Control Your Own Destiny

Written By:

Alison Rollins

Rachel Whitbeck

You’ve probably heard this many times throughout your life: “You are in control of your own destiny.” Perhaps this rings true for you, or maybe you think the sentiment condescendingly oversimplifies life’s complications that can limit your options. Regardless of whether you feel absolute control over your fate, the fact is that you can at least influence it.

A major part of controlling (or influencing) your destiny is through controlling your thoughts. One way of doing that is viewing challenges as opportunities; this creates the perspective that you have control over what happens, rather than feeling like something is happening to you. This enables you to make decisions and enact change rather than passively accepting your fate.

You should also consider the way you think about yourself. Pride is something to be practiced, so remind yourself that you are never a passive victim of your circumstances. You are capable of taking charge of your situation and changing your path. As you overcome obstacles and fix mistakes, you will be building evidence that you are a powerful woman—evidence that you can point to when you start to get down on yourself.

When life throws something your way, good or bad, you always have a choice on how you respond to it. When facing a challenge, it’s up to you whether you want to flee, allow it to defeat you, or try to overcome it. None of these will always be the right decision, but try to be cognizant of what your options are and what will be best for you in the long run.

Despite your best efforts, you will fail sometimes. Perhaps you will be unable to save a dying relationship, or you might botch a social interaction, or you won’t reach a goal. These things can really set you back on your heels and make you feel poorly about yourself. Take a moment to collect yourself when something goes wrong, and then make the decision to try again. Maybe you can revive the relationship or start a new one with someone else. You can apologize for your social misstep and explain what you meant.

Falling short of your goals can even help you sometimes. Getting knocked down can spark a fire in you that drives you towards success. You can always learn from your mistakes, so take the time to examine what you did wrong in your last attempt and plan out ways to do better next time. You will gain new insights about the best way to accomplish something and insights about yourself and the best ways for you to work. Other times, failing might give you the perspective to realize that what you were trying to achieve wasn’t realistic or wasn’t right for you. There are many paths forward, so choose one that works for you and gets you excited about your future.

While you’re building your own confidence, you’ll be reinforcing others’ confidence in you as well. As your peers and friends watch you take challenges in stride and overcome life’s obstacles, they will be inspired by your grace. Having others think highly of you will open you up to new opportunities, and you will have the ability to pick and choose which among them who want to take on. Suddenly, you’re back in control!

When life seems topsy-turvy, and you feel a lack of agency, keep in mind the things that you can control. A change in thinking can precipitate a series of events that will make you the queen of your own destiny.

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