I didn’t have a choice.
Yes, you did.
You always do.
Our choices aren’t always exciting or what we want, but they are always there.
For example, think about reading a post on social media in which you do not agree.
Your first instinct might be to comment right away. You have “no other choice” but to defend your opinion, right? You actually have a lot of choices, such as:
Leave it alone. Don’t comment at all.
Comment and prepare to defend your comment or get into a comment battle.
Offer an opinion with a positive slant, as to agree to disagree.
Private message the person.
Block the person or hide their posts.
These are just a few examples of what you can do. How do you decide which action to take? You think about the benefits of your action. What will it do for you? Is it worth giving any energy to or should you let it go?
Before making any yes or no decision, try this exercise:
Take a step back, walk away for at least 5 minutes and just breathe. Don’t think about anything. Empty the dishwasher. Put laundry in. Take your mind away from it.
Come back and look at the benefits of acting in a certain manner. What do you want to accomplish? What is the purpose?
If there is a benefit, focus the attention there and respond accordingly.
If there is no benefit and you’re acting out of spite or because you were triggered emotionally, don’t respond or respond accordingly.
We are all triggered emotionally. It’s important to separate personal feelings and recognize our various choices. It gives us a lot more power, than feeling like we have no choice at all.
In the example above or with another situation, like a bad day at work, another great exercise is writing out your feelings.
Write the email you really want to send to your boss after the meeting.
Type the text you really want to send to your spouse after the argument.
Construct the comment you want to put under someone’s negative post.
You probably will read what you wrote and not want to send it. It’s not you.
It’s just you in that small moment.
Get the thoughts out of your head and let that emotional charge go away.
Rant in private! It’s still therapeutic and allows you to move on without wasting time or energy.
It’s also okay to be vulnerable. Open yourself up and approach a decision with the needed information, whether that means asking questions or seeking support.
If support is what you need, I started a Facebook group: Power Up - With Stress Busting Strategy Group for Women that I’d love for you to join. https://www.facebook.com/groups/StressBustersforWomen/
This is a group for women who are ready to put themselves first, discuss real issues, opportunities and success stories and a place for me to share tools and resources to help you make choices that are aligned with the life you want.
Hope to see you in the group! Come on in and introduce yourself today.