A Coaching Power Tool Created by Kristen Good
(Life Coach, UNITED STATES)
Imagine yourself standing at a fork in the road. You see other people passing by you choosing one direction or another. You ask each one which way they are going and why. Then you ask, which way should I go? Some people give you a shrug and say
I don’t know.
Some people point out the pros and cons of each path. Some others tell you exactly which way to go and all but drag you down their chosen path. Sometimes you start to go down that path but then run backwards to the fork because you aren’t sure it’s the right way. With every person’s opinion your choice feels even harder. What should you do? Why is this so hard? Why does everyone but you seem to know where they are going? You sit down and get upset because you feel lost and stuck. At the end of the day you are still at the fork even more unsure of what to do than before.
We’ve all been there at points in our lives. We know we need to make a choice but we are so torn about it we paralyze ourselves in an endless circle of indecision. Eventually we either make a snap decision or we go passive and let someone else make the choice for us. Neither of these options lets us make a choice thats best for our true selves.
When we feel torn we might say things to ourselves like:
- I don’t know what to do so I won’t do anything.
- I’m afraid to make a mistake so I’ll let someone else choose for me. – I don’t trust my instincts so I’ll ask everyone else what to do.
- I’m afraid of the unknown so I won’t make a choice until I can predict exactly what will happen.
All of these thoughts though are part of a bigger disempowering perspective… I believe the answer is outside myself.
When we are children our parents help us make choices because we are still developing and we need guidance. As adults we no longer have that buffer which is both a blessing and a challenge. We have to learn to make choices for ourselves. This can be really scary especially when the choice we want to make may not be inline with what others may deem the right choice.
Lets take a look at Janet. She’s graduating high school and really wants to pursue a career in the arts. She loves art and really wants to start applying to art schools. One night she talks to her mom about it. Her Mom’s reaction startles her. Her Mom doesn’t think you can make a career out of art and that she should really start looking at something more practical
like business or science. Janet feels crushed. She really wants to do art but now she wonders if her mom is right, is it impractical? Who should janet listen too? Her mom or herself?
This is where Janet needs to look inside and make the choice that is right for her; the choice that is True for her.
Making Choices That Are True
A true choice come from within us. It doesn’t mean we don’t do research and maybe even ask what others think but in the end we make a choice from a place of believing that the right choice comes from within ourselves. How could anyone else know the right path for you? Who knows you better than you? We all have different stories and each one is unique this is why the best person to answer the question of what should I do?
To make choices that are true to us we need to trust in ourselves, in our instincts, and our ability to handle whatever comes next. If we spend our lives making choices out of fear for what others will think or making choices that others feel are right for us, we are only going to end up back at that fork in the road. We can only deny our true desires for so long before we fall into unhappiness.
What do you think would happen if Janet decides to go to business school instead of following her passion for art? She may graduate and find a career but would she be happy? Or is it more likely she would muttle through business school until she starts skipping classes because she is bored and knows deep down this isn’t the place for her. Eventually she finds herself at the fork in the road again. This time she chooses for herself, leaves business school and starts attending art school. She’s much happier and aces all her classes. She graduates and finds a job she loves.
What Are Some Ways To Find The True Choice For You?
Ask yourself some questions:
- Why am I feeling stuck about this choice? – What scares me most about this choice?
- What am I afraid will happen if I make this choice? – What does my gut say is the right choice to make?
- If no one else were involved in this choice what would I do? – Deep down what do I want?
- What is my ideal outcome?
Most importantly remember your true choice comes from within you. Even if you make a choice and more questions come up (the unknown) don’t forget those answers are within you too!