Hello everybody. I’m Stephen Nathenson, CEO and founder of Strive For More. And I want to ask you a question today. Have you ever felt like you’re spiraling out of control and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it? If you have, you’re definitively not alone in that. I know that’s a common thing that we talk about a lot, but one of the things that does connect us all together as human beings is the fact that we have commonalities in what we go through, the struggles that we face, the hurdles, the challenges, the mentalities, the beliefs that we have that hold us back. The way that we react when things say don’t go right when we get inside of our heads. We are definitively not alone. And it is a common viewpoint that we are just not in control. Everything’s happening to me. It’s not my fault. It’s everyone else’s fault.
That mindset creates this lack of control. Everything’s happening to me. I can feel like I’m a victim in that. Now I’m not saying that people aren’t victims. That’s something completely different because that does happen. It’s unfortunate. It should not happen. Let’s be very clear about that. But it does happen and that is something that is different. What we’re talking about here is when we go through a situation in life and we feel like things are out of our control, it’s all happening to us, we create a victim mindset that it’s not my fault. I can’t do anything about it. And it’s all on these other people. But in reality, there is a way to shift that viewpoint. The opposite of it essentially is one in which we can create our own destinies. We become a creator instead of a victim.
There’s a wonderful book by David Emerald called The Power of Ted: The Empowerment Dynamic that walks you through this in a very wonderful illustrated story. It’s a very short read, it is a very fantastic and phenomenal read. So if you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it. And it’s going to go in a little bit more in depth there. But the key differences in this and why we’re talking about this under this guise of control is we can really truly embrace what is in our control as human beings. We have that capability. While we may feel everything is out of our control, there are definitively in those instances, things that we can control. We can control us, who we are, how we behave, how we think, how we feel. That is within our control. That’s the whole point of this recognizing. Recognizing we always have a choice.
While I may naturally feel like say things are being put on me, and it’s unfair and it’s out of my control. I can, in those moments, choose, am I going to embrace that mentality that’s not going to serve me and keep me down, or am I going to choose the one that I know will help get me out of it, be a creator of my own destiny, allow me to embrace what is going to serve me, the thoughts, the feelings, and even the actions, those behaviors that are going to get me to where I want to go? That choice is there. It’s always ours. And when we have that creator mindset, we really truly do embrace what is in our control. And it is kind of magical what happens because when I embrace that I can’t control other people, but that’s okay because I can control how they influence me, how I feel, how I think, are they going to get my goat? Are they going to get under my skin?
Or when I feel that coming out, am I going to say, yeah, okay, starting to happen, but I’m going to embrace what’s going to serve for me. And I’m going to shift into what’s going to actually be the best for me in that versus spiraling downwards and out of control. That’s the magic because we can control us, how we handle certain situations, the way that we view it. We’ve talked about growth oriented mindset, we’ve talked about focusing on solutions versus problems. That’s in our control. What we focus on. That’s why this is such a critical part of recognizing we have a choice because when we feel like we are in control and we embrace what is in our control, us, our feelings, our thoughts, our behaviors, that mentality, the outlook, it truly helps us actually achieve what we’re looking for and that’s the magic of it.
While I can’t control other people, I can control their influence on me and I can dictate how I’m going to handle that and move forward and be my best self, and achieve what I want. Because I’m embracing what is truly going to help me get there versus focusing on the things that are not. And the shift in mindset from a victim mindset to creator mindset, very common to the other things that we’ve talked about also activates this parasympathetic nervous system, the things that lift us up when we really truly embrace this locus of control. What is in our control? What we view, how I’m going to behave, how I’m going to think, how I’m going to feel. And I know I’m saying that over and over again today, but it is incredibly true and worth repeating. And we’re saying together, because they’re not singular, our thoughts, our feelings, our behaviors, they don’t happen apart from each other. They influence each other and work in tandem together. They’re not separate parts of us. That’s why I keep repeating it because those are truly what I can control.
I can sit at my desk and I can say, well, I’ve got this really repetitive task and I’m just bored out of my mind and I could get down. And when is the clock going to be up and I can go home? Or I can embrace what’s in my control of you know what? Maybe there’s a pattern here and I can knock this out more quickly and maybe I can make a little game out of it. And that helps the time pass quicker in a more positive way. And then before we know it, it’s time to go home. Control is all about controlling us. Self-management, [inaudible 00:06:51] and emotional intelligence. It’s a very similar concept here. What is in our control for us? Because when we do truly embrace what’s in our control, it lays out the path ahead of us because we know what’s possible. We know what we can control and how we can leverage that to walk that path.
And it helps us in those moments, recognize that we do have a choice and we can embrace what’s going to be the most serving to us to actually take the action that’s going to lead us to success. That’s why this is such a critical part of recognizing we always have a choice is knowing what is in our control.
So I’ll leave you with a question of how do you typically feel? What’s your primary mode let’s call it? Do you typically feel that everything’s happening to you and it’s all out of your control? Or do you feel you are in control, you’re the master of your own destiny? Which is the primary mode for you, of how you view you life? And even deeper to that, knowing what do I feel is in my control, and what do I feel is out of my control can help greater awareness come through for you, to give you a guide of what do I potentially need to shift to really get to where I want to go? And is what’s out of my control, really out of my control? These are some questions to think about because when we start pondering these questions, we build that awareness. It is much easier for us to actually make choices in the moment to serve us, get us to where we want to go and achieve the success that we seek. So until the next time, be the movement in your life.
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