If you take two people. Both with the same tools and resources, same gender, same age, same general upbringing with the only difference being the way they see the world. They will live very different lives.
The “life happens to me” people will always live with a ceiling. They will stay in their corner. They will just get by. They will only do what’s necessary to survive. Instead of living, they will merely exist. They will not leave any kind of dent in this world.
The “create my life” people will always be living with endless potential. They will take chances, color outside the lines, and run toward their dreams. They will fall and get back up, fall and get back up, stretch, grow, evolve. Instead of existing, they will truly live. They will leave their mark.
Most live with a “life happens to me” mindset. We all know it’s a powerless state. Throws you into victim mode, turning your life into a choiceless maze. It stunts growth and potential and instead of living, you merely exist. You become a walking shell and define life as something that’s tolerated instead of truly lived.
But this mindset isn’t something we’re born with. It happens slowly, gradually. After the fight. Because we all have fight in us. We just get really tired over the years. Until we decide to just stay down. I’ve been there. I used to believe life happens to me.
Here’s what happens. Simply put, we discover pain. We fall off our bikes. We learn that our parents are flawed. Our friends hurt us, on purpose. We discover unhealthy love that confuses and crushes us. Unexpected tragedies occur constantly. We get evicted. We lose jobs. Get into accidents. Break bones. People disappoint us. Hate us. Lie to us. We disappoint ourselves. We go through breakups. Our kids leave the house and we have to finally look at our marriage and ourselves. People we love get sick. All of this. Over and over again. And we fight. We do our best to stay positive and in the game of life. But after years and years and years of “suffering”, life takes its toll. We start to believe we have no power. Life happens to us. And we decide to stay down.
It’s not one thing that happens to us. It’s the slow drip of life that drowns us and blurs our lenses.
Instead of wanting more from life, we just want to survive. We learn to bare it. Life is no longer about creating. It’s about surviving. We tolerate instead of live. We get into lukewarm relationships. We numb ourselves with junk food and television. We hide. We become afraid. We don’t trust life anymore. Our walls come up. We create our own prison.
So how do you break free? How do you stand again and believe something different, that you actually have power in this world and that you can create the life you want. Instead of it just happening to you. Because the waves of life, all the seasons, especially the bad and unexpected, will keep crashing like waves on the shore. There is nothing you can do to stop this.
The only thing you can change are your lenses, how you decide to see the world.
But how? How do you change years of wiring?
For many, it takes an internal death. You get to a point where you’re done. You no longer want to live this way anymore. Something so crushing has to happen that you die inside. Then you go through a rebirth. You finally look inward, examine your way of thinking, your beliefs about self and the world. You create new definitions and what you decide to put weight on in your life. You slowly start to connect or reconnect with you. You draw boundaries. Start eating better. You start to find joy in little things. You forgive. You explore. You set yourself up for new and different experiences. You make new friends. You spend time by yourself. You stop exchanging your truth for membership. You send your parents to voicemail.
And slowly, your lenses start to change. And as your lenses change, the way you see the world changes, and your choices change. You start to make different decisions. This creates new paths. Leads to different experiences. New ones. And your beliefs start to shift. Your definitions change. You become less afraid. And slowly you start to live. You start to create a life.
But why wait? Why wait for your internal collapse? Why not start your rebirth now?
I believe it’s different for everyone, depending on where you’re at. But it all starts with a decision no matter what. You have to draw a hard line. You have to tell yourself –
I want different.
I’m done with the old.
I don’t want to live this way anymore.
You have to NOT give yourself a choice.
Then you start asking yourself a sh*t ton of questions.
Starting with this one-
What kind of life do I want to CREATE?
Asking yourself this question is the first step to taking the power back. There is tremendous power in this question. You now have a canvas, a second chance, hope. You switch from victim mode to empowerment mode.
It all begins here.
I asked myself this exact question ten years ago after a divorce. I was done with life happening to me. I drew my line. I wanted to create a new life.
What kind of life do I want to create?
This was my answer.
I want to live a meaningful life. I want to help others but in my own way. I want to do what I love and feel passion for. I don’t want to punch a clock anymore. I want to find love again, but a new kind of love I haven’t experienced before. I want a space to be creative. I want to have a few close friends who support me and want the best for me. I want to get in shape. I want to feel confident and sexy. I want to live an honest life.
And so my journey began…
What kind of life do you want to create?
And keep asking yourself that, over and over, then backing it with action. And slowly, your lenses will start to change.
As will your life.
This post was originally published here and is republished with permission from the author.
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