At times, we all feel like victims of circumstance – powerless over the way things are going in our lives. My faith teaches me that my life is in God’s hands, an idea that is hard for me to understand, but one that I know to be true. That said, within God’s plan for me each day, I do have tremendous power to choose what I think, how I act, what I commit to, what I eat, whether I exercise, how I treat others, how much I learn, how much time I pray and more.
As humans, I believe one of our greatest failings is to forget how much personal power we have over our success and happiness and the impact we have on others. We spend a lot of time blaming others and “the world” for the way things are going in our lives instead of examining what we can do differently and practicing new ways of thinking and behaving to get a different result.
In my October 2008 blog on positivity, (http://blog.convergencecoaching.com/2008/10/how-positive-are-you.html), I shared some ideas for maintaining positivity, including practicing mental and verbal positivity and using visual imagery to imagine what’s possible in your life. In addition to those ideas, I want to suggest that we can all do a better job (me included) of taking ownership for our choices. For instance, we have just endured one of the hardest winters I can remember in my home state of Nebraska, and now, our spring isn’t shaping up to be that great, either (50 degrees and rainy this week). Instead of spending a lot of energy complaining or feeling victimized by Mother Nature (which is surprisingly easy to do), people will attest that when the topic of weather comes up, I always shift the potential “pity party” with the affirmation, “I choose to live here and there are many benefits – the weather may not be one of them.”
This is a simple example of taking responsibility for my choices, but it is one that helps me shift from powerless to powerful and, when it is difficult to truly say that I choose something, I then have to ask myself what I can choose to change then to alter my circumstances.
So, what do you choose? And, if your circumstances are not what you would choose, what can you do to change them? Please share your thoughts on the power of personal choice.