Let’s talk about choice. Warning: this might be an uncomfortable read for some!
When we think about our behaviour, our actions and our attitudes it’s easy to not take 100 per cent responsibility for them. We all too often blame our genes, our upbringing, someone else or our circumstances for not doing something or for not achieving what we want. Excuses are easy to find. But that’s an apologist view and implies we have no agency or control over our behaviour and therefore outcomes. But we do! Determinism is not the same as inevitability. Your fate is not sealed and you can ‘own’ your issues and take control and create the outcomes you want.
It’s about choice. We can decide to do something, or not. It’s that simple and that difficult.
Choice Theory posits that our behaviour thoughts, feelings, physiology and action are a choice. Every part of it.
Decide to do something and do it. Or don’t. Choose not to eat the doughnut; choose to do the extra rep; choose to set the alarm early; choose to say no; choose to say yes; choose not to listen to your negative voice; choose to be kind. Choose the behaviour that is more productive for you, that takes you closer to your goal.
We may not be fully aware that every behaviour is a choice – we think we are a victim of external control rather than internal control, but we are responsible for our own choices and the states of being come from within.
By thinking about your life this way you can be more responsible and empowered; you can live an independent, blame-free life with integrity. And choices help you reach your goals. What people do or say and what happens around is us is information. It is our choice how we perceive and filter it and respond to it.
It might feel hard at first to accept it’s about choice – you weren’t really that busy you chose to skip the training – but once you give it some thought and practise choice you’ll be liberated. You’ll be your own master and you’ll feel strong and in control.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness.”
Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People