Coaching for Change

Divorce Recovery Newsletter / Vol 34

Trouble Viewing the Newsletter? Click Here.                  August 3, 2010

 

Shelley StileThe Power of Choice

Definition: Choice consists of the mental process of judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one of them.

The most powerful weapon in our arsenal of life tools is our ability to choose of our own free will. All too often, we may think that we are making choices but in reality we are simply reacting to what life hands us.

Consider the following scenario: Your ex calls you on the phone and provokes you to anger. You react emotionally and say things that you might never had said under normal circumstances: normal meaning from a place where your emotions are not ruling your actions. You probably could choiceslook back on the interchange and notice that you did not stop and consider your choice of response...you simply reacted and let your emotions run the show. That is not a choice.

A choice is a conscious, thought out decision.

A choice needs to be made from a place where your emotions or emotional baggage is not in charge. Consider this alternate response to the above situation:

Your ex has pushed your emotional buttons and you are upset. You would really like to rip his/her head off but you stop yourself, knowing in your gut that a blowup has never been the answer. You realize that when you react emotionally you are out of control so you decide to calm down so you can make a rational choice, one that will serve you instead of harm you.

You end the call and explain that you both need to cool off. You sit quietly and deep breathe for a few minutes or go out for a quick 10-minute walk. Once you are calm, you see your options. You know the right thing to do. You have considered the consequences to your choice and made a decision that will serve you in the long run.

Choose instead of react

Understand that we make choices all day long and all too often we don't stop to think of the outcome of those choices or we don't really choose at all, we react. Debbie Ford, a leading Divorce Specialist, has a list of powerful questions to ask yourself before you choose:

  • Will this choice move me toward a better future or keep me stuck in the past?

  • Will this choice bring me long-term fulfillment or short-term gratification?

  • Am I standing in my own power or trying to please another?

  • Am I looking for what's right or am I looking for what's wrong?

  • Will this choice serve me or harm me?

  • Will I use this choice as a way to grow or beat myself up?

  • Does this choice empower me or dis-empower me?

  • Is this choice an act of self-love or self-sabotage?

  • Is this choice based in fear or in faith of a better future?

  • Am I doing what I know is right or seeking ego-gratification? (I added that one!)

  • Am I acting from old emotional baggage or self-will? (mine too)

See? During a divorce and its aftermath, we all too often do not make choices that serve us. We must stop, think and truly consider the consequences of our choices or lack-thereof. Our choices will dictate the quality of our life and our future.

It is very interesting to me that the magazine of professional coaching is entitled, Choice.

Here is an interesting excerpt from an essay on choice by Chuck Gallozzi:

What distinguishes us from animals is free will. We have the power of choice. And choice is just that, POWER. It is a catalyst for change. It can elevate us to heroic heights or hurl us to desperate levels of despair. Such is the power of choice.

Choice can bring us closer to or further from our dreams.

A good part of our waking day is spent in making choices. It begins as soon as the alarm goes off.

  • Do we get out of bed immediately or push the snooze button?
  • Do we prepare for work or call in sick?
  • At the job, do we work hard or goof off?

All during the day we continue making choices as we decide what to do next.

  • Do I tackle the most important task or make a personal telephone call?
  • Do I answer my business messages or chat with coworkers over coffee?

Each decision I make points me to the road of success or the path of mediocrity.

Many of us act as if were in rudderless boats drifting in the sea of life. Our destination? Who knows? We arrive wherever the currents and tides take us. But it doesn't have to be that way. You see, the boat we're in has a rudder! It can steer us to the shore of success. That rudder is CHOICE. If we use it, we can become the captain of our destiny.

And now for something different...

I have talked about the power of gratitude, looking for what is right in your life versus what is wrong. Here is the wisdom of a three year old as it pertains to being grateful...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg

 

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Quotes of the Month:

"The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice."

George Eliot
(1819 - 1880)

 

"The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.

John Dewey (1859 - 1952)

 

"It's choice - not chance - that determines your destiny."

Jean Nidetch

 

"If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise."

Robert Fritz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Associate Certified Coach