Quantcast

Here's How To Feel More In Control Of Your Life

Find your way back.

Life & Travel

There is no better feeling than reclaiming your power. You know, taking back control of your life. I should know because I spent all of 2019 and most of 2020 reclaiming my power after I gracefully swan-dived into losing my identity. And that is one of the worst feelings in the world – to not know who you are, what you're doing, and why you're doing it. Losing your sense of "why" should be a sign in itself. But oftentimes you don't realize this until you're sitting in the dark crying your eyes out. Because it's in this moment you begin to realize you're on the verge of losing control of yourself if not already.

I wouldn't wish these feelings on anyone, it's never easy, and it's never fun. It's one of the most uncomfortable things you will ever go through. But sometimes we need to go through a situation to understand our wants and needs. As I began to step into my power and purpose, the uncertainty in my decisions scared me at first. The unconventional route is a road less traveled – undesired, misunderstood, and judged. Little did I know everything would work out in my favor. And the level of control I have over my life right now is something I never dreamed of.

Here are a few things I learned, and I found helpful in my journey in taking back control of my own life. These things are never easy to do, but with practice it becomes easier. The art of self-awareness takes patience and making a conscious effort to spend time with yourself.

How To Feel More In Control Of Your Life

1. Trust Your Intuition

hip hop squares intuition GIF by VH1 Giphy

Decision-making is hard, especially when it comes to everyday life decisions. But one of the things I learned was to trust my intuition. You know that weird feeling in the pit of the stomach or the lightness you feel in your chest? Those are signs that something is right or wrong – let that guide you. The universe will confirm your decisions for you too. I remember the day I decided I was done letting a certain situation control me. The minute I chose to move forward with that hard decision, every other related life decision I said yes to started to make sense.

2. Ask For Help

GIF by Iyanla: Fix My Life Giphy

I am not one to ask for help, but I had to learn it's OK to ask for it. I was so used to figuring things out on my own. Because that's just me – my mother raised me to be self-sufficient always. But when you don't have the answer and you're unsure of your direction, know it's OK to seek guidance. Talk to family or friends you can trust or seek professional help from a life coach or a therapist. You'll discover the right techniques and tools you need to get your life back on track.

3. Check-In With Yourself

media2.giphy.com

Don't let days, weeks, or months pass you by without taking a moment to check-in with you. It has to start here. Be aware of your feelings as you go through the process of gaining control of life. Ask yourself reflection questions to understand if the path you chose is working or if there is something you can change.

4. Be Selective With Everything

clueless alicia silverstone GIF Giphy

Protect your time, space, energy, and more importantly your heart. When you are trying to gain control of your life, you have to be selfish AF. But I mean selfish in a good way. Be selective in how you spend your time and who you spend your time with too. Be selective with everything and everyone in your life periodt. Communicate to your squad that you're focusing on yourself and that getting your life right is the priority. Trust that the people in your circle will respect and understand your selfishness. Your family and friends will get it – because we all have gone through a period in life where we lose control. And if they don't get it – use boundaries or cut them off. It is what it is, and don't apologize for it.

5. Control Your Thoughts

happy the best GIF by @SummerBreak Giphy

Controlling your thoughts is probably the hardest step of all. This daily struggle is real too, but it is doable. What you think – is really what you become. You have to have a level of self-awareness to catch yourself when your mind starts to wander into confusion and negativity. The minute you start to think a negative thought, quickly switch to a positive thought or affirmation. It literally takes a second to get your mind right. Practice makes perfect – and it takes 21 days to create a new habit.

Taking control of your life takes time. It's not a quick fix, and it doesn't happen overnight. Find the strength to look in the mirror on the days you don't want to. You have to keep looking at your reflection until you are you again.

Knowing you're in control of your life is a power like no other. And knowing your life is truly yours is something that no one can take away from you.

Be empowered queen.

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

Featured image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

Joie Chavis has been fitness goals for many of us since she danced her way into our hearts a few years ago. She is a mother of two, one being kid superstar Shai Moss, and a fitness influencer, as owner of Joie In Life fitness brand. She also has her own YouTube channel, where she showcases her daily life as an entrepreneur and mom, a channel that has well over 140K subscribers.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Nothing says, "I wanna spend a little bit of quality time with my man" quite like a well-planned out date does. And personally, I agree with someone I was talking to recently who said that the traditional dinner and a movie can get kinda old, pretty fast, mostly because it's so predictable and typically lacks creativity.

Keep reading... Show less

This article is in partnership with Staples.

As a Black woman slaying in business, you're more than likely focused on the bottom line: Serving your customers and making sure the bag doesn't stop coming in. Well, there's obviously more to running a business than just making boss moves, but as the CEO or founder, you might not have the time, energy, or resources to fill in the blanks.

Keep reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion is such a breath of fresh air. To me, she represents women that are unapologetic about doing what's best for themselves. In a world where women, *cough* Black women *cough* are so policed--from hair, to behavior, to reactions--she shows up as a superhero, inspiring and representing a young generation of women who are authentically themselves. And not only that, they're women who don't stray from getting what they deserve.

Keep reading... Show less

Most experts would agree that it's best to maintain a safe distance from an ex following a breakup. But with social media being the clickbait that it is, keeping many of us tethered to our devices at any given minute, it's that much harder to resist the temptation to engage in risky business after a breakup (i.e. lurking onto our ex's social profiles). Aside from the infringement of privacy into our ex's day-to-day activities, staying digitally connected can stunt our own process of healing.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

'Insecure' Writer Mike Gauyo Talks His Journey From Med School To The Writers' Room

"Meeting Issa Rae was a story of perseverance, following up, being persistent and all of the characteristics and attributes you need to be a successful writer."

Latest Posts