By Audrey Besnier
Being free = having a choice
Freedom is about living the life you want. It is the power or the possibility to choose among alternatives and act independently of restraints. So the feeling of having a choice is a very important step towards freedom. In order to have a choice, a person needs to explore options and be open to opportunities. If we are open to change and focus on what is possible, a world of opportunity is revealed to us and we are free to choose what the best is for our lives. On the other hand, if we focus on obstacles we limit our range of action.
Limitation from an outside factor
Limitation often creates frustration and disappointment. It can come from something we have no control over. In that case, focusing on what limits us is a waste of time and energy because no action can be taken on our part to remove the obstacle. Instead of focusing on what is limiting us and letting disempowering feelings develop, we can decide to focus on opportunities.
When walking towards a goal, there is always several roads we can take. So if one of the roads is blocked, we can decide to give up and feel frustrated or we can decide to take another road.
One reaction to obstacles can also be to feel motivated by the challenge and see it as an opportunity to use our creativity.
When we decide to reach a goal and take action, we often run into obstacles but what determines whether or not we will reach our goal is how we react to the obstacles. Will we choose to explore all our options and decide what the best one for us is or will we let obstacles disempower us and give up our goal? Will we choose freedom or limitation?
Limitation from within
Limitation can also come from within. In that case, it can be interesting to explore its causes in order to free ourselves from the restrictions we have built. It is important to identify what limits our action and evaluate how much responsibility we can take for the existence of a constraint. When it comes from within us, realizing that we can take responsibility for it puts us in control and allows us to choose how to handle it. It is a great step towards breaking free from it.
Limitation we create can also show an underlying commitment. Being aware of what we are committed to puts us in a place where we are free to pursue it or reframe our perspective to pursue something else. In any case, it allows us to be free to decide on a goal and take action towards it.
In order to shift our client’s perspective from feeling trapped and limited to feeling free and empowered, there are many different questions we can ask them. Here are some of examples:
- What would you do if this wasn’t an obstacle?
- What would you pursue if you knew you couldn’t fail?
- What is the worst that can happen if you go in that direction?
- What would it take for you to feel free to choose the direction you want to go in?
- What commitment does this constraint reflect?
- You are telling me the door is closed, what does the window look like?
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