Conquer or to be conquered? That is the question. To ‘conquer’ is to defeat or overcome someone or something whereas to ‘be conquered’ is to be defeated or overcome by someone or something else. I found myself pondering on this today. Do you know that we have a choice in how the situations we sometimes find ourselves in ultimately affect us? Joy, sadness, fear, anger and depression. We can choose to walk away the ‘victor’ or the ‘victim’ in most of our circumstances.
Yes, I said “most” because there are those situations where the victim did not see it coming or was paralyzed with fear and could not act. These are really difficult situations that cannot be predicted and I am sorry that we even have to go through things like that but unfortunately it happens.
The situations however, that I am referring to are those that we struggle with everyday but have the control to improve and fix such as our relationships with each other and ourselves; our thoughts; our image (how others see us) and our self-image (how we see ourselves), our jobs, our addictions and our finances. These various aspects of our lives can often feel overwhelming and stressful when they are not going in the direction we want them to. So, what do we do?
We often get stressed out, angry and depressed when things in our life don’t unfold the way we want them to. In an effort to forget even if only for a few minutes we sometimes knowingly and unknowingly lash out at others, become introverted, over eat, not eat, for others it maybe more drinking or smoking and sometimes over spending. Do these actions help us fix the issues or just temporarily numb us up to them?
None of these responses to our various problems actually fixes them. In fact, those emotions create other issues for us that may affect our health and lives negatively. Some examples are frequent headaches, insomnia, develop eating disorders, acne and more. These symptoms vary from person to person but most of us have a negative reaction to stress in our lives.
When faced with difficult situations especially regarding some of the issues highlighted above we need to ask ourselves, “How do I want this to end? Am I going to conquer this or be conquered by it?” We must then take the necessary actions to overcome our situations. Here are some tips or suggestions.
- Change your attitude and perspective. Stop being negative. A negative attitude will only block the answers. A positive attitude will help you find solutions.
- Take action. Standing still and not taking the necessary steps to improve your situation won’t make it go away.
- Take responsibility for your own life, the good and the bad. Some of our actions and choices have led some of us to where we are today. Let us stop blaming others entirely for our problems – as this keeps us stuck in the mess that we’re in.
- View your problem or situation with ‘fresh eyes’. I have found more often than not that we usually have all the answers for others when it comes to their problems but sometimes feel stuck in our own issues. Take a step back and try to view your situation as if it was someone else and think about what you would tell that person to do.
- Don’t hold onto guilt and regret, they only slow you down. We have all made mistakes or did things that we aren’t proud of, so stop beating yourself up about it. Choose instead to learn from that decision and move on.
- Talk about it. I can’t say that enough. Having someone you can trust to talk to even if it is just to listen to your concerns can be so relieving in itself. It gives your brain some much-needed time off.
- Do not accept defeat! Fight that urge to quit.
From experience I can tell you, that to be a conqueror takes a mind shift. It is easy to go through life existing because it takes very little effort. It is choosing to live that really brings more happiness and peace of mind.
I do not know what your struggle is. I don’t know where you’ve been or what you had to endure but what I do know is this, we ALL face challenges everyday and how we choose to handle them will separate the conquerors from the conquered.
I want to encourage you today, do not allow yourself to remain a prisoner of your circumstances.