The Free Will to Make Choices
One of the advantages of being a human being is having the free will to make our own choices. So often I hear my clients lamenting about where they are in life:
· “I have to go to gym or else my husband will be angry with me for wasting our gym contract”
· “I have to stay in my job even though I feel so trapped”.
· “I have to meet my friend for coffee even though she criticises everything I do”.
Do you think the person saying these things is empowering herself or giving her power away? What choices is she making on a daily basis by saying to herself and to others “I have to….”?
Despite having free will, we choose to make “choices” that reflect our lack of personal responsibility. Why? We choose not to be discerning about choices given to us. We allow our limiting beliefs to hold us back when opportunities present themselves. This stops us from making choices that may give us growth and freedom. We have lost touch with our inner SELF– by tuning inwards and asking the valid questions, our own intuition will give us the answers we need to know and yet, how many times, have we made a choice that we knew, deep down, was not the right choice? Only later, down the line, as we look back on the day we made a certain choice and we find ourselves in a situation that does not serve us, do we remember our stomach was sending out alert signals that we chose to ignore.
Every day of our lives we are presented with choices – what food can I eat, what movie shall I watch, who can I meet for coffee today, shall I go to yoga tonight or stay in bed…… the options go on and on. We can choose to do things we know will serve us in a positive light or we can choose to do things that seem good at the time but are not good for us in the long run (think of the time you chose to drink the one too many glasses of wine, knowing full well that you were going to pay for it with one massive hangover the next day!!!).
Listen to your language when you talk about doing something you don’t enjoy doing – “I have to go to work or else I will lose my job”. Immediately you are setting yourself up to have a bad day at work, every day, every time you feel you HAVE to go to work. You do have choices – leave your job and find something that feeds your soul OR choose the correct language to make your work day a better experience – “I choose to go to work so that I have the freedom to pay for my own monthly expenses”. Even better – “I choose to give my best no matter where I work”. By acknowledging that you do have a choice and by using positive language, you are empowering yourself to create a better life even when circumstances may be challenging at the time. Choose to make your difficult times a positive, learning experience. Choose to also always find the best of any situation.
Making choices can be frightening too. Never rush into making a decision. Give yourself space to respond to the choices being given to you. Ask yourself the following questions:
· How will the choice I make now impact me in the future?
· Which choice will give me the most joy and fulfilment?
· Does my choice resonate with my own values system?
· Am I being discerning about the choices presented to me?
· Am I listening to my inner voice?
I love John Kehoe’s mantra “My subconscious is my partner in success”. If we can tap into the power that is our subconscious, we can use it to help us make wise and empowering choices. The more we tap into our subconscious, our inner voice, the easier it becomes to hear it loud and clear. The more we trust ourselves and have faith in our own intuition, the easier it becomes to make choices that serve us. This is particularly useful when we are faced with choices that need to be made quickly and when we don’t have the luxury of stepping out of a situation to think about it more deeply.
When I need to make choices, I do try to listen to my inner voice. I have learnt to understand the messages my inner voice sends me through physical body signs – when my stomach turns to jelly and I feel my whole body literally shudder, then I know I am about to make a bad choice. Often, I “feel” a knowing somewhere at the back of my head that indicates if I am about to make a wrong choice.
I have learnt to be more patient when presented with choices – I have learnt from past events that making rapid decisions have, most times, got me into trouble! The more I know myself and the more I trust myself, I am also able to make choices that I know will bring me joy and fulfilment. But, for me, my biggest compass to making the right choices for me is knowing my own personal values system. I use my values system to guide me and if any of my values are going to be violated by a choice I might make, I choose to run!
Exercise your free will to make the right choices for you. What’s more empowering then being able to say, “I choose to …..”?