Taking Back Control….simply.

Some days the world is a whirlwind, you’ve got to-do stacks out the wazoo and it feels like the stage show, “Stop The World I Want To Get Off”, was written just for you.  As a result of this life in this chaos, our happiness decides to pack its bags and head off for the summer – just great.

If this sounds like you, I’ve got a word you might like to meet.

It’s quite short on letters but big on impact.  It’s simple and to the point but is under-represented in many women’s vocabulary.

It’s NO.

This small word helps us live more simply.

Simplicity shows us a way to move forward with less hassle and hustle.  It’s a liberating word.  It gives us permission to let go of having to be all to everyone.  It leads us to take back control of the whirlwind.

Let’s dive into how this works, but we need to agree on a few things first.

We know:

  1. We can’t control everything.
  2. People have their own will and can hurt, be selfish and any other not so great quality you might be currently facing.
  3. Actions have consequences.
  4. Life is never quite as we plan.

Ok with those concepts agreed upon let’s explore how you can take back control (even though we know we can’t control it all) simply.

External chaos tends to reflect our internal state
Knee jerk reactions, flitting from one task to another before finishing the first, and loading our plate with more and more expectations often comes about because we haven’t taken stock of what we want. It’s all happening around us and to us. The good news is we can turn things around and take back that sense of control.

Now creating this change is a little like the Pantene shampoo ad, it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

Sometimes if you are currently running on empty and frantically being mum’s taxi and chief cook and bottle washer it can take a little while to turn things around.

Let’s work out the steps you get to take.

   1.What’s important?

When we can get clear on what’s important then we can drop the busy and hustle.  Without clear boundaries it’s easy to take on too much and get overwhelmed.

Ask yourself these questions and begin to get a picture of your priority.

    • What do you want?
    • What would you like more of?
    • What’s important to you?

I know this can be a tricky step because as I’m asking this you are thinking….
“I have no idea what I do want…I just know I don’t want this shit anymore!”

Even that is a great starting point because what you do want it the opposite of what you don’t want.  

Don’t want to feel exhausted?  

Maybe you want to feel you have enough energy to get through each day.

Don’t want a brain that is stuck in busy mode?

Maybe you’d like a bit of peace between your ears.

Don’t want to be time poor and feel bad because of it?

Maybe you’d like to enjoy the small pieces of time you do find.

Start small and begin from there.

    2.Ask for help

While you are doing everything , there is a good chance there is someone who is not doing much.  We get to ask for what we want.  We may not always get the help or support we need but asking for it helps remind us what’s important and keeps it front and centre.

You may even get a surprise with the reaction you receive.  You are not doing life alone, there is help, so please ask.

   3.Say No.

Yes this one can be tough when we are giving people and love to help and support those around us.  But saying No can be a gift of opportunity to those around you to grow and explore. Saying No is easier when you have a clear idea of what you want – go back to step one if you need to reinforce it. 

You only have one bucket of time, energy and resources so let’s keep it focused on what you do want.

Of course I’m not saying you never say yes ever again.I’d just love for you to just not say it to everyone and everything.

If saying no is very tricky for you, here is a little tip I use.

Instead of saying No, just don’t say “Yes” straight away.

Give yourself some room to think and consider.

“Can I get back to you?” is a very acceptable answer to a request, as you are indicating you just need some time to consider the idea.  Then take the time and decide if it’s a Yes or No.

These simple steps can be repeated over and over to give you space and time.

I read an article the other day and the heading was ’40 things to do to live more simply’.  It made me want to turn the page.  We don’t need 40 more things ‘to do’.

We need some space to know what’s important for us, ask for some help and learn to say no a bit more often.

Remember, let’s keep it simple.  That’s how we take back control.

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