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4 Big Reasons to Jump Into Your Life with Both Feet

4 Big Reasons to Jump Into Your Life with Both Feet

    They say that life is for living, but we all know that when the going gets tough it’s hard to keep that enthusiasm and passion going.  It takes real guts, determination and confidence to live a full and rich life, but it becomes a whole lot easier if you jump into your life in the right ways.

    The very best way to live a rich life that I know of is through what I call ‘Inspired Participation’.  A couple of quick definitions for you –

    in-spired

    1. To stimulate to action; motivate

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    2. To breathe life into.

    3. To be the cause or source of; bring about.

    par-tic-i-pa-tion

    1. The act of taking part or sharing in something.

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    2. To share in something.

    Participation is an active process of engaging with your own life. Inspiration is doing what you do knowing that’s it’s a positive choice and means something to you. So Inspired Participation is about plugging into everything in your life, finding value in it all and letting yourself do what comes naturally.

    Here are 4 big reasons to make inspired participation happen in your own life.

    1. Inspired Participation in Your Game

    Make a choice about which game you want to play and play it.  You can’t play a decent game of tennis unless you get a pair of tennis shoes, a racket and get yourself onto the court.  To play a great game of tennis you’ll need to practice, you’ll need to work on your serve or backhand and you’ll need to capitalise on your strengths.  Even if the game gets hard and you’re not sure when you’ll win your next game, you keep on playing because you value the experience and it means something to you.

    Inspired Participation in your game is choosing to engage in something that matters to you, playing it fully and enjoying it .  It could be a relationship, an entrepreneurial idea, a creative project, contributing to your community, a friendship, changing your career or a million other things.

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    It’s only by making a choice to become a great player in a game that matters that you become a great player and get success that means something.

    2. Inspired Participation in Your Feelings

    Emotions go up and down and yes, sometimes they’re confusing, unpredictable and downright painful. That’s part of the deal with being human I’m afraid.

    But your feelings are where you experience your life and everything in it – they’re your connection with what’s happening in your life and the impact that everything has on you.  Cut yourself off from your feelings and you’re cutting yourself off from your own life and you’ll feel disconnected from everything.

    Inspired Participation in your own feelings is knowing that your feelings are there to serve a purpose and they’re all equally valid.  This is about allowing yourself to feel what you’re feeling, not necessarily doing anything with those feelings.

    3. Inspired Participation in the World

    No man’s an island, and you can’t live in a vacuum.  Everything you do has an impact on the world around you – – friends, family, colleagues, finances, home, relationships, community, health, career, etc. – and nothing can happen in your life without having an impact somewhere.

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    Inspired Participation in the world is about plugging into what’s around you and being aware of what’s working and what isn’t working.  This is about looking at how you can create a congruent environment that contributes to what’s important to you and helps you honour those things.

    It’s about being more than just one person.

    4. Inspired Participation in Action

    I’ll bet that you sometimes get an idea that seems odd, crazy or just plain brilliant, and I’ll also bet that you often filter these thoughts out and take a more established or safer route.  Inspired Participation in action is making it okay for you to do out of the ordinary things that somehow feel incredibly right.

    This doesn’t necessarily have to involve full-on, life changing, epic events.  Not at all.  Inspired participation in action can be a lot more subtle or gentle than that, like getting in touch with an old friend, signing up for that fun evening class or finding a quiet sense of comfort with who you are, where you are and what you’re doing.

    Inspired participation in action is knowing that you can take the road less traveled.

    With these 4 strategies in mind – and the massive benefits that spring from them – life switches from something that you struggle or fight through into something that gives you incomparable richness.

    And that’s something we all deserve.

    More by this author

    Steve Errey

    Steve is a confidence coach who helps leaders build confidence.

    How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence New Years Resolutions Don’t Work – Here’s Why 7 Ways to Stop Being Treated Like a Doormat I Like You a Lot How To Muster Your Confidence And Tell Someone You Like Them Stuck in Rewind. 7 Beliefs That Will Help When You Get Stuck

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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