A Choice Point is the moment that you can decide to do something different!
What is a choice point you ask? It is a moment in time when life offers you an opportunity to create two outcomes. One is the same old thing, the exact outcome you’ve always gotten, the crazy making circle of frustration you’ve traveled ending up in the same place as before. The other is? Yup, you guessed it.
That’s really what it all comes down to. In every day, in every situation, in every relationship, and in every conversation, you have the opportunity to change your life. Like so many of the greats have said before:
if you don’t like your reality…change your current thoughts
if you feel stuck in your life or relationships…change your behavior
When you change your thoughts and behaviors…your feelings change too.
Over time, varied experiences, new data, and consistent practice your thoughts will change, your behaviors will change, your reality will change, and most importantly your beliefs will change. You will have chosen ‘the road less traveled, and it will make all the difference’.
After years of experiences, of dealing with my own set of beliefs, conditioned thoughts, and old behavior patterns, this is what I’ve come to understand. Ninety percent of everything we do (our behaviors) are driven by our unconscious beliefs. In order to change those beliefs we must change our behavior and try something new. In other words, we must act as if those underlying beliefs motivating behaviors and thoughts that give us outcomes we do not desire, are not true. I remember the first time I actually consciously did something different as if it were yesterday.
I was having a text conversation years ago, with my ex-husband, in which, as was typical, he was making statements and comments that left me feeling rejected, undervalued, and disrespected. My response in the past had always been to point out what he was doing in an attempt to get him to feel empathy and be kinder (which made him angrier) and/or respond with my own angry and defensive words (which only escalated the situation).
On that day, something inside me said STOP! I heard myself say, “you know how this will end”, “nothing is going to change by playing out this scene again and again” and “yes, he is rejecting you and disrespecting you, but….and this was a big one…BUT you are rejecting and disrespecting yourself even more by continuing this pattern!”
WOW! That was a biggie for me. And in that instant, I put down the phone and I didn’t communicate with him for several days.
Trust me it wasn’t easy. It took every ounce of will power, courage, and a lot of self-talk that was empowering to act in such a different way. I had no idea what the outcome of this doing ‘something different’ would be, but I knew what the outcome of the ‘same old thing’ would be and I was done with that.
I was at a choice point. And I did something different.
I really believe that in some ways we humans are creatures of habit even when things don’t serve us. We sometimes fight or in some way disrespect ourselves to keep a job we hate, a relationship that is abusive, or a habit that hurts us. All because we would rather ‘deal with the devil we know, that the one we don’t’. I know I’ve done this many many times. But in the end we are left with the same result, the same outcome, the same old…you know!
Unless we have the courage to DO Something Different!
At first it will be uncomfortable, unfamiliar, maybe even difficult. But it is the only way to ultimately have an opportunity to change your outcome into the experience you want. You will have to override your conditioned responses to external events and stimuli by doing something different. Different from your usual reaction, your usual behavior, your usual feeling. In doing so you will create new neural pathways that over time will override the old habitual responses and generate this ‘something different’ as automatically and comfortably as you used to do the old pattern. And no matter the situation or the external outcome, the ultimate result will be self-respect and self-love. And I believe that is actually what we want the most.
I hope this is helpful and that if and when you find yourself in an old pattern and can see the writing on the wall, you know, the unwanted outcome staring you in the face, DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
Till next week, live easy and be kind to yourself