It’s not always easy to choose

when you're caught between a rock and a hard place it can be hard to see you have a choice

This morning on Twitter, I was reminded by someone that it’s not always easy to choose your mood; that for some, every day is a challenge and “managing a smile” is about their limit.  I can empathise with this position, with this choice.  I remember times when I’ve felt that everything was simply too much effort, too much like an up-hill struggle.  And I made a choice; a choice to embrace positive thinking, to allow that to influence my mood and my outcomes.

I am not suggesting that it is easy.  I am suggesting it is a choice and like many choices we make in our lives, there are times when it is more difficult than others.  Deciding that it is a choice and one that we can make, gives us back ownership of it, gives us responsibility for ourselves.  Many people will find this overwhelming and are, therefore, reluctant to accept that it is a choice they can make.

When circumstances present themselves that impact our lives, we can often feel we have no choice.  We are not in control of what is happening to us and therefore we believe choice is not part of the picture.  What we can choose is how we react to this situation; how we choose to deal with or embrace the challenge is very much our choice.

It is also important to keep it real.  Just because you’ve made a choice to be positive does not mean you’ll never have another day where you feel down, that it’s all too much.  As a family, after my accident, we created a “why me?” day every month.  Every member of the family got the chance to say “it’s not fair.  Why me?”  to openly talk about the things we were finding a challenge, the things that brought us down or made daily positivity a struggle.  By acknowledging what we were all experiencing we gave each other permission to keep it real.

Start with a small step; think about one thing you react to that always brings you down, zaps your energy and leaves you feeling deflated.  You can choose to change the way you react.  Create a new scenario – write it out if that helps – and detail how you will be reacting from now on.  If your current response is to get cross, choose to get sassy or feisty instead.  If you would normally get upset, choose to get determined or confident.  There is a person on Twitter who used to “get under my skin” and when I saw how that made me react, I decided to choose that, from then on, I would react by being grateful.  Grateful for the amazing people I connect with who make me feel positive and energised.

Give some thought today to how you’ve chosen to react to what’s going on in your life, right now.  Are you ready to choose to do that differently?

Dinah 🙂

It’s my choice

ownership of your choices
I really didn’t have a choice!

I have a real thing about people’s language when it comes to choice.  I’m tired of hearing “I didn’t have a choice” or “It was the only choice I had” used as an excuse, a justification for decisions taken without responsibility or courage.  The truth is, there are exceptionally few situations where we have no choice.  I’m lucky enough to say I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered such a situation as an adult.  Sure, I’ve faced situations where it felt like I had a tough choice or an even tougher choice, but there was still a choice.

Taking responsibility for our choices is critical to moving forward and letting go of things that hold us back.  I recall being told at a personal development event that I had chosen my parents.  I was furious!  What a ridiculous suggestion it seemed to me at the time.  However, as I pondered this statement, I realised that if I took ownership for this choice, it put me in control of what I did about it; choice on how much interaction I had with my parents, what  boundaries I could put in place, whether or not I continued to choose to have them in my life.  In that moment, when I took ownership and responsibility for this choice, I grew up and took charge of a very unhealthy relationship in my life.  I chose to change that relationship and the impact it had on my well-being.

It was a turning point for me which allowed me to see choices in a new light.  I embrace choice with a real level of anticipation and excitement now, knowing it is up to me. Tough choices are always going to be part of our lives, but we can choose how we react to them.  I know that I have a physical condition that has certain implications.  Having this condition was not my choice.  How I accommodate it, how I challenge it, how I work with it and around it – those are my choices.  And each new aspect of my condition brings new choices that I’m ready to own in the same way.

Which choices are you still allowing someone else to own for you?  How might it feel to be in control of the outcome, to decide how much it influences or impacts your life?  Start with a SMALL step – something that you know you regularly blame someone else for, and get to grips with your own ability to do something about it.

What choice will you take ownership of today?

Dinah 🙂

I choose not to celebrate

London 2012 can boast many “firsts” on it’s list of considerable achievements, many reasons to celebrate . I do not believe, however, that Women’s Boxing being included for the first time is one of those.  I am choosing not to celebrate it.

Should I really be celebrating that my sex is now equal to men in the ring? Should I experience some sense of joy that women can now beat each other round the face and body in public, encouraged by cheering masses? Call me old-fashioned, but I take no delight, or pride in this “progress”.

I have never understood the justification for boxing. I do not doubt that it requires months, no years, of dedication and training. I am simply stunned that, in 2012, we believe it is “sport” to watch people fighting and gaining points for inflicting injury.

Surely this is only one step removed from Gladiators and the jeering crowds who savoured every moment, every blow, every gory injury. As a woman who is passionate about equality, I would like to see all boxing removed from the Olympics – for men and for women.

 

There were so many examples of real progress, real reasons for celebration,  for and by women at the London 2012 games – not least the first woman athlete from Saudi Arabia ever to compete – Sarah Attar. That’s progress worth celebrating.

Or Helen Glover and Heather Stanning – who became the first British women to take an Olympic rowing Gold Medal – that had me jumping for joy in celebration.

Or Italy’s Josefa Idem who became the first woman to compete in eight Olympic Games – that’s astonishing!

As I watched Mohamed Ali being supported on either arm, to allow him to stand at the opening ceremony, I was moved to tears and found myself questioning, again, how far we had really progressed from Roman times.  When would they be throwing people to the Lions?

Let’s see some real progress – some brave decisions – how about NO boxing in the 2016 games? In my opinion, that would be something to celebrate.

Dinah

Choose to take control

How often do you find yourself lying awake at night, or waking in the early hours, dwelling on something that’s worrying you?  Going over and over in your head all the options and possible outcomes, seeing blocks and obstacles in your path.  This is a choice.  The issue may be a very real one, but choosing to hang on to it in this way, to allow it to disturb your sleep, your well-being, that is a choice you are in control of.

The main reason we worry in this way is because we have not yet taken real action.  We may feel there is no choice about our situation – loosing your job, being diagnosed with an illness, are out of our control.  The real thing keeping you awake is the lack of action you have taken to address the situation.

Debt is a common cause of sleepless nights; however it is not the debt itself that people lay awake worrying about; it is what they have, or more often have not, done to deal with it.  “I must write to the bank” “I have to go through the accounts” “I must speak to the credit card company”, these are the thoughts that keep people awake, night after night.

If, the following morning, they  made the choice to take action – to make the calls, to write the letters, to bring their accounts up to date, the debt might not be gone, but the worry about lack of action, lack of control, would be.

When I was told I would be dependent on a wheelchair after an accident at the age of 26, I had plenty of sleepless nights.  I was not worrying about not walking, I was worrying about how to tell people, how to continue driving, how to be a wife and not a burden.   I had to choose to take action and take back control.

So whatever it was that kept you awake last night, or got you out of bed at silly-o’clock this morning, take control today – you deserve a good night’s sleep.

Have a wonderful day

Dinah 🙂

Choose colour

   “We can always spot you in a crowd, Dinah – you’re the one who’s wearing bright colours”.  It’s true, I love colour.  My hair is proof of that  and has been all the colours of the rainbow over the years.  Being known for colour in a sea of corporate grey always got me noticed and made me easy to find at the large events I used to manage.

I’ve also noticed the effect colour has on my own mood.  I know if I choose bright colours to wear, I lift my mood.  When I wear grey I feel – grey!  Colours allow me to make other people smile and often prove a great way to start a conversation.  I’ve met some great people thanks to my purple coat (well it is fabulous) and you’d be amazed how often women ask me what my hair colour is.

I bought a fabulous new umbrella this week – bright red with spots – and am looking forward to it raining so I can use it 😉

Choose some colour for your day today and see what impact it has.

Have a colourful Thursday

Dinah

A choice for yourself

  I’ve made a choice for myself today.  A choice to give myself time with my daughter.  Time to be together and talk, share, laugh, listen, get creative – and yes, probably go shopping too!  Both Hannah and I run our own businesses and by the very nature of her work, Hannah runs the offices of several other business owners too (all achieved virtually from her home office).  It would be easy for us to choose to be too busy for our time together, so we choose to make it as important as every other part of our businesses.

Time for yourself may seem like a choice reserved for those who have already achieved success – and financial freedom.  However, it is making the choice to invest time in yourself that will allow you to achieve what you are striving for.  Working “flat out” to keep  your head above water, to find your next client, to reach that target will get results; but how long will it take until the result you get is exhaustion, burn-out and bad decisions?

Hannah and I have arranged a half-day together every other month for the year.  We’ve already scheduled all the dates in our diaries.  We look forward to our H&D Days for a good couple of weeks each time and love planning how we will spend the time together.

Choose to put some regular time for yourself in your schedule – make it as important as any other time you invest in your business.  You, after all, are your greatest asset.

Have a terrific Tuesday

Dinah

Pick a choice between one and ten….

Have you got a list of choices?  Choices you’ve been planning to make for a while now; perhaps a long while?  Sometimes it can feel overwhelming – and not knowing where to start can result in not starting at all.  Those choices go un-made or ignored, the progress is stalled or the inevitable is delayed.  Today, pick one of your choices and go for it!

A good place is to start is with honesty.  Be honest with yourself and write a list – nobody else is going to see it, so be honest.  Write down the choices you have been putting off, in no particular order.  Every choice counts – from getting a new hairstyle to launching a new business venture.  No choice is insignificant, no choice is too monumental; they all belong on the list.

Now, pick a choice in the first ten you wrote down.  Start with a small one – but be honest!  Does “choose whether to have cake  or biscuits with my coffee this afternoon” really belong on the list!?  The choice I am picking today is to get some new lighting organised for my office by allowing time for that in my diary this lunchtime.

Choosing to make just one choice at a time and to focus on that one choice until you have seen it through, is the key to success with choices.  How often have you heard someone say “I tried that and it didn’t work” about something – giving up smoking, changing a behaviour, overcoming a problem – they were not focussed on that one choice; perhaps they were not convinced it was the right one, perhaps they had already decided they were going to fail.  Perhaps they just expected immediate results – choices take time to make and will take time to create results.

Pick a choice today – and choose to focus on seeing it through.

Have a fabulous Thursday

Dinah 🙂

Choose your view

I work in an office room with no natural daylight, tucked away downstairs in our home.  It is a large room, with plenty of space, just no view.  I love my office as it is my private space to create, to focus, to give clients my full attention and I have created my own views, without windows, to enhance the space.

Here is my “Thank You Wall” –
  a wonderful reminder that people    
  appreciate what I do and the difference it  
  has made to them.  It is a  positive view
  and lifts me up every day. 

 

 

 

And this is my fabulous Simon Bull print that brings the sunshine into the room
it brightens the space and makes me smile.  
I love this view.  

 

 

 

 

 

  This beautiful, heather heart from Jayne Cox
  creates a loving view above my telephone and
  reminds me to smile before I answer every call.  It
  puts a spring in my step and I love this view.

 

 

 

 

What will you choose to enhance your view?

Have a wonderful Friday and enjoy the long weekend

Dinah 🙂 

Now that’s my kind of choice!

It is important to remember that choices can be fun, light-hearted and a joy to make.  I started my day with my usual choice – Lavazza Rossa or Lavazza extra creamy?  That’s my kind of choice! 😉  The second big choice of my day landed in my lap as I sat with my coffee to start #thebreakfastclub duty on Twitter – Pickle decided she wanted a cuddle and I had to choose whether to be a couple of minutes late – that’s my kind of choice!

When we acknowledge how many choices we make in a day, often on auto-pilot, we start to see how good we are at making them.  Yesterday I had a seriously tough choice – a scone with jam and cream or a chocolate cup cake – which should I choose to go with my afternoon cuppa?  I admit, the chocolate won (well, of course!) and I thoroughly enjoyed the choice.  I made that choice and I lived (happily) with the consequences.  So, surely other choices should be easy to make.

When we label a choice as “tough” or “challenging” we are making a choice to make it that way.  Looking at choices and seeing they are ours to take, at the long-term impact they will have for us and for others and at how easily we make choices which benefit us, we can choose a new approach. Every time I am presented with a choice, I say to myself “now that’s my kind of choice!” it instantly lifts my spirits and reminds me of the amazing results that are in my life because of past choices.

Enjoy your choices today

Dinah 🙂

Difficult choices

Choices can be fun, amusing, exciting – even thrilling!  Choices can also be challenging, uncomfortable and difficult.  Sometimes it feels like there are two choices; the bad choice and the worse choice!  The truth is often that we are focusing on the choice itself and the immediate consequences rather than the long-term results.

I remember being given some difficult choices which felt, at the time, like there really was no choice.  Was there really a positive option when I was asked to decide whether to have my left leg amputated or keep on having nerve blocking injections, blood clots and dislocations for the rest of my life?  It certainly did not feel like it at  the time.  Today, as I walk around in my world, I know I made the right ( if often painful) choice and am grateful for the fact I have both legs.

I also remember being given the choice of getting married in a Registry Office to please  my future husband and stay true to my own beliefs, or having a large wedding in our Synagogue and keeping my family happy.  Surely this choice was beyond having a positive outcome!  24 years on, I know I made the right choice and we had most of the family at the wedding – even on a Saturday!

The next time you face a difficult choice, focus on the longer-term results that you can create.  Think about how the future will look rather than the immediate, difficult choice in front of you.   That difficult choice could create an outcome that has life-long, positive results.

Have a wonder-filled Wednesday

Dinah 🙂