Many people are faced with this belief that we have limited choices in all areas of our lives. Most of the time, we feel that we are forced to do something, and so, we act on it (if we ever do), but with a heavy heart. I remember a self improvement advice my mom used to tell me. Whenever I make my own choices, always choose whatever it is that I feel right for me, because if I don’t, I won’t give it my best, and chances are, it won’t likely succeed. As I grow up, I found out that choosing what I feel is right for me, isn’t always easy. There are times when I had to settle for something other than what I really wanted out of fear. And this is what most of us have in common.
What I’ve learned from growth coaching is that there are basically five ways we can respond to our choices.
Responding with “I won’t” do something acknowledges that you have no power at all because life happens to you no matter what your choice is or how you want it to be different. There is nothing in it for you, and even if there is, you still believe you’re not going to succeed, so why bother?
Saying “I have to” means you don’t have a choice. Either you do it or something horrible will happen so you are forced to.
“I need to” comes from a more powerful place in you since you’re now trying to seek opportunities in the challenges presented. This brings more chance of success although you still feel you are being limited.
The three responses discussed above are what you call catabolic responses. Even though you are choosing to take action, at your very core, you chose not to do it, or not do it well, so you are bringing catabolic (or negative) energy to it which might contribute to its failure.
Saying “I want to”, although considered to be an anabolic response and indicates you are mostly at choice, still comes from a place of lack.
“I choose to” is the most powerful response of all. It simply says you have complete power over your choices and there is a connection between who you are and what you do.
As what I always tell my clients in my leadership coaching program, when making choices, always come from a place of choosing to experience rather than filling a need. I know it’s not always easy, but you can choose to try it!