I used to sort of hate choices, as I was fairly certain that decision making was by no means my forté and being confronted with an overkill of options left me pretty bewildered.
I distinctly remember now though, sitting in a group session where the concept of enjoying my choices just clicked with me. It became a word I enjoyed pronouncing, because instead of pressure, I learned its actual definition of opportunity.
Saying it out loud made me aware of how much I liked the word and the potential it carries. Choice is affirmative in its power, it puts us in the driving seat. We aren't victims of circumstance, we are in control of our next move. Having and owning our ability to choose is empowering.
Each and every one of us makes choices everyday whether we notice or not. When life isn't going the way we want it to, it can feel like we're helpless, we can't get a handle on it and everything is beyond our control. The world can seem big and scary and we mistake ourselves for small powerless beings. But our choices remain intact, regardless what's going on or happening to us, we can choose how we're going to react and what we're going to do about it. We don't choose adversity but we can choose to overcome it.
We can choose whether to act defeated or to get up and fight.
Here's some other choices I'd encourage making this year:
Choose The Positive:
Look for the positive in every situation, maybe with the help of this article. Negative events, situations and people exist, yes of course they do. But how happy does it make us to focus on those? We've got to train ourselves to see past them and just seek out the beauty, seek out the learning, seek out the joy. It takes practice but it's so worth it to find the good in each challenge we come up against. Our perspective is how we see the world, we might as well pick a positive one.
Choose to See Past Fear:
Sometimes we delude ourselves that we have no choice, because 'we can't'. That was probably my most used word in the past and definitely my least helpful one. Now I think that a choice + fear is what ends up equaling 'can't'. It's nothing to do with our abilities, it's more a case that we just 'won't'. Maybe we're afraid to let go, to rock the boat, to get out of our comfort zone - whatever our excuse- we're still making a choice. Saying that we can't, is choosing not to. It's giving in to fear. Of course choosing that we 'can' may bring a barrage of difficulty - sure, it won't exactly be a rosy path of ease but it'll likely be laced with learning that'll only serve to make us stronger.
Avoiding choices can be the go-to response when we don't really know ourselves. When our opinions, values and beliefs haven't quite cemented in our minds, taking a selective stand would mean standing on shaky ground. As we get to know who we are, what we want and what we're all about, we can make choices that put ourselves in the picture.
This is one of my favourites because choosing yourself means creating the life you want. One that inspires you, one that you can get excited about and one where you can live by your values. Choose what matters to you when you make your big choices, because you are the one that has to live with them. Making a choice that genuinely serves you and your dreams isn't selfish, it's self-care.
Choose to Let Go:
Now is a great time to choose to let go and embrace a fresh new start. Choose forgiveness over grudges and moving on instead of holding on. Life keeps moving and whatever we choose to hold on to will only continue to get heavier. Ever try physically holding on to something for too long? Your arm tires and starts shaking for a reason, it just wants to let go. Guilt, perfection, fear or your past; whatever it is that's weighing you down needs to be flung faraway from your fresh start. Let go of what you cannot change and work towards making the choices that allow for something new.
We can read these things and we can think that we want change but choosing to follow through on the actions is where we can tend to find ourselves stuck. When you decide you want to change, you commit to yourself to make choices that improve your own experience and wellbeing. Choose actions that complement your desire to have a more enjoyable life. Think about what you're doing and how it serves your own goals. Maybe there's habits to break or create, there's tasks to be tried or just deeds to be done. Get active in choosing actions that will benefit you.
I know that making choices in life can be challenging. But I also know that they can make such distinctive differences in how our story plays out. They can take us out of a rut or they can keep us in one. Either way, it's up to us and that is an incredibly empowering fact.
It's up to us to embrace the choices we want to choose.