Practical Tips for Taking Control of Your Reality

Yesterday I described the steps you need to go through to make intentional choices and gain control of your reality – the before, during and after. Now I want to give you specific tools you can use to change your approach to challenges:

  • Challenge negative thinking. While you’re in the moment, try to keep one ear on your thoughts. Are you jumping to negative conclusions? Are you assuming the worst? Are you catastrophizing? Learn to replace those negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
  • Keep your perspective. Not all situations deserve a high-level of intensity. Keep your sense of humor. Step back. Key moments are important, but few key moments are life and death. If you can – and you usually can – step back and regroup.
  • Have a good support system. Surround yourself with people who understand how to live intentionally and will encourage – rather than sabotage, your efforts. Remember Dr. Randy Pausch, the computer science professor who gave his Last Lecture.
  • Expect to feel uncomfortable. Change is uncomfortable, and stepping out of your comfort zone can make you feel raw and unprotected. Don’t automatically interpret these feelings as an indication that you’re on the wrong track.
  • Leverage your motivation. In other words, think about two things: First, list all the rewards you stand to gain from making a good, positive choice during your key moment. What will it be like? What benefits will come to you? What will be the wins for you and others? Second, think about all the negative consequences of not making a good choice in this key moment. List them on paper. Some are short-term but most are long-term. Although somewhat painful, these consequences are real and you can use them to motivate yourself to make a positive choice.

You will always be confronted with challenges. Life will never be exactly as you feel it should be. You won’t be able to control relationships, the economy, others, and random occurrences. You really only have control over one thing. The more you develop your ability to exert intentional control over your life, the more fulfilled, meaningful, and full of positive thoughts every day will be.

Roger K. Allen, Ph.D. is an expert in personal transformation, leadership, and teams. His tools and methods have helped hundreds of businesses and tens of thousands of people transform the ways they work and live. To learn more, visit www.theheroschoice.com.


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