This post was inspired by a conversation I had with my daughter:
She was upset when I picked up from work and was ready to quit her job because of the “drama” of her co-workers. The advice I gave her was that yes at times you do have to move on but no matter if you change schools, change jobs or even change spouses, the drama free life you are looking for won’t happen until you do some changing within yourself. You have to learn to let go!
I am still amazed how we can allow one person to affect us in our daily lives and in how we see ourselves and view success. I want you to see that you have the power of choice on your side and show you that it’s not the situation that’s important, but how we choose to react that will make a world of difference.
I let go of other people’s “drama” by learning three things:
- We all have the power of choice
- Happiness begins by eliminating as much negativity as possible
- Practicing daily mindfulness cultivates self-awareness
Truly, no one has power over you unless you give it to them.
#1 Harness the Power of Control:
For years I was concerned about what people thought of me, if they liked me, was a doing a good job, but then I realized that I have the power of choice on my side. It wasn’t until I went to Oprah’s Live the Life You want to Live Weekend Tour in August of 2014. I went to this event by myself and realized that some trips are best taken alone! It caused my perspective of life to shift. It was a 3 day event in Detroit. We were given the cool battery operated LED wristbands that light up during the event. I wore mine for several months despite the fact that battery died shortly after the event. On the wristband, it says “Oprah’s the Life You Want Weekend” It became a daily reminder to me that we all have a choice in every second, of every minute of every day in how we choose to live our lives. As the sun rises each day so are the chances to make new choices.
The more happiness I experienced, the less I wanted to it relinquish it because of someone else’s “drama”.
#2 Eliminating as Much Negativity as Possible:
I love how The Late Dr. Maya Angelou has so eloquently expressed… “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” I first had to stop calling what we so often refer to as failures and setbacks in our lives as mistakes and realized they were learning opportunities. They became my lessons learned.
In life’s lessons there are so often things that we need to learn from them to prepare us for the next challenge. In learning that I can’t control other people’s thought, actions or emotions, life started to become more fun and interesting. I was able to laugh at myself more freely and with less judgement. The more I become aware of my behaviors the more I seem to pick up on the behaviors of others. As my self-awareness expanded the more empathetic I became. Being more empathetic opened the door to identifying with the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of others, which simply meant I could relate more to others
#3 Practice Daily Mindfulness:
I am not free of judgmental thoughts but I am more aware of when these thoughts and attitudes arise. With expanded awareness you’re able to make more conscious decisions that can lead to better choices. By making better choices I have had more desirable outcomes and more meaningful relationships.
I don’t react to people, to the news and to life’s everyday situations that would “back in the day” set me off. With the power of choice comes the freedom to live life on your terms. I find myself no longer bound by the thoughts or opinions of others. I am not where I would like to be, but I am not the person I was. And if success can be measured by liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. Then I am truly successful!
In Jack Canfield’s Success Principle’s he expresses this in a simple and easy to remember equation: E + R =O. (Event +Reaction=Outcome). In this equation the only thing you have control over is the R (your reaction to the event).
As I stated in the beginning we so often give power to people by allowing them to affect our moods, our days and our lives. By harnessing the power of choice, choosing to eliminate as much negativity as possible from your life and practicing mindfulness to expand your self-awareness you are able to put your life back into focus.
It’s like rebooting yourself back to your original default setting. When you harness that power, you will honestly proclaim:
I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul.
–Invictus – Poem by William Ernest Henley
Poem Credit: http://poemhunter.com/poem/invictus/