Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Life is all about making choices. “Life is full of choices. It’s up to you.” What am I making for lunch? What do I feel like wearing today? Do I take the stairs or the elevators?
My mother and I have read a lot of self-help books over the years. All of which we tend to discuss together afterwards. The main thing we have learned is that life is full of choices. It’s up to you.
Our behavior is a result of what we know, who we are, and how we process the information received. By this I mean, each one of us is a result of what personality we are when born, plus life experiences, plus environment, plus how we perceive the world.
For example, say you and I are both in a situation where someone is yelling at us. I may perceive the situation in such a way that, on a scale of 1 to 10, my anxiety level reaches a 10.
However, your anxiety level may only reach a 3. We perceive the reality of the situation differently, based on five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun.
The good news is we have a choice on how we act and respond towards others and to situations. “Life is full of choices. It’s up to you.” We can lower anxiety levels in our lives by making a conscious choice on how to respond to the external world.
Acting vs Reacting Vs Response
Acting is what makes you happy, reacting is what makes you miserable. Whenever you act, you perform a conscious choice, you decide you’re going to do that thing. You become responsible. But when you react, you follow somebody else’s choice, you’re responding to an external stimulus. – Dragos Roua
A reaction is instant. It’s driven by the beliefs, biases, and prejudices of the unconscious mind. When you say or do something “without thinking,” that’s the unconscious mind running the show. A reaction is based in the moment and doesn’t take into consideration long term effects of what you do or say. A reaction is survival-oriented and on some level a defense mechanism. It might turn out okay but often a reaction is something you regret later.
– Psychology Today
A response on the other hand usually comes more slowly. It’s based on information from both the conscious mind and unconscious mind. A response will be more “ecological,” meaning that it takes into consideration the well-being of not only you but those around you. It weighs the long-term effects and stays in line with your core values. – Psychology Today
It was only a matter of time before I took the Basic Intensive Choice Theory Psychology, Reality Therapy communication and Lead Management Training. Which is what I did this August with Grammy Mo, also known as Maureen Craig McIntosh, an Approved Senior Faculty with Glasser Canada and William Glasser International. (Visit her website here)
What is Choice Theory®?
“Choice Theory® is based on the simple premise that every individual only has the power to control themselves and has limited power to control others. Applying Choice Theory allows one to take responsibility for one’s own life and at the same time, withdraw from attempting to direct other people’s decisions and lives. Individuals are empowered to take responsibility for their choices and support others in taking ownership of their choices. Negative behaviors reduce in frequency and intensity, relationships strengthen and satisfaction in life increases.” – Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom by William Glasser, M.D. (Visit website here)
Myself, I have learned that in order to have healthy and happy relationships in both the working world and non-working world, I need to: agree to disagree with others, understand I cannot control others. Instead I need to support, accept, trust, encourage and uplift others. I also need to listen to understand, and not listen to reply. Listen to their words, emotions, and body language. I also believe that happiness is a choice. Again, this is why it was only a matter of time for me to stumble upon Choice Theory. It aligns with many of my values and beliefs.
Your in health, Nancy Shimmy
PS – Disclosure, this is NOT sponsored content. I am simply sharing my own experience. That “Life is full of choices. It’s up to you”.