My husband John and I have been married for a quarter of a century next April – and this July we celebrated 29 years since our first date; and yes, the time has flown by. We have grown-up and taken an amazing adventure together (we first met when I was 16 and John 17) and made many choices together. Some that were long-term, planning and progressing gradually towards a purpose, a dream. Others were taken in haste, reacting to a situation or outcome we had not planned for. Either way, the choices we made along the way have influenced where we are today. They’ve become part of our routine.
Making new choices can feel uncomfortable – and that’s okay. When we are too comfortable we don’t make changes so feeling this way is a sign we’re ready to choose to make that change. Choices can feel out of our control and in truth, while a situation may have been something over which we had no influence, the way we react to it is down to personal choice. Have you ever found yourself, half-way through an argument with someone and thought “why are we arguing about this?” the answer is that you choose to argue. You can always choose to react differently.
There are many steps to successful choices and I believe the first one is ownership. It’s time to stop giving responsibility for your choices to others. It can be easy to say “I didn’t have a choice” when actually what you’re saying is “I didn’t want to make a choice”. When we take real ownership and accept we do have a choice, we can decide how to react or how to move forward, real choice becomes something we are delighted to own.
One of the key choices I’ve made on my journey was when I decided to deal with my weight (I literally doubled my weight over a period of 12 years in a wheelchair). I knew I was responsible for my weight, but had decided I had no choice and blamed my immobility. When I took ownership and admitted to myself that I was choosing to comfort-eat and I could therefore choose not to, everything turned around. Now, less than half the weight I was five years ago, I know it’s my choice to stay this way.
Today, take an honest look at the choices you are allowing others to take for you and decide which one you’re going to start owning.
Have a great week