Life is about making choices.
Imagine fronting up to the counter at your local ice cream parlour and asking the owner for “whatever you think I’d like.”
Of course you wouldn’t do that. With a veritable rainbow of ice cream flavours & toppings tempting you, making a choice might be difficult, but you’d do it. “Give me Cherries Jubilee and Chocolate Night, put the chocolate on the bottom and get a scoop with lots of cherries in it for the top.”
Granted not many of life’s choices are as lightweight as choosing between chocolate and vanilla, but what you choose and how you make choices, or don’t make them, is as central to your self-esteem as taking responsibility for yourself.
Choices come in two flavours:
Active — when you make something happen and live with the consequences.
Passive — when you “choose not to choose,” and continue to live with the status quo because the stakes appear too high for any changes choice might bring.
Active choices can be painful; feelings of fear and vulnerability often accompany these decisions. Just because we know what’s best of us doesn’t make it any easier. This kind of choice-making is risky, too. The most difficult choices don’t have any absolute right or wrong; there is no perfect solution. It takes great courage to face these hard decisions.
On the other hand, the postponement of choice can have serious backlashes in the way of stress, depression, discouragement, apathy, even physical illness. Procrastination seldom has any favourable results.
Though in the end the choice is yours, getting to the place to be able to make a decision doesn’t have to be a solo trip. Ask for help. Talking things out with another person can be helpful, especially someone who is on your side but has nothing at stake in your decision.
Just putting voice to your concerns may help you sort things out, and writing down the pros and cons will give you more clarity than keeping everything in your head. For me personally, spit-balling it(talking it through( with my partner & then story boarding it, (using post-it notes to map out & create structure to the ideas) makes a huge impact on clarity for me. Getting some distance (emotional or physical) may make assessment easier, especially if that distance allows you to see the reality of the situation, rather than the way you wish it could be.
Even with thoughtful consideration, not every choice will be the right one. But wrong decisions don’t make you wrong. And, trite as it may sound, one of the ways we learn is through the mistakes we make.
Not each of the choices you make will have profound effect on the whole of your life. But the ongoing and continuous act of making choices will.
Making choices you believe in, choosing intentionally and with moral deliberation, taking responsibility for your choices, these are some of the markers on the road of self-esteem. The way William James put it was, “The first act of freedom is to choose it.”
My greatest love & choice – Helping facilitate the spilt balling & story boarding to create the action plan & clarity that business owners need is the area I love the most. Seeing the instant changes, when their green light comes on & success becomes attainable on their terms, with ease.
Come join, me & two of my dear friends Jannyfer Chua & Carmel Cotis
at our Forum on Transforming YOUR Time Challenge with Easy Success Rituals, click here for more info. We will share how to maximise your results with the right choices.
Sally A Curtis – Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications