‘Never.’ It’s a small, powerful word; an often final, punctuating, decisive way of drawing a line. “I am never doing that again.”
“I never thought it would come to this.” “We never have the time anymore.” Do you feel like you’re never in control? You’re trying to please all of the people, all of the time, and there’s never enough time for yourself, nor the things that matter to YOU.
Life carries us along at 100 miles an hour and despite our best (?) efforts, it seems almost impossible to grasp the opportunities which come our way. Many of us go through life just about keeping up, just about managing. There has to be a better way, right?
Well… spoiler alert… there is! But to find that way, you need to be in control of your life and wrestle back that control from everyone (and anyone) who wants a piece of you. Here are eight ways which could help to reassert your self-control:
Never say “yes” when you really mean “no”
Refusing a request from colleagues, customers, friends or relatives is hard. Really hard. You want to be accommodating, you want to help. It’s just so hard to say no. But saying no is rarely as bad as you expect. Most people will understand, and if they don’t, should you really care too much about what they think? When you say no, you only feel bad for a few moments. When you agree to something you really don’t want to do, you often feel bad for much longer.
Never decide you don’t have time
We all know someone who seems to get more, a lot more, done than everyone else. They’ve worked out what is important to them and they’re making it happen. Figure out what’s important to you and strip away everything else that isn’t. Then make it happen.
Never let the past dictate the future
We all have limitations; we all make mistakes; we all face challenges. The key is to not be shackled by these things, but to learn from them – everything in our past is preparation and education for our future. Successful people know that their past should teach them but should never define them.
When you interrupt someone, what you’re really saying is, “I’m not listening to, nor thinking about, what you are saying. I am thinking about what I want to say … and what I want to say is so important, you need to hear it now.”
Listen, truly listen, to what other people have to say. And then ask questions to make sure you truly understand.
In the words of the great Nelson Mandela: “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” The same goes for hatred, bitterness and jealousy. When you cling on to ill feeling, the only loser is you.
Never be late
Whenever you’re late, other people assume you feel your time is more important than theirs. Being late is a choice – you allow yourself to be late. Start your day earlier. Feel less stressed and more calm and in control.
Never try to ‘fit in’ (just to ‘fit in’)
Nobody really likes us for our clothes, our car, our house, our smartphone. Be who you really are – you might end up losing a few acquaintances, but much more importantly, you’ll definitely gain some real friends.
But perhaps most important of all…
Never be afraid to do the things that matter
But a better way of looking at thing might be, “The only thing we have to fear is ourselves.”
All of us are afraid of what might or might not happen, what we can’t change or perhaps of what others think of us. This makes us hesitate, wait for the right moment, decide we need to think a little longer or explore alternatives – days, weeks, months, even years, pass by.
Don’t let your fears hold you back. Whatever you’ve been planning, whatever you’ve imagined, whatever you’ve dreamed of, get on it – today! Take the first step. If you want to change career, take the first step. Successful people put their fears aside and get started. They do something – anything. What they don’t do is they don’t look back in anger.