Having the courage to take control of one’s life is not easy for many women. Taking control of your life requires you to be bold…very bold. It’s also a skill that relies heavily on you having confidence.

This is the 4th article and the last one in a series on Personal Development Skills for women. Here are the other articles in the series:

And here’s today’s article…

Why is it important to take control?

One of the challenges my clients complain about is that they get taken advantage of by colleagues, friends, family members, romantic partners or spouses.

People come to them when they need money or when they want to take advantage of their connections. However, the same people are at the forefront of treating them like second-class citizens in other situations.

I believe that every woman needs to take control of her:

  • Finances
  • Relationships
  • Life
  • Destiny

There’s no excuse for handing over control to other people and then complain about it when these people don’t meet your needs or treat you right!

It’s easy to let go of control in this day and age. We have so many choices to choose from and a lot of noise cluttering our minds. This makes it hard to make simple choices – the ones that really matter.

Also, technology (especially social media) has taken over most people’s lives. They have become automatons and exist as if they are remote-controlled beings. The need to be seen, heard and be on top of all the news and udaku (gossip) holds them hostage.

Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years. Before you know it, a decade has passed and nothing much has changed in your life.

Maybe you have moved up the career ladder or increased your income or gained in some way or another in your life, but it feels as if you are on a long road to nowhere and the days just grind on.

Does this sound familiar?

As I noted earlier, it’s easy to give away control to the media, to your job/employer, to your partner, to anyone and everyone else.

It’s harder to take back the control or even make a decision that you are in total control of your life. And yet, life is easier when you are in charge.

How to take control of your life

Step 1: Take responsibility for your life

In the book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, success guru Jack Canfield teaches that taking 100% responsibility for your life is the first step to success.

He goes on to note that when you are responsible, there are no more excuses, complaining and blaming. You no longer point fingers at other people and claim that they are the reason you are not living a better life.

While you cannot predict how life will be, you can, in this moment take control of:

  • Your successes
  • Your failures
  • Where you are in life
  • Your image – including how your body looks or feels at this moment
  • All the negative feelings and emotions that you are having

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With this type of control, you:

  • can’t blame anyone for your lack of advancement financially, in your career or education
  • no longer blame others for having a bad day
  • can’t even complain about matatus crowding the roads and making you late for work
  • accept that your emotional well-being is your responsibility too

Taking this further, while the government has a role in improving the economy, you accept that it’s not your duty to blame those in power for whatever it is you normally blame them for. If you feel strongly about something, you take action openly and don’t hide behind complaints and blaming.

Taking control is especially hard for women, and more so for married women. It’s no secret that many successful women get manipulated by their husbands so that the women don’t shine too much.

The reality is that no one is causing you feel or act in any way. You’re allowing them to make you feel or act that way. You also allow yourself to have the feelings and emotions you are having or to act in the way you are acting.

So no more more blaming, complaining or excuses from today.

Step 2: Give up your story

Do you have a ‘victim story’ that you tell about your life?

Are you used to being a victim of circumstances, your spouse, upbringing, society, family (children, parents, siblings, extended family), or the people you hang out with?

What is your story and how heroic has it become over the years?

What lies do you tell yourself about your ability to have a successful and well-rounded life?

Are you ready to give up this story and move on?

Do you have people in your life who refuse to allow you to live your story? Or is your life full of people who amplify and nourish your sense of victim-hood?

Time’s up my friend. It’s time to put the sob story where it belongs – in your past. Retire your story so that you have space to write a new story, a positive one that you create for yourself!

“Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion.
You must set yourself on fire!”

Arnold Glasgow (Author)

Step 3: Commit to living a no-limit life

It’s scary but possible to take control. The day you make a decision to be 100% responsible for your life is the day you will start living a ‘no-limit’ life. In essence, you take charge of your own destiny.

There is no worse thing than going through life and then arriving at your deathbed regretting the things you did not do because you were afraid of what people would think of you or how people would react to you.

As the popular saying goes, “This is your life and not a dress rehearsal.” You only get one chance to live so live it to the fullest.

One important aspect of living a no-limit life is the ability to get rid of toxic people from your life. Find out the 8 toxic relationships you need to detox from and clear these people from your life. It won’t be easy in the beginning, but the results are more than worth it.

Step 4: Don’t give up when things heat up

As you start taking back control, you will face opposition, especially from your family, friends, spouse or partner and colleagues.

The opposition may be verbal or in the form of sabotage. Other people will try emotional blackmail and others will attack you. In extreme cases, you could have physical altercations.

This mainly happens because people don’t like change. They would rather have you as the person they know how to deal with. And if you were easy to manipulate and control…well, the manipulators and controllers will not want to lose their power.

Also, when you change, you force others around you to face their own inadequacies. You force people to look into their own lives and a lot of people are not ready to do so. So it’s much easier for them to attack you than it is for them to allow themselves to learn from your experience.

Constant bickering and fighting will wear you down eventually. So it’s important that you learn how to deal with difficult people even as you work on your personal development.

At the same time, you need to take care of your physical and emotional safety. If you’re in a abusive situation, it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. Here’s an article I wrote about my own situation when I was wondering “Should I stay or should I go?”

Step 5: Take action daily

Daily action is required when you’re working on long-term change. I’m a big fan of using affirmations as a stepping stone to change so here’s one more.

To take control of your life, use the affirmation “I am responsible” when you start sliding back into complaining, blaming or making excuses.This affirmation is also an effective antidote when you’re feeling angry or upset with events, people or circumstances. the more you use it, the more effective it will be.

This affirmation is also an effective antidote when you’re feeling angry or upset with events, people or circumstances. The more you use it, the more effective it will be.

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This article wraps up the series on 3 personal development skills that will make you unstoppable. These skills are:

  1. Increase your Confidence
  2. Have more Courage
  3. Take Control of your life

With the articles in this series, you now have information that can help you change your life for the better starting today.

Remember that these 3 build on  each other. Confidence is the foundation that gives you the Courage to take Control of your life. So start working on Confidence first and then move to the other two.

Your next step

There are 3 things you can do:

1. Use the exercises in this series

Work through the exercises on Confidence for 30-60 days. Then move on to the exercises on Courage and work through them for another 30-60 days. Finally, come back to this article and use the tips here to take Control of your life.

Monitor your feelings daily and take note of the responses you’re getting from the people in order to assess your progress.

2. Get accountability

Share this series with someone or a group of like-minded women and do the exercises together.

Having a person or group that you’re accountable to will help you move faster. The fact that you meet and report progress will ensure that you keep practising, even when you wouldn’t want to.

This is one of the secrets to success when going through a life-changing process.

3. Sign up for the next Break Free program

Each of the strategies outlined in this series is a complete process on its own. Some people are able to take the information given here and move with it. Most people, however, will need help and that is where this program comes in.

Break Free, Live Your Life is a 12-week like coaching program that’s geared towards helping you achieve confidence, courage and take total control of your life in a systematic and easily achievable way.

I facilitate this program online and physically in Mombasa. The program has run since 2012 and it’s changed the lives of many women. It’s also a great place to meet amazing women and get accountability as you work on your goals.

Click here to find out when the next Break Free program starts.

Your turn…

What is one action you’ve taken as a result of this series? Let me know in the Comments.

(Image credit: Pexels)

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that when you click on the links and buy from the vendor, I will receive an affiliate commission. However, I only recommend resources that I’ve used and that I believe will benefit you.


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