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The gift of choice

As I sat in front of the lake in the park, a nagging thought kept popping up: “I should finalize and release the blog post. I feel comfortable with it.” I sighed with relief.

Within a few seconds, my mind was racing. I slowed down, focussed my attention on the Canadian geese, as I observed my thoughts and sensations. The stories I was telling myself, were quite revealing: “You know releasing the blog post is premature, don’t be hasty, work on it a little longer before giving it birth..”.

Now, my energy levels were dropping, my breath shallow and soon after I was sensing my jaw grip. What was going on?

Just, minutes earlier, I was excited to share my post, now my mind was busy creating enemy images and I was feeling frustrated and slightly defeated, almost ready to drop the post!

Do you ever experience an inner conflict that seems like you have no choice?

About healthy choices:

When dealing with concerns about emotional decisions, such as, releasing a post or facing an uncomfortable conversation, fears and resistance often shape our actions and outcomes. Our mind highjacks our body and before you know it you’re stuck in a loop and most likely overwhelmed.

Consider taking the following steps, before taking an action. Tune in, listen to your body and thoughts, and imagine a different outcome, that serves you better, hence the gift of choice.

In practice:

Step I Observe your physical sensations: areas of your body feel tight, compressed. Notice whether you are holding your breath, the rhythm, is it shallow or full?

Step II Identify the story/ judgments you are telling yourself in regards to the choice/s at hand. (Fill in the blanks).

The thought of                   (the action e.g. releasing the blog post, confronting my boss… your version) reminds me of how                  (e.g. ill prepared, incompetent… your version) I am. Besides                    (e.g. nobody is interested, I am not good at this, who do I think I am… your version)

The thought of taking an action triggers feelings:

When I think of                  (the action) I experience                      (e.g concern, fear, anxiety or excitement, stimulation… your version)

Outcome/choice: I am going to                   (e.g hold off, avoid… your version) the situation. 

Notice how that feels in your body. (repeat step I)

Step III Creating a new story!

When I                   (action as above) what truly matter to me is             

                   (e.g self-expression, competence, contribution, connection, …..).

When I                    (express, connect, contribute…) I experience 

                       (ease, joy, stimulated …)

The new outcome/ choice: Once I                    (action as above) I get to                   (e.g. contribute, restore communication…) – values that matter to me.

Now, observe how that feels in your body. (repeat step I)

Step IV Ready to take action! / Choice – Now that you have considered both stories what outcome do you choose?

Have questions or related experience to this article, please share below.

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