You Always, Always Have A Choice
Yesterday I found something I had written last week on a whim that I’d put to the side and forgotten about. When I re-read it, there was one sentence in particular that stuck out to me that I wanted to share with you today. That sentence is this:
It’s in the decisions you make that you find the answers to who you are.
How you show up in the world, it’s a decision. The things you say or don’t, the things you do or don’t. Even not doing something is still a choice you make.
There’s no judgment here either, there have been lots of things I’ve chosen to not do. Sometimes because it felt like intuitively it was the right choice. Mostly because in the moment, it’s seemed easier to stay the same.
Until one day, it isn’t. The voice that has been talking to you for years about whatever the thing is that you’re trying to ignore can’t be ignored anymore. It’s simply intolerable. And the risk of change becomes more powerful than the reward of the safety in staying the same.
A few years ago I spent almost an entire year asking other teachers that I had worked with who didn’t enjoy their jobs why they stayed.
The most common answer was this: “I don’t have a choice.”
Some of them said things like, “I wouldn’t make as much money if I left and did something different.” Okay, so you’re choosing money, for whatever reason (your family, your lifestyle, etc) over your daily happiness and life fulfillment. There’s nothing wrong with this, but know it is a choice that you have made. And then own that. Because when you don’t, and you blame the things not working in your life on external people or circumstances, then you become the victim. And being the victim is extremely disempowering.
Instead, consider this an invitation to take 100% responsibility for yourself and your life. All the good, all the bad. You can’t always control everything that happens to you, of course. But you can control your response and navigation of everything that happens to you, always. In fact, you’re literally the only person who can. If you think you can’t, consider looking at to whom and what you’re giving your power away to.
Because from that perspective, every decision you have actively participated in is what led you exactly to where you are.
I’m not saying it’s easy. If any part of your life isn’t working and you want it to, it likely requires things like self-advocacy, courageous conversations, and a whole lot of being uncomfortable in the presence of the discomfort of others when you decide to show up differently than the person they have become accustomed to you being.
That was a lot so I’m going to say it again: It will likely require being uncomfortable in the presence of the discomfort of others when you decide to show up differently than the person they have become accustomed to you being.
It may be difficult to navigate. But you only get one wild and precious life.
And you always, always have a choice.