in there. Everything feels safe and familiar. We know what to expect, and we can simply relax.
However, everything in our comfort zone is stagnant and always stays the same. Ironically, there’s not enough room for progress and development. That’s because the world is out there, and it’s waiting for us to discover it. All you need to do is believe in yourself and muster inner courage to step out into the wild, uncharted territories.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.
Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion
to reach for the stars to change the world.”
– Harriet Tubman
If you want to feel more in control of your life, the thing that can help you perfectly is a little confidence boost. You can become bolder by putting yourself first and prioritizing your well-being.
Next time your friend asks you for a last-minute favor on your day off, pause for a moment before agreeing and ask yourself:
“Do I really want this? Will it drain or charge my resources?”
Remember that it’s totally OK to put yourself first. You do deserve to treat yourself with the same respect you expect from others. If you want to say “no” but don’t know how to decline their request assertively – here’s a little help.
When you talk to children about their dreams or vision for the future, they’re bursting with creative ideas and beautiful energy. Later in life, these same children step into adulthood and develop a habit of putting a cap on their wild dreams and limiting their potential. Our unhealthy beliefs or procrastination do nothing more than feed and further perpetuate the vicious circle of anxiety or fear of failure.
I’m sorry to deliver the uncomfortable truth: the only way out is through.
If you want to dream bigger, you need to face your fears, acknowledge and accept them rather than run away from them.
Self-awareness is the first step towards change. Knowing your fears will make achieving your dreams easier as you will be able to identify the struggles, challenges, and potential roadblocks to overcome. So go ahead and look your fear in the eyes. It’s not as scary as it seems, I promise.
Eliminating the negative, unhelpful beliefs isn’t enough to do the job of building your confidence up and making you feel in control. As corny as it might sound, you need to become your own cheerleader and proactively engage in self-care.
Bring in some positivity into the relationship with yourself and shower yourself with gratitude and kindness. It’s so easy for most of us to recognize the acts of service of other people, their good deeds, and amazing gifts. Yet, simultaneously, it’s pretty tricky to acknowledge how strong, inspiring, and capable we are.
Take time every day to sit down in silence and make a list of 5 things you’re grateful for when thinking about yourself. It can be anything from feeling thankfulness regarding:
Last but not least – get to know yourself. We often sleep on this piece of advice, writing it off as something obvious. So don’t make that mistake and take it seriously. Seriously 😉
Sometimes we’re so focused on the external world that we barely notice or stay curious to learn more about the inner world. Self-discovery can be terrifying, uncomfortable, thrilling, exciting, empowering, or a mixture of all.
Bottom line: how will you find your dream in life if you don’t even know yourself?
Find out what your core values are.
Try to understand your purpose in life.
Experiment with different activities and projects to find your passion.
Above all, start your journey by spending time in solitude. It will help you grow, connect with your authentic self, gain confidence, and take back control of your life.
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