In part 1 of this series, 7 Critical Steps to Creating Sustainable Change, we explored Step 1: “Awareness.”1 Once we have spent some time practicing the three steps to being more aware, the next step is choice—specifically, conscious choice.
It can feel like we are surrounded daily by “have-tos” and “shoulds.” One of the big lessons coaching clients learn is that when I come from a place of choosing, they are more likely to complete their goals, be engaged while doing so, and feel passionate about what they’re doing and who they are being. Even if they haven’t chosen a certain circumstance, they have a say in how they handle it.
If you are going to create choice as a way of life, you have to own the fact you have a say in the matter before you can actually begin to make conscious choices. This means taking responsibility and understanding that living by proxy and accepting what comes is, by default, you making a choice. It’s not the kind of choice that will lead to empowerment or having more in your life that energizes you instead of draining you.
To truly make changes in your life and live with less stress and internal conflict, you need to own that you have a choice and take responsibility to choose to make decisions that align with what you are really up to—or you can just keep settling for what you get. Your choice!
For patients and their caregivers, there are times when they understandably struggle with feelings of “why me?” It’s common when things we deem to be challenges or losses occur in our lives. On the other hand, it isn’t often you hear a lottery winner, someone who has just received a job promotion or a clean bill of health ask, “why me?”
When “good” things happen we typically accept them, sometimes express gratitude for them, and go on with our day. However, when life gives us a hand of cards we would never choose to have to play, we tend to wonder why this is happening to us. A tip for shifting from feeling like things happen to you, is to begin replacing “why me” with what’s next. This helps people move into taking responsibility and taking action.
Finding freedom through choice can be life changing. What is one choice you can make that will give you a sense of freedom? For just one day, choose that—and then choose it again the next day and the next. Try it for a week, like an experiment and notice what shifts and what gifts come your way.
What do you need to do to create choice and freedom in your life today? How would that change things for you?
- Leighn T. 7 Critical Steps to Creating Sustainable Change. TheONC. 2016 Oct 21.