Samantha Leith business class section of a plane drinking champagne ready for holidays

Stop being a passenger in your life

There is nothing quite like sitting back, champagne in hand and knowing that the capable pilot and crew will get you to your destination.  We put themselves completely in their hands. The problem is, many of us, do that in many areas of our lives.

Let’s be realistic.  For the last couple of years, we have had to be a passenger in many things in our lives.  We didn’t get to make all our usual choices.  We had leaders we often didn’t even have faith in, directing many of the things that happened in our lives.

This post isn’t about the pandemic though, it’s about you.  I’m guilty of this almost apathetic – que sera sera attitude at times, and it’s really struck me recently just how disempowering it is to do this.  Like a frog in slowly boiling water though, we often don’t notice that we are doing it so much.

 From what we wear, to when we go to bed to what we do for work, what we eat and so much more, our lives are full of decisions. Big ones and the ones we don’t even consciously think about.

 I’m saying we need to be more conscious about all of it.

  • Father was a doctor, so you are too
  • Partner drinks every night, so you do too
  • Colleagues work 80-hour weeks, so you do too
  • Friend is going vegan, so you do too
  • Everyone online is dancing in reels, so you do too
  • Women your size dress more modestly, so you do too
  • The best online businesses have high price ticket sales, so you do too

 Or maybe you’re like me and spent decades doing work that didn’t light you up, so you dipped toes into other areas but never fully committed to becoming the pilot of your life.

It’s an odd thing to put into words, because when you’re not directing your own life, you are in fact deciding.  You’ve just made the decision that’s probably easiest at the time but not what you want. 

Some might say it’s a little like peer pressure, but I don’t think so. I’m not talking about your 15 year old friends saying you’re a loser if you don’t have a cigarette, so you do, and I’m not talking about the situations where someone demands or requests something of you – like moving to a new city for a job.  I’m talking about when you get swept up in the ‘what is’ because it’s your default.

You’ve probably always done it without realising.  The stakes are just getting too much for you to handle.

It’s almost a default behaviour for those of us that are lifelong people pleasers.

 And we need to stop it.

 I have promised myself that I am not getting to my deathbed and saying – gee I hope A, B & C were really happy with what I did with my life.  I’m going to get there knowing, I was the captain of my own life.

 I think the version of manifestation where people say they simply need to think of what they want to happen and then sit back and it will happen, is also in this bucket.

 You’ve got to do the work people!

 Sitting back and letting ‘it’ happen is not a risk worth taking.

I talk about goal setting a lot, and setting goals is one of the best steps we can take to be the captain of our own lives.  A goal is a dream with a deadline and a map – just like that flight!

I’d love for you this week to pay attention to where you are being a passenger.  Don’t get all grumpy about it and refuse to be led by anyone’s decisions. Being in command of dinner every single night is not the same as being in command of getting up intime to do the exercise you want.

 Here’s a couple of quick questions you can ask yourself:

  1. Where do you feel you are being a passenger?
  2. What would you rather do / be / have?
  3. How can you change the situation?

The funny thing is, often the people we have given the default captains cap to, don’t even know it!

Some bigger questions you can ask yourself: 

  1. What is my BHAG (big hair audacious goal)?
  2. What do I want to concentrate on now?
  3. How can I support myself more or get more support in this area? 

Good luck!