— Life —

8 Ways To Take Charge Of Your Life (Part Two)

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Last week I shared the first post in this two-part series: “8 Ways To Take Charge of Your Life.” If you haven’t read the first installment, you can click here to read it.

Here’s part two:

  1. Be aware of the stories you tell yourself

It’s easy to fall into negative thought patterns. Your inner voice says, “I could never do that,” “I’m too old,” or “I’m not smart enough,” and other unhelpful tales. Rather than listening to that voice, it is possible to write a new story that you repeat to yourself instead.

By continually feeding your brain with positive words, you can change the way you think and feel about yourself.

Write out a positive affirmation to repeat when your negative voice pipes up. Reinforce this positive way of thinking with a daily journaling practice. Write out what you want to do, the person you need to be to do it and that you believe in yourself. Eventually those words will become your reality.

  1. Ask for help

If you’re putting off a goal or a dream because you don’t know how to start, or you’re unsure of how to do something, ask for help. While Google, YouTube, blogs and books, even taking classes, are fantastic ways to learn, sometimes trying to figure things out on your own ends up creating more confusion. Instead:

  • Find other people who are doing what you want to do, and ask them for guidance. Be prepared to offer something in return. Volunteer your time, suggest a skill swap, or offer to take them somewhere lovely for lunch! Be clear about what you’re asking for; that you’re not expecting their time or advice for free. Most people are delighted to share their knowledge when the request is made thoughtfully.
  • Pay someone else to do what you can’t or don’t want to do. You don’t have to know how to do everything. This does mean spending money, but if you do have the means available to pay for a personal trainer – versus watching 40 hours of exercise videos, which aren’t getting the results you want – that’s money well spent. I apply this principle to DIY jobs my husband avoids. It’s not only your time that’s precious, so is your sanity.
  1. Failures are lessons

I’ve eliminated the word failure from my vocabulary. I suggest you do the same. So it didn’t work out… Did you learn something from the experience? Well then, it’s not a failure at all. Fear of failure is a major barrier that prevents many people from living the lives they desire. It’s impossible to go through life without experiencing failure, or if you are, then maybe you’re living so carefully that you’re not really living at all.

I’ve excelled at failing at certain stages of my life and whilst I’m not particularly proud of those failures, reframing them in the context of lessons learnt has helped me to grow. I also understand how to avoid making the same mistakes again.

  1. Schedule time for self-care

None of any of these tips will make a difference if you’re tired, run-down, overworked or stressed-out. What if you do one thing that puts your self-care on the agenda? For me, scheduling early nights is a game-changer, because getting adequate sleep also has a positive ripple effect on the rest of my life.

I hope some of these eight suggestions have resonated with you and help you take your life in your hands and take charge.

Any suggestions you’d like to add? I’d love to know!


  • Susan July 13, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Esther, these are excellent tips! You are speaking to me and most of the women I know. We just need to extend some grace to ourselves! Thanks for sharing.

    • Esther Zimmer July 14, 2016 at 4:16 am

      Hi Susan! That’s so true, we do need to extend some grace to ourselves. Thanks for taking the time to leave a kind comment. Esther xx

  • 1010ParkPlace July 13, 2016 at 10:51 am

    My mother always said, “Thoughts are things,” so I’ve always been careful about the stories I tell myself. Self-care… As you well know, I went on an extreme self-care retreat that resulted in my feeling ripped off. As the only one on the retreat, you would have thought I’d have been the beneficiary of lots of insights from the counselor, but I wasn’t. What I received was an hour of lightweight questions like “Imagine you’re a bush. How much of your body is underground, and how much is above ground.” Seriously? I paid $5k to answer what I already know: You won’t find anyone more well-rooted than I am. And yes, my blooms are big and beautiful. Grrr….

    • Jen Lawrence July 13, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      Grrr indeed!

    • Esther Zimmer July 14, 2016 at 4:22 am

      I’m with Jen…grrr! “Thoughts are things” – what a powerful statement to grow up having in mind. I was always taught not to take too much notice of what others said to me, but there wasn’t much instruction about what to do in regards to my own thoughts. Now that I’ve worked out how powerful the stories we tell ourselves are, I feel like I’ve discovered a superpower! Thanks for sharing your experience with us, it’s so important because I hear of this happening to women again and again and they just end up feeling worse about themselves, not realising that the issue was with the person hosting the ‘retreat’. Surely the coaching industry has to be regulated at some point. Essie xx

  • Jen Lawrence July 13, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Great tips. I’m a big self-care believer, but I rarely ask for help! I’ve enjoyed this series. Thank you!

    • Esther Zimmer July 14, 2016 at 4:23 am

      Thank you, Jen! I’m so glad you enjoyed this series. It’s so great writing these thing because it helps me remember what I’ve learnt! 🙂 Esther xx

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