I laughed when I saw those words written to my friend in a text message.
The reason behind it doesn’t matter because it’s ridiculous.
Do you ever do that? Look at something that isn’t going in your favor and figure you have to deal with crap because you don’t have a choice?
“I had to slash your tires. I had no other choice.”
I hear people saying they have no other choice when it comes to the work they are doing, the businesses they are ‘stuck’ in, the toxic relationships they stay engaged in, the state of their health etc.. They remain in situations they do not want to be in because they choose to believe they have no choice.
But, I disagree. I think that we always have a choice. No, we can’t change what’s already happened or the cards that we were dealt. We can’t change what other people do, but we have a choice in how we respond to it. We can react negatively or we can respond creatively.
You DO get to choose how you say something and how you act. You do it every day. You wake up and you pee, you start the coffee, you brush your teeth, wash your face, take a shower, get dressed, check your email, play some games on your phone, go to meetings, take the kids to school, buy lunch, run errands …
You do every one of those things because you choose to do so. You didn’t have to take a shower. You didn’t have to laugh at your kid’s joke. You didn’t have to sleep till 7am. You could have set your alarm for earlier and went for a walk. You didn’t have to go to the store . You didn’t have to wear those jeans.
You made choices based on what the outcome might be. It was probably in the best interest of the kids to have them go to school today. You didn’t feel like wearing the blue blouse because your mood dictated red and sassy! You replied to your associate’s email before you left for work because you knew he needed an answer before 9am.
But, what about the less mundane choices that we make each day? The ones that are driven by a bigger emotion.
Sometimes you make a choice because you feel you have no power. You feel so helpless in a situation that you act out of desperation. Maybe you lost a big account and will now be making far less money. Maybe the person you thought you could rekindle your relationship with has moved on. Maybe your sibling is going through a weird phase and wants nothing to do with you or your family.
You can lash out at your ex. You can write a nasty email to your sibling with your family cc’d on it saying. You can give up on your business. You can blame the client, the ex spouse, and the sibling. All which will aid you in becoming bitter and unhappy. Or you can respond proactively and create the life you really want to live.
If it’s easier to give someone else the power to make you do something and bring you to the point of destructive behavior then that’s… your choice. Congratulations, you get to stay in a powerless position of someone who refuses to take responsibility for where they are at and what they are doing.
Alternatively, when you choose how you want to react and stop blaming the external influences, you quickly see that you hold the magic wand to how you want to shape your life.
So for those still struggling with feeling they have no choice and someone else has the power to make them feel or act a certain way, try this: Name three things today that you blame someone else for or claim make you powerless in your reaction.
Then ask yourself… In this situation that I have been dealt, was there another choice I could have made? Would it have made a difference?
See what you come up with and remember, you always have choice.