“The hardest battle you will face in life is to be no one but yourself in a world which is trying its hardest to make you like everybody else.”
Have you ever noticed how many “experts” there are out there today? Seems like there are more than ever! Everywhere we turn someone is trying to convince us that they know better than we do what is the right path for us to take. “If you’ll only sign up for this workshop, I promise to give you ALL the answers!”
I’m also tempted by the “experts” at times until I stop and ask myself exactly who is the expert on me and what I need to do next? Then I try to switch gears, respect my own self-knowledge, and begin to practice self-ownership instead.
What is that?
Up to a certain point in our lives, we allow others to own us. What does this mean? This means that others control our lives. Either out of guilt or self-esteem problems, we do not take control of ourselves and believe on some level that others might do a better job of running things.
That is not to say that we enjoy or even appreciate the job others are doing. We are generally frustrated, angry or depressed because they are doing such a bad job of it. So why do we let this go on? Because it is so much easier to blame others than take full self-responsibility! Chances are, we have watched our parents be controlled by others their whole lives. This is considered “normal”.
For example, most people are owned by their employer to some extent. We are also owned by our parents and significant others. We are even owned by our churches, and local, state and federal governments. And many of us are most definitely owned by the advertisers in America. What this means is that we do what they tell us to do. We also often think like they tell us to. Why? Because we don’t see another way to live.
Since birth we have been told what to feel, how to act, what to think, who to live with, and what to value. For many of us this is a result of not valuing our own innate self-knowledge and instead giving our power away.
Very early on we decided that taking full responsibility for all of our choices was too much of a burden. We decided, perhaps unconsciously, to let others: our parents, our friends, our spouses, our churches, even our children to make some of our major decisions for us.
The good news is that we didn’t have to stress out over making so many choices. The bad news is that we rarely got what we wanted because we removed ourselves from the decision making process.
When I read this excellent post about taking control of your food choices, I thought that’s a great summary of how so many of our important daily choices are made. I like Marsha’s advice to:
“become aware and then take ownership of your beliefs, attitudes and behaviors…Listen to yourself. If you notice you’re giving away your power — relying on someone else to tell you what, when and how much to eat or exercise — consider what that does to your ability to make choices that feel right to you.”
Some of you may understand what I’m talking about here. If so, perhaps we could learn together how to take back full responsibility for our lives. No more blaming anyone else for our own unhappiness. The buck stops with you!