InsideOut Empowerment Principle #1: The only person’s behavior you can control is your own. Pretty much everyone knows this. It’s not a new concept. However, what do you spend the majority of your time and energy doing every day? That’s right! Trying to change everyone else! Why do we do that? Because if other people change and do the work, then we don’t have to.

The problem with this is that while we are attempting to get others to do what we want them to do, we are likely causing irreparable damage to the relationship. We may in the end get our way, but the question to ask is: Will it really be worth it? The cost will likely be much higher than the benefits.

You may be thinking other people control you all day long. I’m telling you the only way that is happening is if you give them permission. No one can force you to do something you don’t want to do, even with a gun to your head. There is always a choice. You can choose to play the odds, knowing you could die. That seems like a pretty awful choice, but for some, they would say it would be worth it. For example, if someone put a gun in my hand and one to my head and told me if I didn’t shoot my child he was going to shoot me, then I would choose to die. I only use this extreme example to help you see that no one controls you. We will talk more about this a little later.

The best thing you can do for your own mental health is to accept everyone exactly as they are. They aren’t likely to change, at least not because you want them to so accepting them will be the path of least frustration for you. I’m a big fan of reducing the frustration factor in people’s lives, aren’t you?

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