We talk a lot about change. However, everyone knows it is easier said than done to change maladaptive behavior. If this wasn’t the case, a lot more people would be accomplishing needed and wanted change. It appears that no matter how much people may be dissatisfied with the way things are in their life, there are outside forces that reinforce the same old behavior. This includes people who are closest to them. At times, there not only ambivalent feelings experienced by the people who want to change, but also by those close to them. For if one person changes, those close to them will also have to change in order to adjust to those changes. Therefore there is always a propensity to resist change, no matter where is comes from.
This being the case, when it comes to changing, waiting for other people to change first in order for your life to be better, will result in a long, long wait. In order to make the changes wanted in your life will take personal responsibility. Everyone has their own journey in life whether they realize it or not. In order to make life worth living during those difficult periods, means creating purpose and meaning to one’s existence. No one from the outside, a parent, friend, significant other can be expected to do that for us. Ultimately, it has to come from within. Certainly, people can come into our lives along the way that can help us more clearly define our plan. But in the final analysis, the plan needs to be uniquely our own. Your unique plan or mission in life stands the best chance of being actualized when you begin to define and embrace who you are as a person. This can happen by taking personal responsibility in the following ways;
- Being open to new ideas from others, yet not blindly following them.
- Being true to yourself and not letting others define that truth for you.
- Doing your best and feeling good about it, even if others do not.
- Doing what is right even when there is no outside reward for doing so.
- Focusing on improving yourself in little ways every day.
- Be wary of criticism, judgments and expectations of you by others.
- Take ownership of who you are and what you want for yourself in life regardless of pressures from others to be otherwise.
Remember, others do not have the right to define who you are. Only you have the right to define yourself. Taking charge of yourself rather than allowing others to take charge of you, whether living or dead is a worthy and obtainable goal in life.
From the words of e.e. cummings- “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”