Has world events made you feel uncertain about the future of your life? What if you could make a choice for change? Do you have days when you would prefer to lock yourself in and avoid people and circumstances happening around you?
While you may be free to step outside and take a walk, you might still feel contained as if the walls are closing in around you and you can’t breathe.
Perhaps you’re feeling the pressure from following patterns and expectations of other people. If any of that is true, then you’ve allowed yourself to place a cage of safety around you. I’m not talking about a physical cage, but mental and emotional containment.
Your cage is within your mind. Recurring negative thoughts prevent a person from living a life of freedom and happiness. The mental cage of your thoughts if left unaddressed, can slowly poison hopes, dreams, ambitions, and beliefs that support you to live an exciting and free life.
A Choice for Change
Even if there were a physical cage around you, you can still hang onto a sense of being happy and free.
When you make a choice to change your mental resiliency and push forward, you break away from the stifling confines of negative stressors in your life.
In another part of my practice, I’ve worked with abused women under the control of their abusers for decades. Helping them free their lives was often a challenge. They tried medications and talk therapy, but nothing worked for them until they made a choice for change. Of all those clients, the ones that seemed to find success quicker were the ones that locked onto hope and maintained a sense of resiliency that life WILL be better ahead.
That’s where many of us live… thinking:
“One day…” or “When everything is in place” or “When I win the lottery…”, then life will be good.
If you live on “123 Some Day Lane” and choose not to move, nothing changes.
This article is intended to help you reach a place where your dreams are yours and not based on other people’s expectations.
Taking Your Choices
Let’s look at an example of a choice. Imagine you’ve worked hard all week, and you look forward to dinner on Friday night at the buffet. Your friends and coworkers told you about the fresh food, the chicken, the seafood, mashed potatoes, steaks cooked to order, and… the desserts.
You arrived hungry and within a few moments you’re seated and the waitress arrives with a glass of lemonade and places a hot dog in front of you.
“What’s this?” You ask.
She smiles and says, “That’s your dinner.”
You tell her, “I don’t want a hot dog. It’s Friday. I’m here for the seafood buffet. Besides, I don’t even like lemonade.”
She says, “Lemonade is an acquired taste, you’ll get used to it. We decided you’d prefer a hot dog. Let me know if you’d like another one.” Then, she walks off.
I know this is a silly example but if someone brought you a hot dog when you were looking forward to the fresh catfish or shrimp dinner, you wouldn’t be happy when someone else took away your power of choice.
The Choices You Make
You make hundreds of choices every day, all day. What time you get up, what to eat, drink, what to wear and more. You also make choices about what you will think, feel or what you will believe or do in different situations. Those choices of our thoughts and behaviors are the ones we don’t pay attention to. They operate on autopilot and then we get upset when they go poorly.
Pay attention to those thoughts. When you choose ownership of your life choices, then you have the power to direct the path of your life.
Do you want to give your life choices to others? No.
So… what choices for change do you want?
Using the cage example, you now recognize there are necessary choices to unlock and control your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions. But, where is the key? You can try looking for it in your surroundings, in your relationships, your workplace, anywhere you go, but it remains elusive. The place to look is deep within yourself.
You can walk out of your self-imposed cage, but reasons known only to you, you’ve been unwilling or unable to. You were trapping yourself inside. Was it because you felt safer there?
While your life ahead looks different from your life before, it was just a familiar state of inaction, waiting for you to make a choice for change.
Fear and Balance
Fears of the unknown can hold you back if you think the harsh realities of life will get you. The way you see the world, either as a place of danger or a place of a promise determines your ability to live on YOUR own terms.
Yes. There are dangers in the world; I will not try to convince you otherwise. If you watch the news, you might never want to leave your home. I rarely go out at night to unfamiliar places and I lock my doors. Is that being fearful? No. It’s having a sense of balance and healthy boundaries.
There’s an enormous difference between deciding to make a choice for change and taking action to do something about it. Getting out of your self-imposed comfort zone requires courage. Yet, small steps each day focused on productive change empowers you.
With each step you draw closer to reaching your goals and those successes prepare you for fresh challenges. Your confidence grows exponentially and the next steps are more and more rewarding.
⭐️ About the Author
Anthony M. Davis is a Leadership, Success & Stress Coach, Board Certified Therapist, Top-100 International Travel Photographer. As a Coach, he helps people just like you overcome obstacles & reach their goals. His free book, “Keys to Your Success” is available now.