The Power of Self-Determination is in its role to support you in creating the life you want to live. It is the most effective way to have a fulfilling and successful life. Self-determination provides you with personal direction and protection.
To live a self-determined life it is necessary to take full ownership of your life.
This requires you to be willing to and to take responsibility for what you do, the impact you have on others and be held accountable for the consequences. It requires you to know what you, as an individual, want, and how to achieve what you want. Alternatively know how to gain the knowledge and skills to do so.
This in turn requires self-awareness and effective innermost communication. That is the ability to recognise, understand, and act on your core needs, preferences and dreams, authentically and respectfully. Self-determination provides direction by knowing what you want and how to action it so you can live your life for your personal satisfaction.
This does not mean life will be prefect and beautiful all the time. Life challenges will still come your way. There are many things none of us can control or determine. So an important aspect of self-determination is recognising that we can’t control things outside our self. We can take actions to protect ourselves, and influence what is happening outside our self, however unpredictable or unconsidered things and challenges will occur.
Self-determination embraces the unpredictableness of reality and accepts it is about how we respond to the unexpected that is important. Accepting things and learning how to manage the challenges of life is another important aspect of self-determination.
The opposite of self-determination is when we are controlled and directed by others. When we allow others to make decisions for us we have given our power over to them. There are those amongst us that are happy with this choice. After all we are taught to do this. If you are happy with your life all is well.
If however you aren’t so happy, content or satisfied with your life it is up to you to reclaim your life. Make fresh decisions and claim ownership of your life, become self-determined such that you are experiencing a life that is more fulfilling for you. It may not be easy, however it is possible to create a life you want.
You could blame others, and yes you could attempt to hold them responsible for what has happened. Yet how does that serve you to become more self-determine? To have a more satisfying life. The truth is it doesn’t. It passes the buck and gives you a reason for staying where you are. It prevents you from being in control of your life and many will take advantage of this.
If you choose to live a self-determined life you have a valuable tool for reducing experiences of others taking advantage of you, having negative impact on you or controlling your life. This is because when you clearly define yourself it provides you with a strong protection from the impact of others’ redirecting you, labelling you, as well as any attempts to confuse you. The last two tactics are commonly used to make you more vulnerable to abuse. Clearly defining yourself is the foundation for the development of skills for dealing with challenging and difficult people.
While self-determination is powerful for protecting us from others it is important to remember that we are dependent on our relationships, we need constructive relationships for a satisfying life. This means it is important to care for your relationships in order to care for yourself. Thus respect for yourself and others is essential to living a self–determined life.
Unfortunately many of us are not taught how to practice self-determination effectively. That is to make decisions and implement actions that fulfil our personal needs, practicing self-respect, while being respectful of others and their needs. It is important to realise it is never too late to begin reclaiming your life. I believe the act of self-determination is a process and that we develop continuously through out life, if we so choose.
Living a self-determined life will provide direction and pathway for a fulfilling life by knowing what you want and how to achieve it. It means you embrace the unpredictableness of life and recognise it is how you respond to life that matters. It also means you are accountable for the consequences of your actions and you have the ability to learn and adapt in order to meet your needs and challenges. Self-determination also provides protection from others while being respectful. Self-determination provides you with personal direction and protection. This is a very basic human right and responsibility. To me being and becoming more self-determined is an important part of this journey we call life.
 Holding others accountable is important; this is different to passing the buck. Understanding the difference is important.