Are you in control of your life? Your experiences? Your career? If you’re not in control, who is? And how do you take control?

There is no question that there is a lot of different ways to live life. Some people feel helpless while others feel in total control and most people probably live on some continuum of helplessness and control with different aspects of their life. Some people believe you can manifest anything you want in life, including money, while others believe that you shouldn’t ask for more than you need. What one person believes of their life, will likely affect they way they interact with others around them and how they make people feel. It’s no wonder we have common names to describe certain personality types like Chatty Kathy or Debbie Downer. These names, which may incorrectly paint the picture of one’s personality based on their name, describe personalities we come across and the different ways people see life and how they make us feel when we’re around them. When you think of these personality names, I can almost guarantee you know someone you would put in one of these personality types and can sense the way that person makes you feel when you interact with them. Do you avoid them? Do you enjoy their energy?

I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection and some non-fiction reading of the self-help nature lately. Some of these reads have been to help me take control of my life, while others are to help develop my self awareness. Some of my recent reads include The Kickass Single Mom, Ask For It, and You Are a Badass. The theme in what I have been reading is appropriately taking control of your life. Simply believing you have control over your life and that you are either currently living, or are on your way to living a happy successful life can help you actually live a happy and successful life, and can be just as important as taking action. It seems, unfortunately, that it is less common for women to believe they have control over their lives than men.

I have also started noticing all of these books encourage manifesting your best life through positive energy and thoughts. To be honest, I am still not sure I am 100 percent sold on the idea of manifesting things/people/circumstances in life. This idea that one can focus, meditate, pray, create a vision board, etc. until they have reached their desired outcome seems too good to be true. Perhaps I shouldn’t be a skeptic, though, seeing as how I literally wrote the list of qualities I want in a partner, via my blog post about why I was going to be single forever, only a month before I met the man who I am planning a future with. Frankly, I think anything that helps people focus on the positive aspects of life is a good thing.

I do worry about the danger of some of the messages that surround mental illness and addiction when it comes to the idea of manifesting your life. I REALLY don’t believe it is simply as easy as focusing on quitting drinking to stop being an alcoholic. I also don’t believe one can focus on happy thoughts to stop being depressed. I do believe positive thought is a POWERFUL tool, but I also believe certain things like surgery, psychiatry, etc. are better left to the professionals. My take on this is if you happen to be reading something with a similar theme about manifesting your life, and something strikes the wrong chord, just leave that advice behind. Write a review on the book/blog post/etc. and let the author know you disagree and move on with your life. Feel free to enjoy the benefits of the rest of the advice if you feel like you can gain something from it.

My advice, for anyone wanting to manifest something in life is to focus on the positive and the things that are actually within your control. If you’re trying to change your career, find a better job, afford a full time nanny, or buy a new car and you start meditating on it, praying about it, and/or focusing positive energy around that goal, I don’t think that could hurt. Give it a try! I’d love to hear about what you’ve manifested in your life, or what didn’t work.

~Bettering Bonnie