Do you feel like every choice you make is a powerful one?
Are you even aware of the thousands of choices you make everyday? Yes, thousands. In fact it’s estimated that the average person makes about 35,000 decisions in one day!
According to neuroscience, your brain is designed to assess threats and opportunities. Your brain processes new experiences by comparing them to previous experiences to assess whether you’re in danger or not.
Your brain wants to keep you safe and, according to the brain, choices that are known, even if you know they aren’t good for you, are considered safe.
How crazy is that!?
That’s why it’s so hard to change habits and habit patterns that you’ve held for many years.
Most of your choices are based on strategies from past experience that have kept you safe. Meaning, have helped you cope with discomfort, win friends, feel accepted, manage conflict and so on.
A great example is comfort food. That could be coffee, sweets, salty snacks, alcohol, pasta etc… Whatever food you reach for when you feel stressed, uncomfortable or out of control.
You say you want to become healthier but, you continue to make choices that aren’t aligned with who you say you want to become.
Isn’t it true to say that sometimes you don’t even realize what you’re eating or drinking until it’s in your mouth?
That’s because the brain has marked that habit as ‘safe’ because it has helped pacify you so many times in the past, even though it’s not what you want for your future.
It’s the same with your response to fear or challenging situations. All of you who enjoy an adventure sport like ww kayaking, SUPing, mtn biking or skiing… The feeling of doing something like staring at the obstacle when you know you need to look where you want to go. The brain has developed to orient to the threat even though that’s not where you want to go!
Training yourself to choose powerfully is how you make change happen in your life, and how you align yourself with who you say you want to become.
Here are 3 strategies for choosing powerfully:
1.Become Aware of You Choices
You’ve already taken the first step in opening and reading this blog. Start to notice your habit patterns and ask yourself if your actions are in alignment with who you want to become.
The next time you feel badly about a choice or because of a choice, stop and ask yourself why you chose that way.
This isn’t unicorns and rainbows work. You’ll probably feel frustrated, disappointed and uncomfortable. Find your courage and be kind to yourself in the process. You’re not alone. We all have this work to do to create change for ourselves.
2.Recognize that true freedom is being OK with what the moment is asking of you
Freedom is not doing whatever you want whenever you want. Living that way is actually being a slave to your attachments and addictions. They have power over you even though you think you have power over them.
An example would be coffee in the morning. If you can’t live without coffee, then coffee owns you. You may think that you’re choosing to drink coffee every morning because you love it – which you do – but there’s no freedom in not being able to function without a specific food, or drink, or exercise, or whatever it is that you say you can’t live without.
True freedom is being able to make the choice that the present moment requires. When your body signals to you that it’s time to give up coffee for a few days, freedom is being able to do so because it’s what you’re body needs and because you have the freedom to function without it.
The truth is that freedom comes through discipline. Being willing to give something up to meet the moment. That is freedom.
3.Start with your future self and reverse engineer
Get clear on who you want to be and become. Hold that image in your mind’s eye and when it’s time to make a choice, choose powerfully to align with that image.
This is how you retrain your brain. Choosing over and over again, even when it feels hard, your future over your past.
When you forget and fall back into old habit patterns, that’s OK. It’s part of the process. Don’t make a big deal about it. Enjoy it even because it’s what’s happening.
Then, when you do remember, come back to that image and choose again. That’s the exciting part – when you make a choice that you don’t like you don’t have to live there forever. Choose again. Powerfully.
Want help with training yourself to choose and live powerfully? Click here to learn more about my courage and confidence coaching program that helps you live powerfully in the face of fear and uncertainty.