Sometimes we don’t even know which is the high road and which is the low road. Or even that there is a road at all. Sometimes what we want is a quick fix. But a quick fix doesn’t give the long-term results you want – just short-term relief. And maybe a worsening of a problem you don’t want.
At times like this I like to consider my 5 Principles of Change when you have a Fork in the Road:
- Does this take you towards or away from your goal(s)? Sometimes no goal has been specified. Where this is the case, you are simply living by default and may end up somewhere you really don’t want to be. So be clear on your goals in life, especially in relation to the situation you want to change. The mind is much more effective at positive decision-making when it knows what you want to achieve rather than what you want to avoid.
- You have freewill and response-ability. So we can make excuses for why we do something, or we can be in charge of our responses to a situation. If you are living by default, this will be a habit for you, so conscious decision-making becomes the new habit to cultivate. It takes a little time and I am a big fan of “learning after the fact”. By this I mean thinking of a situation that happened and considering what went well and what could be better. This is like self-coaching and helps you build on what is in line with your goals and learn from experience – the most powerful learning there is.
- The most important thing you ever do is decide what’s important. So, what are you prioritising? And in prioritising that, what is getting left behind? This shapes your experience in life in more ways than you can imagine. So decide on what’s important and never lose sight of it.
- All choices have consequences. We can all tell each other what we want to hear, eg “oh, it’ll be fine”. Maybe it will. If you’re very lucky. But maybe it won’t. What is the most likely consequence of your decisions? Does it take you down the low road? Or improve your life situation?
- You are either moving towards or away from your goals. You always have a choice to move yourself forward or slip further back, giving you an even bigger gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Being aware of this helps you make the decision you want rather than just allow things to unfold and regret them.
Being Honest with Yourself
Your honest consideration of these principles can help you move forward, or make conscious decisions not to. Of course, you can continue taking the low-road and get the same results or worse. One thing to remember is how easy it is to lie to ourselves. So in thinking about the low road or the high road, consider whether there is a feeling of expansion at your progress. Sometimes we need to take a calculated risk so that we can grow. Change requires courage, consistency and honesty with yourself. I am sure you can think of a time when you did something you didn’t think you could – and how good it made you feel to achieve it – expansion. Rather than the contraction you would feel if you shied away from it – sitting safely inside your comfort zone which gets smaller by the day.
Choices are not a matter of willpower. Willpower is difficult to sustain in a chaotic world because you have to keep your focus on them all the time. They aren’t a matter of wishing things were so because wishes are just dreams without action. Choices are best when they are conscious.
So, find out what you need to consider to make the choices work for you and help creating the life you want rather than the default life you are left with.
You have More Power than you Thought
Isn’t it good to know you have more power than you thought?
If you need any help, get in touch with me to find out how I can support you .
(C) Tricia Woolfrey 2023