How to Take Charge of Your Life

by Gideon Hanekom
April 28, 2017

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How do you finally take charge of your life? That’s the big question today.

But first, let’s ask another question: Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? 

Here’s the thing, everyone wants a better life, but few are willing to take charge and make it happen. 

It is one thing to say you want to take charge of your life, but it’s quite another actually doing it.

I’ve learned that you CAN take charge of your life and transform it into something exciting and fulfilling, and it’s never too late, but there are a few things you need to take control of today.

So, how can you take control of your life and put yourself in the driver’s seat from today onward?


You have to take control of seven (7) “areas” and go to task on them constantly.

A mistake I see so many people make who are trying to transform their life, or an area of it, is the start but never finish.

That never makes sense.

If you really want a certain result, because it is truly important to you, why would you start a process but never complete it?

Why would you stop before reaching your goal?

It doesn’t make sense.

Now, I appreciate that you might stop for various reasons, like experiencing discomfort, or not seeing results quick enough, or the influence of other people.

But these things will always be present in life and therefore influence us. Therefore, we need to find ways around them and not allow them to distract us from our dreams.

take charge of your life

So, let me share with you seven areas you need to take control of today, and also find ways to persist with each of them.

Seven Areas for Taking Charge of Your Life:

Take responsibility.

The easiest way to deal with life is to accept full responsibility. 

That doesn’t mean that everything is your fault, but it is your responsibility to deal with your life.

Even if your parents abused you, it’s your responsibility to deal with it and move on.

Who else is going to do it?

Taking responsibility is powerful because you then have the power to change. 

If it’s someone else’s responsibility, all you can do is wait for someone else to fix it.

Too many people are waiting for someone else to fix their life or situation.

The reality is, it’s not going to happen very soon.

Or at least, it’s highly unlikely.

Therefore, you need to take responsibility for your situation as well as the goals you have for yourself. And do something about it.

Raise your standards.

If you’re content with making $50,000 per year, you’ll never have a million-dollar salary.

If you’re content with your love handles, you’ll never see your abs.

People tend to only improve until they’re content, and then they relax.

That’s why it’s important to have what is called Progress Goals.

These are goals that build on top of each other.

As you reach one goal the next one is already in place building on the previous one.

In this way, you’re always making progress and never settling.

Therefore, if you’re not happy with your current situation, maybe part of that is because you’ve unconsciously become content with where you’re at.

You’ve lost your drive and hunger so to speak.

If you want to change this, you have to raise your standards and set new goals.

Demand more of yourself than you have before or anyone else does.

Avoid being afraid of failure.

This is the primary obstacle for most people.

They’re afraid of failing.

But the fact is you fail all the time and don’t think anything of it.

You’re five minutes late for work.

You cook the chicken parmesan five minutes too long.

You spill your coffee or misspell a word.

 Yet, for some reason, you don’t take these failures personally.

But the prospect of having a proposal or sales offer rejected, or losing a competition is too much to handle.

Consequently, you either freak out or pull out.

This is so unnecessary, however.

Here’s the reality: The more you fail, the more successful you will be, as long as you learn from your failures and try again.

If you only do the things you know you can do, you’ll eventually become stuck.

If you never push yourself, you’ll never make progress.

And when you never make progress you never get to experience levels of joy, fulfilment, and contentment you’ve never experienced before.

take chare of your life

Fear of rejection or lack of love is psychological in nature.

It’s all part of the mental games your mind plays on you.

Do not succumb to it, but rise above it.

Put yourself out there, because the more you do the more you will realise there’s really nothing to be afraid of.

And even when you do experience some rejection some of the time, life still goes on and it didn’t kill you.

In fact, it made you better, if you learned the lessons and allowed them to improve you.

Stop caring what others think.

This is the other major obstacle.

It seems silly to worry about the opinion of someone you barely know, but it happens all the time.

Listen, let me break it to you: No matter what you do, you’re always going to be judged by some other person. 

So let it go.

Most of your world (friends and family) thinks you’re wonderful and the other half doesn’t really give a crap.

And that’s why they are not in your life for the most part.

Is it sad and unfortunate that we sometimes limit ourselves from experiencing really cool stuff, because we care what others might think about us if we put ourselves out there?

How silly is that?

Embrace discomfort.

Changing anything in your life feels at least a little uncomfortable.

The anxiety you feel is nothing more than a feeling in your body, like a sunburn.

You don’t have to allow it to stop you.

If you’re uncomfortable, be excited.

It means you’re doing something that can make a difference in your life.

Also, whoever said that you shouldn’t feel discomfort when doing something?

It’s part of life. Get over it.

If you want to experience new things, discomfort is part of the deal.

Every single thing you can do in your life right now, at some point or another was a challenge. 

Don’t believe me? 

Try this: talking, language, standing up, walking, running, puberty, sports, skills, reading, dating, shaving etc. Seriously, the list is long.

take charge of your life

So, expect discomfort and embrace it.

Because like I said earlier, when you’re experiencing discomfort, it means you’re doing something new that’s pushing your limits.

And that’s a good thing.

Because it means you’re knocking on some new door that might lead to some form of growth.

Be proactive.

Taking control of your life also involves avoiding unnecessary challenges.

There will be enough challenges along the way, so you don’t have to go look for obstacles.

And there’s no better way to do this than being proactive.

Look ahead for potential challenges and avoid them. 

Most negative experiences can be predicted and avoided. 

Avoid being reactive because by then it’s too late.

Too many people I know live reactively.

What that means is they wait till something happens and then react. Why do that?

Prevention is better than cure.

There is a school saying that goes: “learn from experience, preferably someone else’s.” 

What a cool saying.

Why on earth would I put my hand in the fire if someone else could just tell me, it will probably hurt if you do that?!

That is just silly. Be proactive rather than reactive.

Stay in front of the eightball.

Don’t wait till your wife leaves you before you start taking care of her.

Don’t wait till you’re 30 kg overweight before you want to start living healthily.

Don’t wait till you have high cholesterol before you want to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Don’t wait till you’re alone before you start building relationships with other people.

Don’t wait till you’re broke before you start saving.

Be proactive.

Set goals.

The reason goals are so important is the decision-making aspect.

You have to make decisions to set goals.

Setting goals means that you’ve decided on what you want and you’re doing something about it.

The truth is you haven’t made any decision yet until you’ve done something new.

And you can only start doing something new when you have a goal in mind; something you’re striving for.

And the cool thing is the moment you have a goal, something in your mind that you can’t stop thinking about, your behaviour follows.

You’ll start searching for ways to achieve that goal without thinking about it.

People and opportunities will come into your life that has to do with that goal.

It’s almost weird how it happens.

But the important part is, to set the goal. So, make a few decisions and decide on your goals today.

Start with one important goal and go from there. You will thank me later.

Final thoughts

Listen, are you finally ready to take charge of your life?

Are you tired of pretending that you’re a victim?

Well, you CAN choose the direction of your life and you don’t have to wait for anyone.

But it starts with taking responsibility for your life and working through your fears.

And it helps to remember that a little discomfort is a small price to pay for a life that you enjoy.

Yesterday, I heard someone say that when you pursue a goal, it will influence your lifestyle by becoming your lifestyle, meaning, your life will start revolving around achieving that goal.

That means that you will do certain things that many of your friends or family won’t do.

It might mean that while they are out having a good time or sleeping in, you’re out on the road running or in the gym working out.

It might mean that when they’re all ordering steak, you’re having a chicken salad.

take charge of your life

It might mean that while they are enjoying a glass of wine, you’re enjoying a glass of water.

It might mean that while your mates go away on a boys-only weekend, you’re staying home because your wife wants to attend something and you need to babysit.

It doesn’t matter what example we’re using, the principle stays the same.

If you want it bad enough, you will take responsibility and take charge of your life in order to achieve that thing.

I hope this inspired you to get started.

About the author 

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of, a renowned relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website shares valuable insights on creating healthy relationships life. Gideon holds a Master's degree in theological studies and transitioned into professional counseling more than a decade ago. In addition, he since completed post-graduate studies in Psychology at Massey University. With over seventeen years of marriage to his wife and two children, Gideon brings both professional and personal experience to his relationship advice. His articles have been featured on respected platforms such as and The Good Men Project.

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