You’re not supposed to be able to control how other people live their lives — that’s their thing, not yours.
I’m of the mind that you can’t control what other people think of you nor how they treat you, nor should you. You can set an example for how you want to be treated, sure, by how you treat yourself and others, by how you live your own life, and by how you uphold the boundaries you set for yourself.
When you’re faced with a situation that bruises your self-confidence, though, that kind of blow can suck you right into a fight-or-flight reaction.
We are human, after all.
I wrote these affirmations to help us both keep our focus on what matters most in these kinds of situations: what we can control. And what we can control is enough.
Awareness of your self-talk — something you do naturally, all day long — is a powerful tool for curbing negative emotions and emerging stronger from setbacks. Supportive self-talk keeps small issues small and keeps you from spending too much time ruminating on what that person said or did to you.
If you’re like me, you’d rather spend your time and energy — your life — talking about ideas, not other people; serving instead of squabbling; making meaningful progress.
Interrupting mental chatter that doesn’t serve you with self-talk that does serve you can change everything. It can point you in the direction you want to go instead of spending days worrying about what someone else thinks.
(I will say that listening to what other people have to say about you can be extremely useful, as is asking for constructive feedback. You gain insight that way. But, as the saying goes, take it with a grain of salt, especially if it’s not constructive.)
Next time you’re tempted to give in to an argument, pause and give yourself some room to respond (or not) with grace. That way you get to live your life by your own values, not someone else’s opinion.
When You Can't Control Other People: 18 Affirmations to Keep You Moving Forward
1. I am my own keeper.
2. I am not responsible for what others think of me.
3. There are many things I can’t control, but I can control how I respond (or don’t respond) to those things.
4. I am in control of my breath and my mindset; my priorities and my potential; my perspective and my willingness to forgive. I am in control of my most valuable asset: my entire being.
5. The opinions of others are not mine to hold onto. Their wounds are their own to work through, and my wounds are my own to work through.
6. I am not responsible for how other people receive my energy.
7. I am an advocate for my mental and emotional well-being. I am allowed to speak up for myself, and I can do that with respect for the well-being of others.
8. I respect that everyone is where they need to be on their own spiritual path.
9. I may not have a say in how things play out, but I do have a say in how I continue to treat myself and others in difficult times.
10. I choose to spend my energy on thoughts and ideas that keep me moving forward with the things that matter most to me.
11. I spend my time on the people and the projects that nourish my soul.
12. I am learning how to respond to challenges with an open heart and mind.
13. I can own up to my mistakes and move forward with grace.
14. I breathe through my difficult emotions.
15. I don’t need to accept every invitation to an argument. If I choose to respond, I can do so in my own time, from a place of compassion and understanding.
16. I set boundaries for myself and I respect the boundaries that others must set for themselves.
17. I cannot know for certain what’s in someone else’s heart, only my own, and so I act and I speak from my heart the best that I can.
18. I see in the world what I carry in my heart.
. . .
What do you need to remember (and focus on) when things are happening outside your control?
Tell me in the comments. I'd love more ideas!
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