The power of Choice

Do you sometimes feel like everything is coming at you at once and you don’t know which way to turn?

When unexpected challenges arise do you sometimes feel like you are being pulled in so many directions that you have no control?

How can you ‘create the life of our dreams’ when the curve balls come at you at lightning speed? You didn’t CHOOSE to have that car run into you. You didn’t CHOOSE that storm to blow that tree into your house. You didn’t CHOOSE to lose that friend to illness, or to have your employer go into receivership so you could lose your job.

Unexpected and unwanted things happen, often without warning, and definitely without our choosing or control.

So how can we take back some control in these situations?

Life will throw us curve balls; that we know for sure. Some of them are much faster and more curved than we would like, and some can really knock us off our feet.

If we can learn that even in those situations we still have some level of choice, and we begin to harness that power of choice, even in the most challenging circumstances, then we can begin to take back that feeling of control over our lives that those curve balls tend to temporarily take away.

At Positive Living Skills, we believe that each of us always has some level of choice; in how we choose to live our lives, the actions or decisions we will make, how we communicate with others, and that while we don’t choose all the events that happen around us or to us, we can choose how we will respond to situations and other people.

Our beliefs are that we can:

  1. Choose what we will decide an event means to us

  2. Choose how we will respond to any event, large or small

  3. Choose what we will focus on from moment to moment

When we believe we always have choice over something, we feel more empowered, and we are building our resilience and our ability to handle whatever will come our way.

Here are some ways to harness the power of choice so that you feel more like you are in the driver’s seat of life rather than on the roof racks desperately trying to hang on!

Appreciate that it could be worse.

While this might not sound like positive psychology style thinking, considering how a situation could be worse is actually a way to choose gratitude within a challenge. Robert A Emmons has thoroughly explored the concept of gratitude in his body of research, and it has been proven that considering how a situation could be worse can help us appreciate the good that is within the event, and to be grateful for what we have or where we are or who we are, and feel more in control of a situation or our emotional state. How could it be worse? What do I have to appreciate about the situation right now? What resources do I have within me that could help me right now?

Choose kindness - for self and others

You and your friends are in a bar and someone pushes into you, or someone runs into your car at a set of lights, or your presentation falls completely flat and you receive negative feedback. Maybe your friend doesn’t return