As a coach, I talk to folks all the time about their choices. I often ask questions like, “In this situation you just described, what is your best option?” When a client is explaining to me the vision they have for their company, I will often ask, “What will have to happen in order to make this vision come true?”
What I’ve discovered is that people often have fall-back patterns to their life and business circumstances. We sometimes don’t realize we have choices, as the choices we make are often so patterned and habitual that we believe this is the only way to do things. We’ve fallen into a black hole of sorts, that can only be stymied by a paradigm shift in the way we think.
We’ve all heard the old saying about insanity; if we keep doing the same things over and over, yet expect a different result, we might be insane. Now not too many of us consciously believe we are doing this, but in fact we are on a subconscious level. We are doing it through the same thought patterns day after day.
There are distinct choices you can make as it pertains to your life and business. Let’s look at a scale, of sorts.
When life and/or business presents you with a certain circumstance or event, you can respond in a variety of ways:
- The Comfort Zone Response: This is the response and resulting action that feels the best for us. It is familiar and won’t get us into trouble. Alas, just because something feels familiar does not mean it’s the most powerful use of your energy. If we live a life in the comfort zone, we will not life a full life. Are there situations and circumstances in your life and/or business where you decided to play it safe, and now you aren’t any closer to where you want to be?
- The Head Games Response: I am guilty of this one quite a bit, though I have taken steps to correct it. The Head Games Response is when we mentally replay the same scenarios and what-ifs over and over until we are emotionally worn down. Do you do this? If so, can you create a new habit that breaks the pattern?
- The Loop Response: This is similar to The Head Games Response, albeit more physical than mental. We repeat the same patterns and drama from one situation to the next. We complain to the same people day after day. We watch the same television shows day after day. In business, we perform the same arduous tasks day after day, while fully knowing there is a better way. We become gluttons for punishment, boredom and sameness.
- The Negative Attraction Response: This is the lowest of the low. If you always respond to life and business circumstances in a negative or fear-based way, you begin to believe that this is your lot in life. The reality is, by habitually responding negatively you are actually creating the circumstances you are most trying to avoid. In other words, if you are in a constant state of negativity, you are living a self-fulfilled prophecy. The universe will do its damnedest to give you more circumstances for you to be negative towards.
- The Suspended Judgement Response: This response is one founded in patience. Letting go of your own biased interpretations of people, circumstances and events will immediately take you out of the zone of fear and begin to expand your possibilities for more positive outcomes. A great way to do this is to recapitulate your day in your mind’s eye at the end of the day, just before sleep. Simply close your eyes and quickly brisk over your entire day, from the time you woke up until the moment you closed your eyes for the exercise. It should only take about 3 minutes. The caveat being you cannot judge anything you did throughout the course of the day. You simply see it for what it was and move on. You become aware without judgement.
- The Lightening Up Response: Lightening up (especially on yourself) shifts the intensity and opens a new way of operating that catapults you into a source of personal power and emotional stability.
- The Engaged Response: It’s time to unplug from the wired world and get present with the human beings, circumstances and events in front of you. When we connect with others, the result is vastly more powerful than if you half-ass your genuine engagement. This is especially true for your customers.
- The Awareness Response: Much like The Suspended Judgement Response, when you become aware and detached from judgement, you reach a state of pleasant observation, wherein you utilize all of your senses to take in the physical, emotional and intuitive information in your environment. More patience begins to form inside you. Most importantly for your business, a great sense of clarity reaches your mind’s eye. You begin to take your time in doing the things that matter the most, and dropping the things that are of low value.
Which of these choices do you make?
Remember, every single day you access one of these responses, or one somewhere in-between on this sliding spectrum. You access one of these by choosing. You choose. You choose your responses to all life circumstances. That is your power. The smartest, most sensible and truly beautiful people in the world know the power of this. They do not react; they respond. Furthermore, they respond in a manner that serves both themselves and humanity.
By understanding all the ways you are using your energy, you can choose a more efficient and certainly more satisfying was to act when you’re feeling unproductive, frustrated and hopeless. You will be able to evaluate situations and events more quickly and make a serious impact when needed. You have a choice in how you respond to every circumstance in life. That is your power.
When we complain, gossip and moan about something out of our control, we give up our power and become weak. As an entrepreneur and wildly creative human, the perils of giving up your power is immense. You become stuck and your self-esteem plummets.
When our self-esteem is low, it is hard to see the vision of what we are trying to create (your business, your life, your health, etc.). Our vision becomes muddled and blurry. If we go day after day with our muddled vision, we will eventually lose sight of it. This is how businesses fail.
The moral of this story? Become aware of your actions without judging them. See them for what they are. This is the first step towards creating a better you, which will ultimately help you thrive in business.