Sep 022010
 

by Linda Ann Stewart

Every moment of every day, you are making choices, from the moment of awakening to the time you go to bed at night. Your strongest thought determines what you’ll do at any given time, whether it’s conscious or habitual. In the morning, do you get up when the alarm buzzes or hit the snooze button? Do you cook eggs or oatmeal for breakfast? Which route do you take to work? Every moment is a fork in the road, and you travel one way or the other.

Your attitudes and actions have been created by your past choices that have become automatic over time. As a youngster, you could either accept or reject your caregivers’ assessments of you. One person would believe it when a father accused them of being “worthless,” while another would consider the source and discard the label.

Sometimes, you don’t even realize that you have options. When you were young, other people made decisions for you. Or maybe you accepted the attitudes of those around you to be able to cope in your environment. After you grew up, you lived on autopilot without assessing those old ideas. This resulted in struggling through a life based on those outdated concepts.

There may have been times when you felt that you had no alternatives. That only meant that the other choices would have been harder to live with. A person in an awful job may feel they have to stay in it, no matter what. However, they could always find another job, even if it would be at a lower pay scale. Or even work two jobs to earn an equivalent income. Peace of mind and satisfaction may be worth having less or working more.

You choose what your thoughts are, even when they seem to be reflexive. If negative thoughts arise spontaneously, you can challenge them and change them. George Eliot said, “The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.” If a situation doesn’t end up like you want, you can always change your mind and go in a different direction.

The key lies in recognizing that you were always the one who made a choice. You’ve done so even when you don’t like the outcome or feel stuck. Making no decision is a decision in itself. Going along with what someone else wants is also under your control.

By realizing you’ve always chosen your thoughts, beliefs and actions, even if by default, eliminates the feeling of victimhood and hopelessness. This puts the sense of power back with you, where it belongs.

Be aware that every moment of every day, you’re making choices. If they are made automatically, without thought, then it might be time to evaluate them to see if they’re still valid. By switching from habitual decisions to making intentional ones, you transform from being unaware to being more conscious. When you become aware that there are other options, you can then select a better way.

When you recognize you have choice, even if the alternative doesn’t seem to be of equal benefit, then you open up a wide range of possibilities. It’s the difference between always looking down at your feet and raising your gaze to the horizon. Doing so takes your power back and allows your subconscious to discover better opportunities.

Affirmation

I always choose my thoughts, beliefs and actions. Even when I’m on autopilot, I decided my direction long ago. Now I bring those automatic ideas out of the shadows to assess whether they’re still useful. If I don’t like my current situation, I know that I can make a different choice and improve my life. Realizing that I always have a choice, I reclaim my power and set my subconscious to search for better opportunities.

Copyright 2010 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved

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