‘an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.’
Do we see the choice available to us? Or are we functioning largely on autopilot?
Have you ever had a nagging feeling that has stayed with you over days? Months? A lingering sadness or anger over your situation?
Maybe life has felt tough.
It’s important to allow feelings to be expressed in a healthy way so that we can face them and heal – we know that time has to run its course, that healing doesn’t happen overnight.
But what if we reflect and realize that time has passed and that feeling of sadness, anger, being a victim, has gotten very comfortable inside – it’s made a little home, it’s tucked itself into bed with a cozy blanket and has no plans to move anytime soon.
Things are cozy in the blanket. Rest and recuperation are important and what better place than in a warm blanket where things feel safe, familiar, secure.
But then there is an inkling…barely noticeable at first but it keeps poking at you to change, to make a choice to live differently, think differently, move out of the comfort and grow.
‘But it’s so warm here!’ you scream back… and so the familiar feeling snuggles in a little deeper.
Friends and family come along, reminding you of different perspectives. You tell yourself they don’t understand and for a time this feels right – no one can truly be in your shoes. But then you haven’t walked in theirs either – everyone has their story, struggle, setback, triumph. Maybe advice, perspective can be more general, more widely applicable?
Can we see past the person giving advice and simply see the choice in front of us?
Maybe today we decide that we will shift our feeling, perspective, state. YOU choose. There is an extreme power in this. Be empowered.
It won’t be easy. You’ll find yourself saying it’s so hard – others will empathize and you will linger in the warmth a little longer – but you will always come back to the choice.
It’s not our situations that are the problem; it’s our reaction to them.
A tough pill to swallow because that means change is in our control – it’s so much easier to blame someone or something else.
Are you ready to choose? Here are 4 steps to help:
1. Get to know your sh*t
Get familiar with what’s keeping you in the cozy blanket.
What do you feel?
At the root of most feelings is fear. We’re afraid of failure, afraid we’re not good enough, afraid to get hurt, afraid to be alone, afraid of being rejected, afraid of what others will think. What are you afraid of?
What habits have you created based on this fear?
We see fear as a threat and so we create patterns to protect ourselves, to avoid feeling discomfort and pain. Consider how you’re responding to your feelings, to your fear.
Do you close yourself off to others? To new experiences? To being challenged?
2. Re-frame it
How could you look at it differently? There is opportunity for growth in every setback. What is life teaching you? What is it showing you?
The impermanence of things? A pattern that needs breaking? A new opportunity?
How can you create more growth, more love, more joy, more peace, more smiles and laughter? What will serve YOUR core?
3. Say ‘I Choose…’
These are strong words. They send the message that you are in control. Your best self is taking over, moving into the driving seat, setting direction, setting the intention.
I choose to see the opportunity here. I choose to grow from this experience. I choose to face my fear. I choose to forgive. I choose to see myself in a new light. I choose to live my best life. I choose to love. I choose to open up. I choose to stay with it.
What do you choose? Say It. You may not believe it, you may not be convinced. That’s okay. Say it anyway.
4. Repeat # 3 again…and again…
This is the most important step.
Think about being wrapped up in a cozy blanket, feeling warm and relaxed – it may take a lot of convincing to get you to come out of the blanket. You may come out for a little bit, reluctantly at that…and then feeling the chill, run back for cover.
Come back to the choice and re-commit. As often as needed. Allow yourself to feel like a broken record. Eventually the choice becomes your new reality.
The choice is there for the making.
See it, say it, re-commit.