It’s safe to say that at some point we all feel like we’re not in change of what’s going on in our lives. For some that’s a rare occasion but for most it’s a far more frequent occurrence. In this “year of growing up” (that’s the tagline I’ve been using for 2019 for reasons I’ll explain over the coming weeks) one of the things that has been brought to light for me is the importance of putting yourself in charge.

So often we spend time looking from direction. We look to parents, spouses, leaders, managers, co-workers, politicians, friends, intellectuals, religious leaders, philosophers, bloggers, influencers, and so many more trying to find the direction and guidance we need to feel we are doing the right things. The one person we fail to include in that mix is ourselves and it is to our detriment.

There is a fear of responsibility when it comes to our actions and we look to mitigate that fear through the validation of others. “If so and so says I’m doing a good job, then I must be.” Why can’t so and so be you? One of the things I am doing with much greater frequency in this year of growing up is looking at my actions and deciding for myself if they are the right things. I have plenty of rulers and scales by which to measure from the world around me, but the one thing I no longer require is validation of those measures by someone else.

It sounds arrogant I know and I don’t mean to say I don’t take feedback and criticism from others (because it’s coming whether you want it or not) but what I don’t do is make it the center of my decision making process. What others think is given due consideration, but at the end of the day my decisions are my own and I need to be ready to live with them. So here’s the question for you: are you ready to put yourself in charge?

It’s not an easy thing to do by any stretch. Sometimes it has to be forced, other times it can be eased into slowly. But in either case taking the step to make decisions with confidence, accepting the impact of your decisions, and not delaying until you get enough validation to absolve yourself of responsibility is a powerful beginning.