Ever so often I hear my clients or friends say this phrase, “I don’t have a choice.” I’m always stumped by the statement because it seems as though people don’t realize that they always have a choice.
When you are faced with adversity, you might not always recognize all the options in front of you and instead and you go straight to the option that works well for you. Or sometimes the choices are all terrible and you don’t even like the options, but you still chose one that was there. If there is at least one decent option, then those that say “I don’t have a choice“ have chosen or decided to take that option because they have quickly dismissed the fact that there were other options that just wouldn’t work for them. It doesn’t mean that they didn’t have a choice, just means they quickly decided which one was best. I think there’s a major lesson that we are missing here.
Our words carry meaning, what we say we focus on.
It can be frustrating when we feel like we don’t have a choice, or do not like that choice. What about if you looked at it a little bit differently? Think about if you noticed all the options to the situation. Even if three out of the four options you would never choose and you know you’re deciding on the fourth one, you still have control over decision that you make. You have decided.
The words “ I decided to” are powerful because it gives you control. The words “I don’t have a choice” takes away the fact that you have options, you do have control, and you’re making a decision. The alternative to that is not choosing, and that is actually still a decision. It’s that lack of control that makes us feel defeated. If you can decide to look at it differently and gain that control maybe you’ll feel empowered. I get so excited when I hear someone say “so I decided to…”