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Published on December 21, 2020

How To Take Back Your Life When Things Get Out of Control

How To Take Back Your Life When Things Get Out of Control

Do you ever feel like life is a roller coaster of highs and lows, stresses, and excitements? Sometimes, we can get caught up in a string of events where we feel overwhelmed and things are out of control. We may sometimes feel like we have to take our life back before we lose control of everything.

It can seem like life is a shirt that is falling apart, and if you pull one thread it might unravel everything. Instead of losing sight of your goals and feeling defeated, these 7 behavior changes and small steps will allow you to take back your life.

1. Take Power Back in Your Job

Feeling out of control can often relate to your career and may stem from seeing other people excelling and being promoted when you are not. If this is the case, you might ask yourself, “Am I putting in enough effort? Am I working hard and smart?” Once you assess your answers to these questions, consider developing skills that give you more leverage in your job.

Some examples are improving your writing, joining a networking group to refine your public speaking, or becoming more organized with time management capabilities. Possessing expertise for one of these skills will allow you to feel more in control, which helps you take charge of more tasks and leadership roles.

Feeling out of control can also come from struggling to stand out in the workplace, especially when your job is virtual. It can be difficult to feel noticed on a conference call or Zoom meeting, and this might trigger feeling disconnected.

To regain power and stand out to your boss, you can send email updates or take the extra initiative to do outside research on a group project. You might consider sending your manager a thank you note with a small gift card for supporting everyone during the pandemic.

In virtual meetings, you can create a leadership role for yourself by suggesting that you will bring a motivational quote to each meeting. A small gesture like this gives you a way to stand out, and you can be proud to know that you’re making a difference in the overall experience of your team.

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2. Assess Your Financial Stress

When things feel out of control, it can be due to your financial situation. Perhaps you are overwhelmed by debt or unable to pay off a credit card. If this is the case, you’ll want to hit pause and look at behaviors that are causing these circumstances.

Maybe you are overspending on expensive products when there are cheaper alternatives that are just as good. Or you might be paying for subscriptions to services that you never use. Once you figure out what habits are taking a toll on your finances, you can make a plan to regain control in this area and improve your situation.

On the other hand, being overwhelmed by your finances might be the result of not planning enough. If you are considering starting your own business, be sure you are fully aware of the costs involved and determine whether it’s worth it to accrue that debt. By evaluating your options and getting recommendations, you will be more financially prepared.

If you are thinking about earning a college degree or a postgraduate certification, try to plan ahead. Analyze what job you might have with your qualifications and whether it will allow you to pay off any loans or debt. You could also look into alternative career paths, such as specialty trades that do not require 4-year degrees but are a reliable source of income. If you have a solid plan, you can take charge when things feel out of control.

3. Allow Yourself to Outgrow Relationships That No Longer Serve You

Part of taking back your life when things get out of control is understanding your needs first, and then the needs of others. With relationships, desires or lifestyles may change. If this happens, it might feel like things are out of control. If this is the case, remind yourself that you can decide if it is a relationship you want to hold onto.

By assessing your needs first, you might find you’ve outgrown the connection. You don’t necessarily have to end the partnership, but you have the power to change the dynamic. Consider taking time apart or becoming a supportive friend rather than a romantic partner.

With friendships, perhaps your interests no longer align. Your buddies might enjoy getting together for drinks every weekend, but you would rather spend that time and money on a cooking class. It’s okay to focus on yourself. You aren’t ending the friendship. You are just taking more control over your time.

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The same goes for family relationships. Maybe you’ve always paid the bills for a relative, but it just isn’t feasible for you anymore. Consider telling your family member that you can no longer financially provide for them, but you will support them in other ways.

Though this might be difficult, it’s important you have to look after your own well-being first. It’s like how the airplane saying goes: put the oxygen mask on yourself before putting it on someone else. When you understand what connections are best serving you, then you will feel more in control of your life.

4. Practice Positive Self-Talk

When things get out of control, it’s easy to be self-deprecating or hard on yourself. This can quickly lead to a downward spiral of feeling overwhelmed and powerless. To take back your life, create a mantra that you will say when you have a negative thought or feel stressed out.

For example, when something happens that didn’t go the way you wanted, say out loud, “that’s life; release it.” Or if your mind is filled with a swarm of discouraging opinions, try shouting “go away!” You will find that you feel lighter from taking the power back.

Even spending a few moments in front of the mirror every day to say a few encouraging words can be very empowering. When you are your own motivator and say phrases like “today will be a great day” or “we’re going to get past this,” it can transform your mindset, and you will radiate confidence.

Looking into your eyes in the mirror and declaring, “I am proud of myself,” can be uplifting and change your outlook on a difficult situation. The next time you are going to give a presentation, state “I can do this” at least three times. This positive self-talk will encourage you to do the best that you can. Even when things feel out of control, if your thoughts are positive and you are kind to yourself, you will be better able to take back your life.

5. Find Your Go-To People

Having people in your life you know you can count on is invaluable. We all benefit from support or advice from a friend to remind us we don’t have to tackle every obstacle on our own. If there is ever a moment when you feel like you have too much going on, find the go-to person you can call for guidance or vent out.

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Various people in your life can be coaches in different ways. You might have a specific person you can reach out to when you’re having job challenges because this friend is really career-focused. When you need a shoulder to cry on, find that empathetic companion you know will best comfort you.

A close family member can also be the key. They can help you clear your mind and pull you out of a rut by offering a new perspective and reminding you that you are strong. Your family often knows you best, and they will always support you. Even your four-legged friends can be there when you need to get something off your chest. Our pets are great listeners. Having loved-ones like this who empower and encourage you in times of need will make it easier to gain control when life gets tough.

6. Revive Your Energy

To take back your life when you’re feeling overwhelmed, try discovering ways to be rejuvenated. If you’re working from home and sit at your desk for hours, consider taking 5-minute breaks to move around. This could be quickly walking in your home to get your energy level up or even doing 10 jumping jacks and a few pushups.

Consider buying a standing desk that gives you the freedom to be active while doing work. Moving will get your blood pumping, and instead of feeling tired and complacent, you will be motivated to conquer anything.

Stimulating your five senses is another way to revive your energy. Turning on all the lights might make you feel more awake and motivated or dimming them and lighting a candle may help you concentrate. Opening a window, feeling the fresh air, and hearing sounds from outdoors can also be revitalizing. Even adding family photos to your desk or putting an inspirational poster on the wall can be visually stimulating and increase your energy.

You might consider listening to music that pumps you up while you work. Your favorite songs will be invigorating and empower you to take on the day. Finding energy and motivation will set you up for success and assist you in gaining control of life.

7. Make Time for Reflection

Sometimes, life feels out of control because we are constantly busy and surrounded by noise. You have to find that quiet place where you can reflect and ponder on how you’re really feeling. This might be when you’re doing the dishes or folding laundry. A chore can give us the space to process what is happening in our life. Finishing a task is also therapeutic and allows us to feel lighter.

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Even driving to work can be a quiet time for reflecting before the next activity. It creates an opportunity to mentally plan and prepare for what’s coming up. The shower is also where some of the best ideas are generated. We can wash away a day full of tension and come out feeling refreshed and more alert.

When reflecting on your past or future, consider breaking it down into things you can control in a day. Ask yourself if you are happy or are if there habits or activities you want to change.

You might decide that you’re unsatisfied with your weight or eating habits. Just becoming aware of this is part of taking back your life. Remember the words of Maya Angelou: When you know better, do better.

By hitting the pause button and making time for reflection, you will be able to move towards regaining control.

Final Thoughts

It’s never too late to take back your life. You might feel like you will never get out of your financial hardship, but there are ways to get assistance.

Debt can be written off, and you can always negotiate. If you feel stuck in a stagnant relationship, you can always take a break from that person, go to counseling, or start a new partnership. It’s never too late to pursue your personal goals. If you want to go after that promotion or start a new hobby, there is no time like the present!

Remember, you always have options and life is a journey. If everything were perfect, we would not have the heroic stories from times when we picked ourselves up after a setback. By practicing these 7 tips, you will feel prepared to tackle and embrace life when it feels out of control.

More Tips on How to Take Back Your Life

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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Nancy Solari

Nancy Solari is an accomplished CEO, life coach, and motivational speaker.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2021

7 Steps to Reinventing Yourself and Reach Your Goals

7 Steps to Reinventing Yourself and Reach Your Goals

Even though there are some people who feel great about their job and have somehow managed to find a good lifestyle that suits them, many still feel trapped and dissatisfied. There are people out there that are desperate for a change, be it in their personal life, their career or something else. The worst thing you can do is to keep your feelings bottled up and soldier on. Depression affects a good chunk of the population but making a change can be scary and difficult. However, if you decide to face the fear of failure and reinvent yourself, there are certain steps that you have to take to improve your chances of success.

1. Decide on what you want to focus on

Never plan a big change in your life and career, with only a vague idea of what you wish to accomplish. Sit down and think about all the things you are interested in, would like to do and see yourself investing a great deal of time in. Your motivation can be money, passion, reducing stress, being free to make your own decisions, or having more free time on your hands eventually. Find a path that suits you and bravely make the first step.

2. Always try to make some time for your new passion

We can all be busy and have hectic schedules, but if you really want to make a change you’ll need to find a way to make time for your new passion in life. You’ll need to spend a lot of time learning new skills and acquiring great amounts of information, so most of the free time you have will have to be used up for improving yourself. Even if it’s just fifteen minutes on a break or if you have to sacrifice your TV hour after work to studying, you need to make the sacrifice. Only by completely doing away with useless procrastinating activities like watching TV, YouTube clips or playing games, can you find enough time to earn a living, work on reinventing yourself and improve your mind and body.

3. Keep educating yourself and look for resources

A lot of people complain about the lackluster education system and rightfully so. Today you need a bunch of forms for everything, and although efforts are being made to switch to online forms that would make everyone’s life easier, we are still a long way from enabling quick and efficient decisions to be made within the education system. Changes are made very slowly as it takes ages to process all that written information.

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This is why you don’t develop any applicable skills or learn a whole lot in school – everyone seems to be focused on bureaucracy instead of effective education. This is why you have to do all the research and learn on your own if you want to get anywhere. In this age of online courses, cheap eBooks and video tutorials it’s not very difficult to find the information you need from respected sources. Start off slow and learn about the basics, then branch out and keep devouring books on the subjects you wish to specialize in.

A good way to get started is to look at the bibliography listed in the more basic books and do some online research to find out who the most trusted experts on the topic are, and just get their books. Even if you’re very busy and strapped for time, devote an hour a day on reading and if you have plenty of free time, fill it up with reading and research. If you get bored, then switch to improving your general knowledge to keep things interesting.

4. Do plenty of networking, both online and offline

Between all that reading and your usual obligations you’ll have fairly little free time, mostly in the evenings or on the weekend, and you’ll want to make the most out of it by relaxing and having some fun. You may also take a few breaks during the day and scroll through your Facebook and Twitter feed for something interesting. These are great opportunities to do some networking. While you’re out about town, try sparking up conversations with people.

Keep going out, hanging out with your friends and meeting new people. Ask around to find out if anyone knows someone who works in the industry you are interested in and offer to buy that person a round of drinks in exchange for a short conversation. When on social media, look for people that share the same professional interests and follow industry influencers to get some inside info about new trends and tactics. Always be on the lookout for networking opportunities.

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5. Create a schedule, but don’t look too far into the future

Having a clear schedule is a good idea when you are trying to make the most of any given day, and setting goals helps keep you motivated and on track. However, you can get bogged down on plans for the future, career choices you’ll have to make and the money you will be able to earn, so much that you lose sight of smaller goals.

You can also psyche yourself out and lose motivation, or spend a good amount of time daydreaming instead of doing something useful. In the begging it’s all about learning the basics, steadily developing deeper knowledge, getting a bit of experience and becoming more proficient in your new chosen profession. Only once you’ve become good at it, can you start thinking about career-building opportunities and make long-term plans.

6. Take care of your body and mind by staying fairly fit

If you have health problems, don’t sleep well, and have dietary deficiencies, living a fast-paced life and reinventing yourself is going to be a whole lot harder. Physical exercise can help keep your hormones in balance, prevent chronic aches and pains, and lower the risk of a lot of illnesses. It will make you feel more focused and full of energy.

Getting plenty of quality sleep is also incredibly important for keeping your mind fresh and working at 100% capacity – which is the key to fast learning and reducing stress.

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A 30-40 minute workout session or 10-15 minutes of active running will tire you out and make it easier to fall asleep, which combined with some stretching and keeping your bedroom in complete darkness will help you get those 8-9 hours of sleep your body needs.

Eat a decent amount of fruit, vegetables and unsaturated fats (olive oil, nuts, and fish oil) during the day to keep your mind and body working at optimal levels and to keep your immune system in check. With 3-4 hours of exercise per week and some healthy food in your diet, you will be much more positive and productive.

7. Hang out more with people who are supportive and can help you grow

Most people won’t welcome change, particularly if you are doing something that doesn’t fit the side of your character that everyone has gotten to know over the years. Some will even discourage you or try to distract you. You will be pressured to spend more time with others, and time will become a very valuable resource to you.

This is why you should quickly and efficiently cut off everyone that keeps pulling you back or expects a lot from you without giving anything back. You know the kind, constantly asking for favors, looking after their own interests above all else and nowhere to be seen when you are in a pinch and need some help.

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Focus your efforts on people who give you support, aren’t afraid to tell you their opinion without judging you and that can actually help you out. You need to be around people you are compatible with and whose company you enjoy in the little spare time you have, and around people who can help you improve.

There are no guarantees, and you might fail once or twice before finding a good path for yourself, but that shouldn’t discourage you. It’s better to work hard and overcome adversity in the end, than to toil away feeling miserable.

Featured photo credit: Sharon Christina Rørvik via unsplash.com

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