As a society, we like to see ourselves as independent, allowing no one and nothing to control us. But how much power do we really have? There are countless ways in which we give away our power, subtly and non-subtly. For some of us, this is an every day occurrence. I have a few questions that I’d like to run by you. Take a moment to think about how much they apply to your own life.
1. Do you dress a certain way because it is in style?
2. Do you hate to be seen without makeup?
3. Do you shy away from saying good things about yourself because you think people will see you as arrogant?
4. Do you avoid expressing your opinions on controversial subjects around other people?
5. Is there something you want to say to someone (a crush, a coworker, etc.), but you’re too nervous?
6. Do you smoke often?
7. Do you often get drunk?
8. How many hours of your week are spent watching TV?
9. How many hours of your week are spent on the computer?
10. Are you constantly on your phone?
11. Do you watch movies and TV shows, or listen to music, just because someone recommended it?
12. When your child cries or throws a tantrum, do you give them what they want?
13. Do you hit your kids?
14. Are you prone to fighting?
15. Do you have a weakness for certain foods?
16. Do you lie out of fear of hurting people’s feelings?
17. Do you have beliefs that are so strong that you tend to debate with people who disagree?
18. Do you do what people tell you to do, just to shut them up?
19. Do you change your vision — the book you’re writing, your drawings, etc. — just to please your critics?
20. Do you avoid doing what the masses are doing — wearing the latest fashion, listening to the newest band, etc. — just because the masses are doing it?
21. Do you expect presidents to take care of you?
22. Do you have trouble saying no?
23. Do you feel a need to constantly post on your social media page?
24. Is there a tradition in your family?
25. Do you go out of your way not to rock the boat?
26. Do you constantly check the time?
27. Do you do things for other people while sacrificing your own wants and needs?
28. Do you act one way around certain people, but not others?
29. Do you feel a need to get or do something just because most people you know have or are doing it?
30. Can someone “make” you do something?
31. Do you feel the need to explain yourself to people when you make a decision?
32. Do you have a job?
33. Are you in college or working at your current job/career just because people told you to?
34. Are you addicted to anything?
35. Are you on government assistance?
36. Are you afraid of anything?
37. Who are you not allowed to criticize?
38. Do you get a new phone, video game, etc. the day it is released?
39. Are you loyal to any specific brands?
40. Do you give positive reviews for things you don’t like, because you don’t want to hurt the creator’s feelings?
41. Is there a cause that you believe in, but don’t talk about because other people may oppose it?
42. Why are you not doing everything you want?
43. Do you obey the law just because it’s a law, and not because it’s the right thing to do?
44. Do you hate anyone?
45. Is there anyone you blame for something going wrong in your life?
46. Do you obsess over bad memories?
47. Are you living with parents, guardians, or other authority?
48. Do you often procrastinate?
49. Do you need to prove that you have money by avoiding discounts, dressing nice, etc.?
50. Are you afraid to be an oddball?
I’m just curious, are we truly independent if we do these things, obey the rules, and/or consume things for hours on end? If you think about it, even when people and things are doing something for us, we can be under their control.
For instance, if we don’t know how to cook, and rely on our significant other to do the cooking, they have a form of control over us. If they get angry and leave the house, they’ll take that home-cooked meal with them. Then we’ll have to order out, get frozen food, or go to a restaurant. That’s fine if you like those kinds of foods. However, I’m curious as to why some people don’t learn how to cook for themselves, rather than completely depend on other people.
Those of us who are on medication are being controlled by the (often expensive) drugs that keep us healthy. In many cases, it was poor health decisions that led us to that point in the first place. Those of us who are blessed with health to the point where we don’t need medicine can learn a lot from those who do. If you need any incentive to pay attention to your health while you have that blessing, just look at people who have to take several pills every day. Did you know that 15% of Americans take over 5 prescriptions per day?
How often do we hear “they made me mad” and “they’re driving me crazy”? There’s an old saying that no one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. Those of us with anger issues are being controlled by the things that trigger us. The key is not getting rid of the trigger; if you do shut one person up, there’s always another. The key is unplugging the trigger so people can no longer push our buttons. That’s why a person who isn’t sensitive about their weight can laugh at fat/skinny jokes made at their expense, while a person who is sensitive to their weight will take it more to heart.
How many of the above questions apply to you, and what do you plan to do about those that you’d like to change? When would now be a great time to take back your power?
Make a nice day!