The Impact of Choices

You make choices every moment of every day.  Even by not choosing you are deciding NOT to take action.  All is choice. So, the life you lead right now is a product of your choices.  The question is, are your choices taking you closer or further away from the things that are really important to you?

Being clear about what is of value to you gives you clarity.

Being clear about what is of value to you gives you clarity.

It does not have to be the huge things that this affects.  Although the answer to this question will influence the quality of your life.  As well as the path you take upon that journey.  Each step along that journey also has a flavour, an ambience and a resonance.  That either aligns with the things that you value in life, or it does not.

When my wife and I got married, we made a purposeful commitment to have a wedding celebration that honoured the things that we felt were important to us: family, children, close friends, fun, good food, elegance, homeliness, beautiful surroundings in nature….. the list goes on.  The day was beautiful.  Along the way to organising the day, we were faced with decisions that were full of often overwhelming choices.  It was challenging.  On the whole we did not allow ourselves to become distracted from what we felt was most important.  At times we made choices that others did not like.  These moments were dealt with in a compassionate way and for the most part people were very understanding.

Clarity makes Choices easier

Being clear about what is of value to you gives you clarity.  Taking a little time out to reflect on what is important may be invaluable to you to make sure you are moving in the right direction.  This can be particularly important when faced with the fast pace of modern business and personal lives.  Living aligned to your values helps to keep you focussed and energised.  It may even give you the confidence and belief that you are heading in the “right” direction.  Even when you are not necessarily totally sure of where you are headed.  The beauty and wonder of life unfolds in its own time.

You build your future here and now.  So make sure you are building a future that is full of the things that are really important to you.  As these things change, you will change your future accordingly.  Being aware of the process keeps you in touch with the shifting sands of your life and its passions, drives and motivations.

Determining your Values

So how do you know what your values are?  One such way is to connect to a “peak” experience.  A moment when things felt perfect and you were in the flow.  I had one such moment at my wedding:  looking out over the small crowd of loved ones who had come to celebrate our special day with us, the venue, the setting, the games, the music and feelings of connection that came with it.  When I make choices in my life I do so in reference to these values.  They inform my choices, creating my present and my future and building a past that I am becoming increasingly proud of.

Your turn…..

I’d love to hear your stories of how value- based choices have enhanced your life.  How have they built great memories and helped to create wonderful futures for you and your loved ones?  It is the unfolding of your potential in its many forms that helps to create a life of meaning and fulfilment.  Live it well.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and informative please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Growth happens outside your comfort zone

Growth happens outside your comfort zone

It was Eleanor Roosevelt who said “Do one thing every day that scares you”.  In this age of super human heroes in movies, fearless warriors in computer games along with the facade and bravado that people often display in every day life to show that they are fit and strong enough to compete for the greatest successes in their personal and professional lives, the idea of doing something that scares me is overwhelming.  It feels like I have to be this perfect ideal.  That shows no fear and never makes mistakes.  It feels like I have to up the ante each time.

Who can compete with that?  I certainly can’t!

Comfort Zone

The idea of doing things daily that seem to require super human heroism on my part often means that I don’t do anything.  Over time this has a negative impact on my self- worth and self- esteem.  Then someone introduced me to the idea of stepping out of my comfort zone just enough so that it was a challenge.  And importantly, not so much that it felt like over whelm.  I began to use Mrs Roosevelt’s saying in a way that enhanced my life.

Public Speaking- a common speak out of your comfort zone

Let me share, if you will, a personal example with you.  I have always had a strong aversion to public speaking.  What is interesting in that for years I have felt that I should do it.  I have written lectures TED style, courses to be delivered to classes over 6- 12 weeks and video scripts.  I’ve never been able to deliver.

On a recent CPD course it occurred to me that perhaps I was setting my sights too high in the first instance.  Perhaps the talks on video and in front of classes would come.  Even a TED talk.  For now though I felt like I needed to take a small step to prove to myself that it was possible.  So I did.  Although there was a sense of fear and anxiety there was also a sense of feeling alive.  It felt on the edge, challenged and at the same time manageable.  The feeling of success was elation and then what followed was a calmness and serenity that had eluded me for years.

I had avoided the stress of public speaking and other such things that made me feel anxious.  It was always accompanied by this gnawing feeling that I should be doing something more.  Now I had taken that step, mustered the courage.  It felt great to have taken myself to the edge of my comfort zone and survived.  A little melodramatic granted but that is how it felt.

Yin and Yang, pressure and serenity

In Taoism, the Chinese speak of Yin and Yang.  These are the polar opposites of right and left, up and down, masculine and feminine, light and dark.  Taoists and ancient Chinese understood that these concepts work in balance and in cycles.  In fact, there cannot be one without the other.  Just as darkness gives way to light, so challenge and the accompanying pressure to perform give way to a sense of calmness and serenity.  This is exactly what I felt.  It is strange to me to think that in order to feel serene I have to earn it in a way by stepping out of my comfort zone.  It is by this law of nature, as the Taoists would say, that things move forward and grow.  Humans are no different.  We are still subject to this natural and universal law.

“Do something every day that scares you”

Then, the serenity gives way to the gnawing feeling again and I know that I must move on and challenge myself again.  As Eleanor Roosevelt reminded us, this cycle lasts about a day.  It stops us becoming complacent, stagnant and bored and encourages us to be ever vigilant and searching, moving forward and engaged with the act of living and growing, in pursuit of achieving our full potential.

Pass it on

Did you find this article useful and interesting?  If so, why not pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word?  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.