Ditching the dependency on outside influences


As a society, we’ve created a sense of dependency on outside influences. Browse through social media feeds and we see posts from friends getting through the day because of the triple latte to get started, the sugar fix to keep going, the drink to unwind and the sleeping pill to get rest. We seem to glamorize all of it! The message in our society is that we can’t manage our lives unless we rely on outside influences.  What message is that sending to our kids?

What if we weren’t so dependent on those external factors? What if we found power, strength, resilience and willpower within ourselves? What if our kids discovered those characteristics within themselves, too?

Whether we are talking about adults or kids, I believe we can ditch the dependency on outside influences. First, we have to realize that there is much in life we can’t control and the challenges of life will always be there.  Then, we have to understand that our response to those circumstances is completely within our control and we will be well served if we take control of those responses.

It’s about getting intentional and proactive in areas like these:

  • Make a conscious choice to master your mindset every day. Will you think in terms of possibilities or constraints? Will you approach the day with a sense of gratitude or entitlement?
  • Notice how you are talking to yourself and, if necessary, change how you talk to yourself. We can be our own cheerleader and advocate.
  • Visualize how you intend to respond when the challenges of life come your way. Instead of reaching for the pastry during times of stress, what else could you do instead?
  • Identify the emotions you are experiencing; give them a name, and work through them. And know that those emotions will pass.
  • Engage in healthy habits:
    • Make time for physical activity
    • Eat real food and nutritious food
    • Less pop and sugary drinks
    • More water
    • More white space on the calendar
    • Less screen time
    • More time outside
    • Volunteer
    • Get the right amount of sleep
    • Stay connected with people who are helpful and supportive
    • Pray

If we realize even a fraction of what we are capable of, we will be amazed at how we no longer need to resort to outside influences to “get through the day.” And, speaking of “getting through the day” … it is your life, you have only one life to live … are you sure you just want to “get through it”? (That’s a topic for another day!)