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What Does “Taking Charge” mean??
In my life I’ve noticed that I prefer to be wild and free and deeply connected and grounded. I rebel against anyone telling me what to do and I wish for someone to relieve me from having to figure things out. I love my wild and free spirit and when I'm planful and disciplined. I’ve explored these themes and ways of being along a lot of paths which has brought me here. Today I'm sharing a touchstone I’ve been using for a few years as I continue to free form my life and center and connect.
Taking Charge means learning to believe that although there are seemingly many things in life that are out of my immediate control (Circumstances), that when I first realize, and every time I remember, that I always have the option to be in charge of myself (Thoughts and Feelings).
Having a framework to understand this offers clarity and grounding for my mind (which sometimes makes me feel like a mouse might on the floor section of a rock concert). The framework I use is called “The Model” which was created by Brooke Castillo:
Circumstances (anything that is factual—could be proved in court, and out of our immediate control)
Thoughts (sentences in our minds that are there by default and that we can CHOOSE)
Feelings (sad, mad, glad, happy, frustrated, uugh. Caused by thoughts, vibrations in our bodies that drive our actions)
Actions (Actions include any behavior that you do or any lack of behavior you do.)
Results (What that action(s) created in your life.)
So I Take Charge by using awareness and how I think about the circumstances (wars, the price of groceries and gas, what my family or that stranger or a friend are saying, gravity meeting my cell phone, software glitches) of life. When I use awareness and choose what to think, then I experience my inner world differently, which powerfully changes how I show up in the outside world as a creator of my expression in life instead of a reactor.
Note: Using our brains to take a look at our thinking is what I call “noticing” or “awareness” and I’ll share an explanation of that in another post. For now, let’s assume it’s possible to choose and then we’ll talk more about the “how” to do it a little later. For now, look at The Model and meet Raven.
Raven is unemployed because she was fired. These are facts that can be verified in a court of law so they form her current employment Circumstances.
Raven’s been thinking about her Circumstances this way:
Omg!!!!!! WTF!!!!!! I’ve really screwed up this time. I wish I hadn’t lost my job.
Note: Her thoughts are likely on default. Default thoughts come from all that we’ve learned as we go through life and we all have them. They are our thinking on autopilot. Like what happens when we’re driving but not thinking about “how” to drive because we learned it well and use that thinking routinely. It’s just not necessary to think…”to slow down, I lift my foot from the gas pedal, place it on the brake and push until the car speed is reduced.”
Back to Raven. She’s unemployed. She’s feeling afraid, having regret and giving herself a hard time. It’s a pretty safe bet that if she stays with her default Thoughts “Omg!!!!!! WTF!!!!!! I’ve really screwed up this time. I wish I hadn’t lost my job,” she’ll keep Feeling uuugh. She struggles in her Actions: looking for a new job feeling crappy, or she doesn’t look for a job at all because feeling uuugh makes her too tired to get started on that. Her Results have her continuing to have fearful thoughts and arguing with what happened. Notice that her Results represent what she was thinking.
I’ve struggled like this before and maybe you have too. I want to give Raven a hug and send some comfort her way. Because what she may not realize yet is that she can choose to take a look at her thoughts to see if she likes them, or wants the results they are likely to produce OR if she’d like to choose something else. If she decides on even a subtle shift, “I lost my job what can I do now?” She’s taken charge of her mind, given herself a better feeling, and starts moving towards possibilities and new results.
Raven choosing to take a look at what’s happening in her own head is a simple sounding and yet profound game changer. I hope she decides to do it. I’m pulling for her. It has been life changing for me and my clients. It can be for you too.