If the past year is anything to go by, sometimes it can be all too easy to feel as though you have no control over your life.
The ongoing pandemic has left countless plans in limbo, putting life on hold and creating an overall feeling of helplessness for many of us.
This can be incredibly frustrating, and the feeling of having no control over your own life can be overwhelming and confronting.
Pandemic aside, this is a great time to look back and assess whether you have been an active or passive participant in your life so far, and lay the groundwork to make some changes if you feel you need to.
Active and passive life participants are polar opposites. A passive participant feels as though they have no say or control over their life or what happens to them, and wishes things were different without actually doing anything to make these desired changes a reality.
An active participant on the other hand, jumps at every opportunity, grabs life by the horns and makes things happen. If they want to learn Spanish, they enroll in a class. If they feel like turning their hobby into a side hustle, they do it.
If you’re stuck in a passive living mindset and want to change, don’t despair.
Here are three steps to help you become a more active participant in your life.
1: Set your intentions.
Before you can start living more actively, you first need to work out what it is that you actually want and why you want it.
This is a lot to ask, so it might help to take some time to reflect on what aspects of your life are making you unhappy and powerless and what you would like to do instead.
There is no judgement here, just you and your thoughts, so don’t hold back when writing them down.
Your goals and dreams will set the foundation for your active living mindset so it is important to be real and honest with yourself here.
You might have the intention of quitting your job and going out and pursuing a career that nurtures your interests, or perhaps you want to move to a completely different area to get away from negativity that no longer serves you.
This will be so very different to each person, so remember to look within and be true to yourself during this step.
2: Regain Control.
Your thoughts create your world.
If you continually tell yourself that you have no power and are unable to change things, then that is exactly what will happen.
It can be tricky reversing this way of thinking, but the good news is that the more you practice, the easier it will become for you to regain control of the way you speak to yourself.
Start by writing down a few of the automatic “I can’t” thoughts that pop into your mind on a daily basis.
For example, these thoughts could look like “I can’t join a dance class because I’m too old” or “I can’t change careers now because it’s too late”.
Once you have a few thoughts written down, write them again in more active language.
This means words such as “I can’t” would turn into “ I can” or “I am able to”.
Next time you’re feeling powerless, look back on these sentences and remind yourself that you absolutely can do these things and all that is required to get started is changing the way you speak to yourself.
This is where all the reflection in the last two steps comes into play.
Now that you’ve set your intentions and are on your way to reshaping automatic powerless thoughts, it’s time to actively make these changes happen.
Note down the ways in which you might actively make these changes happen. If you wanted to start studying again, enroll in that course. If your goal was to become fit, put your runners on and go for that walk.
Getting out there and participating in your goals and dreams might feel uncomfortable and scary at first, but remember you are undoing years of passive living so it’s going to feel a bit alien for a while.
The key to success here is not giving up when things get hard.
You might decide that that course wasn’t your thing but the important thing here is that you gave it a go. The alternative would have been spending you while life wandering “what if”.
Things might not always go to plan but you are out there, actively living and gaining life experience and that is something to be so very proud if and your efforts should be commended.
To live actively we must set our intent, regain control and implement the changes.
If you want something to change then you are the only one who can make that change.
it’s time to be an active participant in your life and realise your dreams.