Developing a more outstanding personal Agency can help you make important life decisions and feel less stuck, overwhelmed, and lost.
Humans are aware of a tiny fraction of the thinking in their minds, and they can control only a tiny part of their conscious thoughts. The vast majority of their thinking efforts go on subconsciously. Only one or two of these thoughts are likely to breach consciousness at a time. Slips of the tongue and accidental actions offer glimpses of one’s unfiltered subconscious mental life.
For many of the human race, the pace of life has accelerated to a level where one can not fully adapt. People exist in a buzz of worry that they are not doing what they are meant to do, and the anxiety they feel, in turn, makes it difficult to get things done, creating a spiral of inaction. Humanity needs more Agency: the ability to cut through all of what pulls at them, find physical and emotional balance, think more clearly, and advocate for themselves so one can take a course of action that makes sense. Humans can feel more in command of their lives by having a personal agency.
All too often, some people move through life feeling like they have no control over their lives. Except, they do not have to accept living their life thinking this way. There are ways to take back control of your life, and it is time you do it now.
Outlining 5 Steps to Create a more Personal Agency
Here are the five steps to creating a more personal Agency to put yourself on a more robust path, whether at work, in your relationships, or life. Here are the recommendations:
Control Stimuli. Personal Agency begins with what you let into your mind (what comes in from your environment). If you lack Agency, it is likely your attention is being hijacked, and you need to figure out how to restore it. This act can be gleaned in Benoit Blanchard’s book on mind control. The book talks about having inserted neural implants, or “cybers,” in the brains of newborns and controlling the brain from thinking criminal thoughts. However, this aims to remove the people’s God-given gift- free will. For example, research has shown that taking a walk (especially outdoors) is an excellent way to restore depleted attention in your brain to concentrate better later.
On the other hand, having a phone present while you work distracts you and interferes with your thinking capacity. To help you increase your Agency, practice going to screen-free and quiet spaces to get rid of overstimulation. That may mean turning off your phone notifications while at work, spending time in nature, or avoiding eating in loud fast-food chains.
Associate Selectively. You will always be affected by those around you as it is impossible not to. For example, it is easy to “catch” their emotions, and your brain tends to sync up when you mingle with people. That means you should disentangle yourself from negative online interactions, set boundaries with difficult people, and be more aware of how you might be vulnerable to “groupthink,”; pressures to behave or think in ways contrary to your values. And so, surround yourself with friends, family, and communities. People encourage you to nurture your talents, reach your full potential, affirm your difficult decisions and values, and give you a reality check when you misbehave or are stuck in negative thoughts. You can also get yourself involved with a community through volunteering or the like. These positive social interactions will improve your physical health and state of mind, two critical building blocks of personal Agency.
Learn to say “NO.” You can not possibly consent to all the “urgent” of the day, finish everything you want to get accomplished and be stress-free (well, at least not every day). If you do not proactively choose where to direct your focus and what to direct it on, then the “stress of everything” builds. Bear in mind that if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. The best thing you can do is get rid of all those “extras” that soak up valuable time, money, and mindshare that you would not get back. Choose your focus and decide what you will say yes to and say no to.
Manage Your Emotions and Beliefs. Too often, humans operate from unconscious beliefs (e.g., No one will ever want to be in a relationship with me, or I’m too old to learn a new job skill) without knowing how they thwart them from trying certain things. When you are driven by unconscious emotions like fear, sadness, or worry, it can lower your energy and make you feel doomed or overwhelmed, hurting your Agency. By learning how to recognize your inner emotions and thoughts, name them, and let them pass through you, you can practice more self-control, which helps build more excellent Agency.
Just Do It. So, what are you waiting for? Just do it! Change that attitude and start working towards your new positive life. You need to take that first step, never looking back. Change your thoughts and Take Control, and everything you have ever wanted can be yours.
Remember, taking action does not require 100% certainty. People with a higher personal agency will start to act if they are 80% sure or more. So, do not over-deliberate before acting. You can continually reassess later if need be.