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Every decision we make in life is a choice. Even for the ones that feel forced, we still have a moment to consider if we will go in the direction we’re being persuaded toward. I consider these choices our “life real estate”. Each property is taking up space on the road of our individual journeys.

At the beginning of Fall, I started to closely examine and consider the influencing factors in charge of my life real estate. Who was credited for controlling the actions and choices in my life? Well, reality set in super fast because the majority of the time, I was not the owner. If I wasn’t making an excuse, I was passing the power to someone else.

“I don’t have a choice… I don’t have any other options.”

“If I do (x), (y) will be mad at me, or (y) will happen.”

“This is just how it is.”

“I HAVE to do this.” (when I really didn’t have to do it)

I’ve used the phrases above waaaaaay too often in the past few years. Actually, in my general life. Maybe you have said similar things too? However, awareness paired with action is the first step in breaking old habits. Over the past few months, I’ve found myself encountering crossroads after crossroads. Though with every choice, I’ve felt inspired to continue reclaiming my life’s real estate.

Taking ownership of our choices and actions is the foundation of self-love. Why? Ownership eliminates shame. No one can make us feel inferior if we own every decision we make. Want to pick up a new hobby? Want to make a different career move? That choice belongs to no one but the person making the decision (a.k.a you). If we are fully aware of what we want and why we’re doing it, our confidence will build over time.

Taking ownership eliminates excuses. Yes, I know there are uncontrollable circumstances in life, which qualify as legitimate reasons for why we make certain choices. I’m referring to the excuses we resort to when negative consequences come from decisions. If you make a choice and are unhappy about the outcome, really try to examine the root of the cause. It’s easy to get caught up in emotions and avoid the truth. Like in my case.. where sometimes the truth was as simple as saying “I messed up”. Every experience we create won’t be positive. However, taking ownership means acknowledging our mistakes, extracting valuable lessons from them, and applying them to the future.

Now, it sounds great in theory, but fully owning our life is scary and requires commitment. It can be extremely difficult to stand for what we believe in, especially when it gets personal. I think at times we also equate ownership to selfishness, which is not the case. We can still ask for advice and guidance in our lives (it helps provide balance), but also know the time and place. Take the opinions into consideration, but make sure your final choice is based on your foundational instinct.

Which again… is DIFFICULT. This is coming from a person who has struggled with self-esteem for the majority of her life. Yet…no matter how uncomfortable it might be at times, lately I’ve been SO much happier just owning who I am and the choices I make. Never have I felt more peace or clarity about my sense of direction or identity.

Ownership is a “rip the Band-Aid” act. We honestly just have to go for it. Our lives are too valuable to lose time by living passively. Or worse, when we put the time clock in someone else’s hands. Letting outside variables control how we feel, look, act, and think.. What kind of life is that to live?

Consider all of the “property” waiting for us to invest in. The potential opportunities, the connections we can build, the memories we can make, and the stories we will keep forever. Someday, when we look back at all of these moments, we deserve to be able to genuinely own them with a sense of real joy.

So if you stand at crossroads right now, decide what kind of path you want for yourself.

Are you going to keep renting out your life or are you going to take ownership of it?

The choice will always be yours.

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