The Power to Choose

The power to choose: Photo by Willem-Jan Huisman on Unsplash

Some of my clients work with me because they are stuck. Their situation isn’t working for them and they don’t see a way out. What is fascinating about this is often their situation is of their own doing. In a way, they have created a prison for themselves and they don’t know they are the only ones with the key. The good news is there is a way out of this and most people come to realize they have the key. They have the power to choose.

The power to choose

As I mention above, the common thing in these situations is the belief we are powerless. We are reliant on something or somebody else to get us out of this mess. Here are some common examples and maybe one of these is familiar to you?

Inability to say no

This is the most common in my experience and it usually results in overwhelm and missed commitments. The person is unable to say no to new requests because of the perceived consequence. If I turn this opportunity down, they won’t pick me again.

Unreasonable expectations

This one occurs when we believe the expectations placed upon us are unachievable or unreasonable. When I explore it with my clients, I often find the expectations are actually their own. In fact there is a absence of clear expectations from their boss. It would be refreshing for someone to receive clear expectations even if they were overly high.


This situation comes up when we feel we have been mistreated. We feel resentful and expend a lot of energy ruminating about it. The sad thing is we get all worked up and the other ‘guilty’ partner sleeps soundly, not even knowing what they have done wrong.

As I hope you can see, each of these situations are consequences of our own making. We box ourselves into a corner instead of realizing we have the power to choose. We have the power to choose a different interpretation, one that is much more positive.

It Isn’t Easy

Even though we have the power to choose, it is isn’t easy. It requires setting aside our core beliefs and choosing to try on a different narrative. It is like going clothes shopping and trying on something you wouldn’t dare wear, only to find out it looks and feels pretty good. So how do we do this? The answer lies in taking the smallest possible step to challenge our limiting thinking. This should be something that if it doesn’t work out, very little is lost. It should also be easy to do to reduce the chances of us creating a different excuse not to do it.

Step by small step you will create a new story and over time you’ll come to find yourself no longer within your own prison because we all have the power to choose.

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