By Tim Connor
I know what you are thinking – three choices about what? No, I’m not a psychic, but the title is basically saying in life we generally have three choices when it comes to decisions, actions and behavior. Consider – A job offer? (three choices) Start a new relationship? (three choices) End a relationship? (three choices) Move? Invest? Retire? Start a business? Sell something? Buy something? (three choices).
See where I/m going with this? Not yet? OK, how about you are sitting in one of my seminars and as I share my ideas, approaches, solutions etc. you sit there thinking – this guy is an idiot or – he is a genius or – I’m not sure where he is going with this, but I’ll give him a little more time? (Three choices). Ever been there? There now with a decision that needs to be made or an option you are considering that needs action?
I’m not trying to make something difficult or challenging seem simple or trite but ask you to look at most of life’s choices in a more practical way rather than what I hear so often “It’s complicate!”
What I’d like to share in this brief article is what contributes to which position we take based on the title regardless of what we are facing, dealing with or has come into our life unexpectedly – do we resist – say no, accept – say yes or consider – say I’ll think about it?
Yes, I could go on for pages and there are thousands of books that address this issue but let me give you my short version. (say yes!!
Why we say no (resist) – sure we all know about the impact fear has on our life, decisions and actions but have you ever considered what fake fear (yes borrowing a line from politics – but it applies here) has on your actions? What is fake fear – it’s simply stuff that doesn’t warrant real fear in the present, but for whatever reason we talk ourselves into being fearful. Should I ask her/him out? Should I ask for a raise?
Should I _______? There are literally hundreds if not thousands of – should I’s or should I not’s – that we don’t or do – do because of the impact of self-generated fear. (Yes, I just made that up). We convince ourselves that there is real (emotional or physical) danger with or without this action or decision. And where does this come from? I’ll tell you – 10 years of early mental and emotional (and sometimes physical) conditioning given to you by your early environment (parents, teachers, friends, relatives etc.). They drilled into you – you can’t, you shouldn’t, you won’t, you will never, and you know what – you are still hearing those messages no matter how subtle or distant. You are still behaving according to their rules, guidance or expectations. Enough – that was years ago – you are a new you – turn them off, let them go and no longer give them power over your life.
Why we say yes (accept) – we all have real and imaginary desires, goals, dreams and hopes and we really want them. Some we work hard to achieve while others remain in our “I hope someday” column but that’s what they are – hopes or dreams that we want, think we want, believe we want etc. Ever had someone give you a special present you didn’t ask for, expect or deserve? Did you refuse it? Return it?
Probably not because deep inside you feel/believe you are worthy of it, deserve it or want it even though you didn’t even know it existed. Ever had a conversation with someone where all you did was keep nodding yes, saying – yeah or just keep agreeing with everything they uttered? Where did this come from? Read the above example (resist) again but this time just replace the fear and negative stuff with positive stuff – you know why – because the outcome has the same contributor or source – what you were taught, instructed, guided, conditioned etc. to believe before you were eleven years old. Try it.
I’ll do one for you. “Name” – have you ever thought about starting your own business?” “You know I always have but just didn’t know what the best time would be, or circumstances were – to begin.” “What are you waiting for?” OK – here comes either the fake fear or the fake optimism – you will either convince yourself that now is the time (say yes – accept) or feel uncertain (say no – resist). Or, the next camp which is to say – maybe (I’ll think about it). Think about something in your life right now where you are either in camp one (resisting) or camp two (accepting). What’s contributing to the thoughts, feelings, emotions or actions? And where are these coming from?
Why we say maybe (I’ll consider) – If you are still with me – I’m sure you know where I am going with the third option or choice. Yes, you’re right – the maybe or I’ll consider it – is a mix of both camp one and camp two above and you just are not sure at this point which way to go. Well, let me tell you if you aren’t sure which way will be your final verdict. Whichever is the strongest in your mind, (you can’t or won’t lessons or can and will ones) history and experience will ultimately sway or convince you to go in that direction.
So, you have some no’s in your past, but you also have some yes’s there also. I’ll leave you with a final question – you are considering something new or different (what should I do or say) you already know which way you want to go (and even will go) and you are just waiting to receive, feel or experience enough validation, evidence, proof or confirmation to admit your decision, choice or action. Am I right?
Think about it.