Everyone knows the only person’s behavior they can control is their own. However, when you look at whose behavior you try to control all day long, it is typically everyone else’s. Choice Theory enables you to stop going around in circles, trying to do the impossible and instead start looking inside at what you can change to more successfully navigate your life. It moves you from a victim role, at the mercy of everyone around around you, and turns you into your own superhero, capable of plowing full steam ahead into whatever you want to do because you:

  1. Stop expecting other people to fix your problems.
  2. Take responsibility for the choices you make and their outcomes.
  3. Communicate more effectively what you need to those around you.
  4. Understand how fragile, inaccurate and crazy perceptions can be and become more willing to explore the differences between people.
  5. Don’t assume your way is the right way for everyone.
  6. Learn to increase the behaviors that build relationships and relinquish the ones that tear them down.
  7. Stop basing what you do on what everyone else does and instead, find your true north and navigate by that.
  8. Take control of your emotional life by increasing your positive experiences and reducing the negative ones.
  9. Learn how to change your focus from scarcity to abundance.
  10. Take the steps to become the person you want to be instead of the person others want you to be.
  11. Reduce the time spent with toxic people and develop protection to defend against them.
  12. Improve your relationships with the important people in your life.
  13. Understand the inherent conflict between all parents and their children and what to do about it.
  14. Discern between discipline and punishment and develop skills in the former.
  15. Develop prime negotiating skills to create win/win/win solutions.
  16. Demolish the stress in your life.
  17. Stop chasing ever-illusive happiness and instead, settle into joy.
  18. Accepting what you can’t change.
  19. Trusting everyone to do the one thing you know they’ll already do: whatever is most likely to get them what they want at any given moment in time.

If you’ve read this description and can think of a bunch of people who would benefit from this but you haven’t considered that you, yourself, have a lot to learn along these lines, then you need to reevaluate. Whenever your focus is on other people instead of what you can do, you are in danger of falling into the very trap I’m working hard to help others and myself avoid–the trap of believing the solution to all your problems lies in other people changing. This is an external control belief that will result in a lifetime of misery. Learning to take control of your own life and destiny is a commonsense journey that is anything but common. Once you learn to put Choice Theory to work for you, your life will open up in ways you never imagined. You may have to leave some people behind because your experience will be so different from those who don’t embrace Choice Theory, but don’t worry, you will find a new tribe.

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