6 Tips for Taking Back Control When Life Is Going Badly

September 13, 2018
The first step to taking back control of your life is to accept that you've lost control. Then, you can start from zero and start moving forward towards well-being.

When things get out of control, the easiest thing to do is to deny the situation and do everything you can to not acknowledge what’s happening. The thing is, this doesn’t solve anything. In fact, in some cases, it could make things even worse, especially with financial or health problems, for example. What you need to do is take back control of the situation.

Sure, taking back control of your life when things go badly may seem impossible sometimes. But the good news is that you’re not alone, nor condemned to watch your life crumble around you.

Try out these following tips and take the initiative to to take back control of your life.

1. Change the Perspective of Your Story

A couple enjoying a ride on a moped

Think for a moment about what you tell people when they ask about you. Do you tend to tell them how bad things are? Are you always complaining or looking depressed?

If this is the case and you’re really set on taking back control, you first need to change your internal dialogue and the way you talk about yourself.

Perhaps you’ve heard of “impostor syndrome.” If you suffer from this, you need to talk about the things you feel make you an impostor… but from a positive viewpoint instead. Start telling your story according to your success and the future you desire.

This is a process and requires continual effort. If you notice that you’re starting to slip back into negative attitudes again, correct yourself straight away and don’t try to analyze things too much.

2. Believe that Anything is Possible

Believe that everything is possible

Taking back control of your life when you think it’s impossible is basically self-sabotage. Of course, if you have a big dream or goal, you need to be realistic about the amount of time it will take.

However, you always need to convince yourself that your goals are possible, because in the majority of cases, they are.

Is your life going badly because you’re drowning in doubts?

It may well seem like it’s going to take a long time, but in reality, you just need a strategy to reach smaller goals step by step.

3. Create Order in Your Life

Woman meditating and taking back control of her life

If you’re thinking that you need to take back control of your life, it’s probably because your life lacks order.

If you feel out of control or overburdened, it’s quite common for people to remove themselves from the situation or pretend it’s not happening. However, what you really need to do is work on things to make them realistically manageable.

  • Start by making a list of your problems and identify the problems that you can take care of right now by yourself.
  • Then, see if there’s anyone who can help you with things you don’t understand or with things that are truly out of control.

4. Make Small Changes Every Day

Small changes

When taking back control of your life, you can’t expect everything to change from one day to the next. Although you might have many things to do, give yourself the chance to advance gradually instead of overburdening yourself with too many things at once.

  • This will let you adjust to your new lifestyle and acquire the right mindset.
  • When you stop thinking about a complete transformation, you can focus on the little steps and the positive results in your life.

Seeing the results over time will help you to make them permanent and also give you more confidence.

5. Move Away from Negative People in Your Life

A woman with her face buried in a pillow

The people around you can sometimes cause you to lose sight of who you are and what you’re striving for. Maybe their messages are negative, or they can’t be bothered to help you, or they simply have different dreams and values. If you realize that taking back control of life is harder because of people like this, you need to create some distance.

However, this doesn’t mean that you need to cut off the relationship with them.

Sometimes this can be impossible, either because they’re family or life-long friends. In this case, you need to mark a boundary so that their attitudes and comments don’t affect you.

If you have doubts about whether or not you should maintain your relationship with them, try to remember that negative relationships are a burden and will cause you problems.

What you need in order to get out of your current situation are people who support you, who will encourage you and help you find solutions. However, don’t expect them to solve things for you.

6. Accept Responsibility

Accept responsibility

Finally, when taking back control of your life, you need to accept that you’re responsible for the situation you’re in.

It doesn’t matter how. The reality is that you’re where you are because of decisions that you made. In some cases, it might simply be that you decided not to make a decision.

When you’re able to accept this, you’ll be able to stop feeling like a victim and really face up to your problems.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve lost control of your life? Are you there now? How are you facing up to it?

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  • English, T., Lee, I. A., John, O. P., & Gross, J. J. (2017). Emotion regulation strategy selection in daily life: The role of social context and goals. Motivation and Emotion. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-016-9597-z

  • Liu, Y., & Wang, Z. (2014). Positive Affect and Cognitive Control: Approach-Motivation Intensity Influences the Balance Between Cognitive Flexibility and Stability. Psychological Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797614525213

  • Wong, E., Tschan, F., Messerli, L., & Semmer, N. K. (2013). Expressing and amplifying positive emotions facilitate goal attainment in workplace interactions. Frontiers in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00188