We often act on autopilot. And respond the way we always did. Often we say ‘I have no choice’. But is this true?
The illusion of having no choice.
The statement that we have no choice can mean different things.
1. I have no choice because I cannot control the situation, it’s others determining what I (should) do.
2. I have no choice because that is all I’ve got. I cannot change my situation.
3. I have no choice because other choices are worse.
4. I have no choice because I feel this is the right way to do it.
You always have a choice
First of all, bring consciousness into your options. And into your capability to make these choices. Those are the first steps.
Such awareness gives you back control over yourself and your situation.
You can decide to stay where you are, that’s a choice. Or go against your current plan, and find yourself in a worse situation. That’s also a choice.
So explore the possibilities, and then choose.
Don’t give your power away.
You may have beliefs on how you should respond in certain situations. Or others telling you how you should act, with otherwise negative consequences.
But it is always you who chooses in the end. Even not changing anything at all and just let it happen to you is in a way a choice. Don’t blame others for that.
What happens after awareness
As soon as you start realizing that you have the power to determine how to respond, new opportunities will open up. Because you are willing to look into them.
When I realized last year that I let the reaction and beliefs of others determine whether I was happy or not, I had the choice. To allow that to happen, or to start working on myself to change it and take back control.
Although I did not know how my choice was clear: I wanted to have back control over my life. And from there on, I was able to look into the options. That helped me to change my mindset and to wake up.
Changing things and making conscious choices might take you out of your comfort zone. Because if you want things to change, you need to act differently then you always did.
The one thing you can always control
There is one thing you always have a choice over. And that is about the way you think and the way you feel. You have the power to determine how you feel unless you give this power away.
One option is to put yourself into a better and more positive state. On the other hand, you can send yourself into a downward spiral.
Be aware that such a choice not only affects you but also your environment. As a consequence of putting yourself in a negative state, others will feel that and be negatively influenced by it.
Even in the worst situations
I am currently reading the impressive book of Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor, Men’s Search For Meaning. He described how even in this very dark period he had the freedom to choose his thought.
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.
So even when really bad things happen to you, you still have a final choice. And that is how to accept it.
Have you been in situations where you thought you had no choice? And looking back, do you still think you had no choice?