I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: I believe EVERYTHING in life is a choice. And, to take it one step further: I believe if you tell yourself that your life is NOT a choice, and you are merely a victim of circumstance(s) — you are either consciously or unconsciously telling yourself a lie.
For the most part, extenuating circumstances notwithstanding, we are all allotted the same 24 hours in a day and the same 52 weeks in a year. How things play out in those seconds, minutes, days, weeks, and years is largely determined by the choices you have made. But, most of us buck and thrash against that knowledge. We play the blame game. We deflect. We make excuses. Because OWNING the fact that you are responsible for your life, and the quality with which you live it, takes COURAGE. It takes stones to show up every day and good, bad, or indifferent say, “I own this.”
Let’s take this asinine government shutdown. The whole thing reeks of incompetence. Some people are more directly impacted than others. My heart breaks for the people who are, through seemingly no fault of their own, missing out on much needed wages and the like. That truly sucks for them and their families and I can empathize. The government needs to own and take responsibility for the shutdown, but HOW YOU HANDLE YOUR LIFE IN THE WAKE OF THE SHUTDOWN IS ON YOU. You own your energy, your thoughts, and your actions. My advice: control what you can control and don’t waste any energy on the rest.
You can’t change the event…but you can change your RESPONSE to the event. That’s where the focus should lie.
I spent 13 years in a job that I loved for the first seven years and hated for the last six. Loathed. Despised. Sixteen bosses in thirteen years. Gender discrimination. High work ethic, low pay. Glass ceiling. An abusive corporate relationship where I was getting my ass kicked on a regular basis. A slow, torturous soul-sucking death happened daily. I am talking regular Sunday night depression, crying jags, fear, blame, you name it. But, now that I have had years of distance from that job (and have done much personal development work), I realize that I had a CHOICE and I CHOSE to stay for six years beyond my expiration date. I could have left at the first sign that I was selling my soul in that 5 x 7 cubicle, but I didn’t. I let fear of the unknown and guilt over being a provider for my family paralyze me. My ego kept me there because I was a phenomenal employee, they were lucky to have me, and I was going to show them, dammit. How stupid. And, in hindsight, I wasted six years of my life. Leaving that job and transferring my belongings from cubicle to cardboard box was the most liberating and freeing thing I could have ever done. Take this job and shove it. I’ve never looked back. I am now paving my own path. Choices.
Or there was the boyfriend I stayed with a little too long.
The party where I drank too much.
The little white lies I’ve told because I didn’t want to hurt a loved one’s feelings.
And then those choices result in feelings that we have to live with. Feelings that enshroud every fiber of our being. So. Make. Good. Choices.
Have you ever had a person in your life and when you spend time with them, you feel like you are coming down with the flu? It just rains negativity and drama and LACK. And maybe you make excuses for that person: “oh, they are just going through a tough time or their husband is a real jerk or it’s a full moon.” But, the truth of the matter is, who you spend time with is a choice. And, you have no right to complain if you are constantly surrounding yourself with lower vibrational energy that sucks the life out of every last cell in your body. CHOOSE UP!
EVERYTHING is a choice! Yes or no. Television or books. Fox News or NatGeo. Ocean or lake. Carbs or protein. Relaxation or stress. Clutter or cleanliness. Laughter or tears. Love or hate. Compassion or condescension. Corporate ladder or self-employed. Religion or spirituality. To loose your temper or keep your cool. To stay in the loveless marriage or to get a divorce. To over-busy yourself or to make conscious decisions about how you spend your time. You or them. Good or great.
There are no excuses.
There is no one to blame.
In matters of life, love, employment, relationships, time, finances, and on and on and on…YOU and only you are in the driver’s seat. If you don’t like the way something is going, make different/better/bolder choices. When you spend your life in the passenger’s seat instead of as the driver, you are literally giving away your power. Here’s the deal: YOU need to be holding the key to your own happiness and YOU need to be the author of your own autobiography. Don’t give that stuff away, under ANY circumstances!
I’d like to challenge you: for one week, do not complain about your circumstances or place blame. Instead, get clear on what you want, and take responsibility for where you are right now. And then, once you are clear on how you would like things to be instead, take action. Be your own catalyst for change. If your kids or your husband are pissing you off, don’t spout off to your girlfriends about it or whine and complain on Facebook…talk to them directly, tell them what they are doing that is upsetting to you and suggest ways they can work on it. Go to the source. Be direct. Got a problem with a lazy coworker? Address it. Sick of your house being so messy? Clean it.
Take 100% responsibility for your life and watch how your life begins to change for the better. And, let happiness be your guide. It works. (I know. I’ve done it.)
If you need help figuring it out or taking steps in the right direction, please contact me and we can work out some private mentoring options.