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Are You Just Along for the Ride?

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Are You Just Along for the Ride?

Stop settling and speak up!
Cheryl  Saban Ph.D.
Cheryl Saban Ph.D. More by this author
May 10, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Are you living the life you want, or do you secretly feel that you’ve “settled” for an existence that’s giving you less than you deserve or isn’t what you’ve dreamed of? Regardless of modernity and whopping upgrades in the level of women’s participation in the decision-making process of society, there are many among us who continue to be swept along with the tide of tradition, seemingly helpless (or just unwilling) to change culturally enmeshed habits and rituals. Maybe we’re simply biding our time for the perfect opportunity to speak out, stand up, and take a leadership role in life.

If you have the sense that you’re merely along for the ride, hitched to someone else’s Prius while you wait for your turn—the turn that you’re convinced someone of higher authority will undoubtedly give you—recognize that today is the day God made. Don’t waste it.

Yes, patience is a virtue, and it does seem that all the saints in history had great big doses of it. But you must avoid making the mistake of using patience as a smoke screen for procrastination. Ask yourself the following:

  • Are you currently pursuing any of your passions?
  • Do you feel included, connected, and balanced in your world; or are you continually feeling rejected and detached?
  • Are the tasks and jobs you do satisfying to you? If not, why do you continue to do them?
  • What changes could you make that would make your life more fulfilling? Do you have the courage to make them?
  • Do you accept life’s challenges and try to surmount them, or do you feel overwhelmed by them to the point of giving up?

No matter what your circumstances are at this very moment, come to terms with the reality that you play a part in them. As difficult as it may seem, you have to make an effort to take an objective look at the conditions and results of your life. If you continually feel depressed and are sure that it’s due to the state of your bank account, for instance, reevaluate your perspective. It’s fairly clear that the quality of your life is not directly dependent upon your financial bottom line; it has more to do with your ability to function with the cards in your hand and your capacity for resiliency.

With that said, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t learn to be a better poker player—there’s nothing wrong with figuring out how to use the cards you were dealt with more cunning. Once again, it comes down to personal responsibility and intentions. You’re in charge of actualizing your dreams and goals, so take conscious actions to fulfill them. And realize that the quality of your life (that is, your satisfaction and overall contentment) has an impact on the quantity of your life as well.

For women, it’s not enough just to create a satisfying life for ourselves—although I’ll repeat once again the mantra that it begins with us. We’ve always been concerned with the better good of our communities, children, families, and fellow females. As connection-oriented and hardwired with a need to affiliate and nurture as we are, it’s not surprising that even when we build psychological models to help other women, we’re also considering the greater good of society at large. I’m referring to a basic precept of feminist psychology that suggests personal growth and healing should be accompanied by activism to bring about societal change.

While you have worth whether you’re consciously aware of it or not, creating and proaction on your part: your actions, intentions, and behaviors have a significant impact on how you experience your own worth…and ultimately on your quality of life, too.

About Author
Cheryl  Saban Ph.D.
Cheryl Saban, Ph.D., writes extensively about women, children, and social issues. Using her background in psychology, she devotes a great deal of attention to philanthropic endeavors that focus on pediatric health and research, education, relationshi Continue reading