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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Hauber

Staying in My Own Lane

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

two cars staying in their own lane
My Own Lane

I am a CONTROL FREAK. Just ask my family!! I know how the dishwasher should be filled, how the pillows should go on the couch, how the towels should be folded, and where we should go on vacation. I also know how YOU should react when things don’t go as planned, how YOU should handle a co-worker, how YOU should feel if someone betrays you, and how YOU should handle certain situations in your life.

“Stay in Your Own Lane” is a phrase we have all heard and can have many meanings. It can mean minding my own business, not getting caught up in the comparison of myself and others, not trying to “fix” others’ problems, and not trying to bestow my knowledge on a topic with which I am not that familiar.

After getting sober, I began to take an honest look at myself. This was most definitely an area in which I needed to change. I constantly entered the lanes of my family and friends because I wanted to be helpful, I didn’t want them making the same mistakes I made, I wanted to impose my will on others, and frankly because I was boastful, prideful, and (let’s face it), cocky.

Once I was aware of this, I needed to take some actions in order to change. The most difficult thing I’ve had to work on is training myself to resist opening my mouth, (and boy, that is a hard one for me)! I try to remember to pause and wait five seconds. In that time, I ask myself if what I was thinking needs to be said, if it needs to be said now or if it needs to be said by me. I am also working on trying to listen rather than give advice. So often people just want to be heard, and they are not looking for me to bestow my “wisdom” on them. Lastly, I create space for others (especially my kids) to make their own decisions in order to foster their own independence, confidence, and growth.

When I practice these behaviors consistently, I notice I am more at peace. I have less anxiety when I stop comparing myself to others or worrying about what they think. I am able to put my ego aside which tells me that I need to be a “knight in shining armor”. I can be supportive without feeling the need to carry others’ burdens. As I let go of others’ thoughts, feelings, and actions, I have more energy to focus on improving myself. I am able to be gentler with myself and stop the negative self-talk that goes on in my mind. I am able to love and accept myself (flaws and all). This also enables me to do the same with others. Without the fear of judgement, criticism, or unsolicited advice, my relationships are built more on love and trust.

Am I perfect at staying in my own lane? Absolutely NOT! However, I know how important it is to work on it every day. I already see the benefits of the small changes I have made. By no longer comparing myself to others or trying to control things in someone else’s lane, I am much less resentful, jealous, and frustrated, and fearful. I have a much more positive attitude towards myself and others. Staying in my own lane is definitely one of the keys for a promising and fulfilling life.


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