To say that 2020 was a stressful year is to understate the obvious. So many people felt as though they had lost control of their lives to a combination of pandemic fear and nasty politics. More than a year after it all began, there are still many people who feel as though external forces largely control their lives.

This is not healthy. In fact, taking control of one’s life is one of the keys to overcoming a crisis. People in control of their own destinies are less likely to be caught up in the tidal wave of anger, critical thinking, finger-pointing, etc. They are more likely to find their own way and be happy and satisfied because of it.

Do you feel like your life is largely dictated by outside forces? Do you believe that your current station in life is beyond your control? If so, it is time for a change of thinking. It’s time for you to take back control by making just a few changes to your mindset. Change your mind and you will change your life.

Own Your Decision-Making Power

At the root of many of our problems are the decisions we make. We decide to do certain things based on the options before us. Unfortunately, we human beings have a bad habit of not taking ownership over the poor decisions we make. We are more than ready to step up and pat ourselves on the back for good decisions, but bad decisions are left at the feet of other people or circumstances we choose to blame.

The first step in taking ownership of your life is taking ownership of your decisions. Be honest with yourself. Recognize you make both good and bad decisions. Repeat the good decisions when applicable. Do not repeat the bad ones. In fact, find a way to counteract the bad decisions with good follow-up decisions.

Leave the Past in the Past

Far too many people allow the past to control the present. They allow failed relationships from the past to negatively dictate how they conduct their relationships in the present. They allow past mistakes to prevent them from moving forward. This sort of thinking is unhealthy at many levels.

If you want to take ownership of your life, you have to let the past be the past. There is nothing you can do to change it. Therefore, dwelling on it only continues to pull you down. Let it go. If that means writing all of your past problems on a piece of paper and then burning it, so be it. Whatever it takes.

Seek Out Counseling

There is an old proverb that says there is wisdom found in the counsel of others. It’s true. As you seek to take ownership of your own decisions and let the past be the past, consider counseling with a professional or a friend or family member you trust implicitly. An organization like Rye, New York’s Relationships & More is one example of a professional counseling provider.

Counseling can help provide a different perspective. It can help you see things that you are unable to see for yourself. Do not ever underestimate the value of good counsel.

Your life is ultimately what you make it. If you feel like you have no control over what your life has become, understand that you can control what it becomes tomorrow. Make a concerted effort to take back ownership of your own life. Own each and every decision you make. Let the past be the past. And if you need help, find wisdom in the counsel of others.