It is so important, as you work toward taking charge of your life, that you begin to insist on dealing with reality instead of perception. As I’ve counseled people, I’ve been amazed at how deceptive people can be to one another. But the person you and I are best at deceiving, above anyone else, is ourselves.
To take charge of your life, you need to know what life is really about. You need to live your life in reality, looking for and acknowledging what is real and truthful, even if it hurts or is uncomfortable or triggers an anxiety. We have only one life to live here on earth; it makes no sense to squander so much of that life living in a state of denial about the truth that’s going on around us and inside us.
Today and every day, in each situation you find yourself in, you have a choice. You can choose to look for the truth of the situation, or you can choose to settle for your perceptions. By settling for your perceptions, you refuse to consider other points of view or other possibilities. The stronger your fear, worry, or anxiety in any given situation, the sharper that perception. It can be so sharp that it rivals reality, but it’s not. Start to look at life with more than the eyes of your fear and you’ll be amazed at the view.
Taking charge of your life means sometimes needing to come up with solutions to problems, problems you cause and problems you encounter as a normal part of living. Worry will attempt to complicate this process, because worry considers problems unwanted intruders instead of a normal part of life.
Imagine a problem rings your doorbell. Worry flies around the room, ducking behind couches and hiding in closets. It jumps and screams and shakes its hands in terror, causing all kinds of action except the one that’s needed. Someone’s got to open the door. Worry doesn’t want to do it. And even if it does, it’s apt to slam the door and leave whatever problem you’ve got waiting outside. In my experience, waiting problems don’t get better; they get worse. Someone’s got to open the door. And that someone has to be you.
Once you open the door to your problem, you need to figure out how to fix it. By looking at the problem objectively, through the eyes of truth, you’ll be farther ahead in figuring out what to do. The vision that allows you to see it truthfully will help you envision the way to fix it. This is possibility thinking; this is you taking proactive charge of your life and your problem.
Please be aware that once you open the door and acknowledge your problem, worries will come out of the woodwork, crawling over your resolve and obscuring your view of the solution. You’ll need to be firm and insist on figuring this out on your own, with no “help” from your worries. Turn down their volume and turn yours up. As for advice from people you trust.
It’s your problem, and no one else can fix it. Don’t procrastinate; figure it out. Taking charge of your life necessarily involves taking charge of your problem. When you take charge of your problem, you grant yourself the opportunity to redeem it for positives such as patience, maturity, understanding, insight, and growth.
Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE, and author of 37 books. The Center creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others. If you or a loved one is struggling with past abuse, The Center is here to help. Our team is skilled at navigating these sensitive issues. For more information, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today.