So you want more in your life…that’s a great place to start. It doesn’t matter if you are dissatisfied with your personal life, the career path you have taken, or something not as easily defined. When you make the decision to move forward in a different, more positive direction, it’s the first step that needs to be taken. The second step is to take control. If you are truly set on experiencing change, you must take control of the factors you can.

What Can You Control?

There are quite a few things in our day-to-day lives that we have absolutely no control over. There is no way to predict how much traffic will be on the way to work or whether a friend will say or do something that will cut us to the core. We can’t singlehandedly make the economy turn around and we can’t make gas prices change, no matter how much we complain. These are the things we have to deal with but can’t change on our own.

What you are able to control is how you deal with things that happen in your everyday life. We’ve all had one of “those days” when it seems that the entire world is against you. You know what I’m talking about: a day that starts with losing your keys only to find them in the freezer. This causes you to be late getting to work, followed by a call from the daycare telling you that your twins have chicken pox, and guess what – you haven’t. Top it all off with a roast beef that burned in the oven, the kids whining until you feel like screaming, and a phone call from your mother-in-law telling you she’s leaving her husband and coming to stay with you until she gets on her feet.

Your first reaction might be to step outside to scream at the top of your lungs, draw a nice, hot bubble bath, sip on an entire bottle of wine, and sit in your lukewarm bath to cry as you scratch all of your pock marks. Some days this really is the only way that you are able to take care of yourself! But what would happen if you took control instead? What if you could view life as happening FOR you instead of TO you?

Do Something About It

The phrase “taking control” means taking action; it’s not possible to take control of anything unless you are doing instead of just taking.

In the bad day example above, a confident, well-grounded woman might thank her lucky stars for the opportunity to change. She might be reminded that one of her goals is to lose weight and chasing grumpy twins around the house gives her the ability to do that. Instead of looking at the chicken pox epidemic with disdain, view it as time away from work where she’s able to get to know her children better. While enjoying a staycation with the kids, she could meet someone at the doctor’s office who will help her start her own business. And having her mother-in-law move in for a while? Perhaps this will provide her with a built-in babysitter so she can take a college class a couple nights a week, or maybe, she can find a way to say “no” or at least put boundaries around the situation while still being the supportive daughter-in-law she wants to be.

By taking control of your responses to the situation, you are able to adjust your perspective, alleviate stress, and enable your creativity to kick in. With creativity, you can make your own destiny. It is up to you to decide how you are going to act – and react – to every situation. Sometimes you need a nudge in the right direction before you truly bring about a positive and lasting change in your life. And sometimes, that bubble bath – or listening to Metallica turned up as high as it will go - is a great way to unwind, and find the space within to be in perspective about all that’s happened.

Remember, you may not be able to choose what happens in your life, but you are able to see what is happening FOR you or TO you.

Author's Bio: 

Lori Chance is a collaborative writer and editor specializing in how-to, informational, spiritual, and personal development articles and books. Her self-coaching book for women titled Who Am I? is now available through Amazon and her website. Learn more about finding out who you really are and what you really want, and receive the Top 5 Secrets to Successfully Change Your Life for FREE, by visiting her website and blog at