Choices we make

Our choices. Our responsibility.

There is not a fairy Godmother who will rescue you when you have agreed to a decision that is an inconvenience or is a major cost to you in mental, financial or emotional stress. To be honest, we have nowhere to look but in the mirror.

It’s not a time to kick yourself or look to anything outside of you as to why you make a decision; it is an opportunity to learn more about your seed of intention.

Developing awareness of why we make the decisions we do, the purpose and the goal is a great way to understand our own motivation, thus make better decisions.

Whenever other people are informed and included in our goal it opens us up to trust. Trust them, trust ourselves to have made a good decision and trust that providence will help us along to our goal.

In trusting another, it also means we are looking for specific action or words to judge whether this person has come through in alignment with our perception of our goal.

We don’t always tell people they are included in our decision making, sometimes we assume they will come along for the ride. We unwittingly believe people have ESP, when they are unknowingly included in our plan. We develop an expectation of how they are to act or speak on our behalf, so they fit into the idea of what we “want”. And they don’t even know it!!

The thing is if we are aware of our own motivation, we may see that we “knew” there was a good chance we would be disappointed by another person. So, why would we make a choice based on another person coming through without their buy-in with the knowledge, we will be disappointed?

There are many answers to that question. It could be feeling like we don’t deserve what we really want or feel; that people always reject our wants or needs and therefore we set up the circumstances once again to show we don’t matter. That we are invisible to others.

Many times we make a decision to help someone, we believe on some level they will return the good deed.  And when the chips are down and this individual is nowhere to be found, we start the blame game if we are unaware of our initial motivation.

Perhaps, we subscribe to the belief that if we do something for someone, they must return the favor. I know many people who were raised with this philosophy, that says “I owe you one.”

We may expect someone to show up in a way that is out of character. To do something we have never witnessed this individual normally doing in their everyday life. Hoping a miracle will take place and this person will just go along with the program we have intended for them.

Why would we set ourselves up for such disappointment?

Do we feel we deserve it? Maybe not consciously, but I can guarantee you somewhere behind a wall, a past event or some other point where we got the impression that we weren’t worth coming through for, we have carried it forth into our present decision making options.

How many times have you been at odds with someone who you expected to return a favor or be in your corner when they had no idea you had that expectation?

I like to call these silent disappointments. Words that are true in our heart, yet left unspoken always lead to confusion, anger and a sense of loss. We may be afraid to tell someone we have made a decision and that we need their help, agreement or understanding, because it makes us feel vulnerable. And at some past point, often as a child when we were disappointed and made to feel vulnerable, we developed a strategy for coping at that time.

Running around with strategies of a child are what keep us stuck in certain patterns and beliefs we have about ourselves and the world. If you can get to where your sense of unworthiness, being bad, wrong or invisible originated, you can see the thought process you had in making sure that it never happened again.

I have a client who realized how he didn’t speak up about what he wanted regularly and would be upset when others in his life were either unaware of his decisions he included them in or they argued his decision and the involvement he was asking for from an individual.

He felt he would say nothing rather than the truth, because the truth of what he wanted would get him into trouble. And yet, by holding back about his choices and trying to either go with what someone else wanted or make no decision, he found himself angry and depressed.

As I was asking him if he could remember the first time he felt his needs being invisible and/or causing waves with others…he remembered when he was a kid visiting his Dad for the week-end. His Dad always did things to entertain him and his siblings. When my client spoke about what “fun” activity they were doing that week-end. His father uncharacteristically lashed out at him. The exchange made my client feel unimportant and unworthy, he felt wrong and he had not meant for his question to produce a negative outburst.

So… in that moment, he made a decision, he never wanted to encounter someone getting upset with him and abandoning him or making him feel unworthy, so he started to keep quiet. He said nothing to those close to him until he couldn’t take it anymore, whatever it was that he was not saying….and he suffered for it.

Once he had this realization, that he was carrying the strategy of an 8 year old; he could see a clear path of how he needed to take action and trust his decision-making abilities whether he has the buy in of others or not. He realized he had been sacrificing what he really wanted to do, and creating this persona of a person doing “what others expected of him”. He knew his decisions from this point forward needed to be spoken from a place of worth and knowing what he wanted in his life, whether others jump on board is no longer an issue. He is doing what is good for him and his anger and depression have lessened immensely.

Where do you find you make most of your choices from and why? I would love to hear from you.

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