The rallying cry of sales reps, product managers and politicians is “Choices! We offer choices!”
We really don’t like having too many choices. It makes us a little nervous. Every option leads to a chance to foul something up. Heck, a lot of people are more worried about not being wrong than about being right. So, we allow our experiences and habits to narrow our options to just a couple of familiar ones. It reduces the anxiety and relieves stress.
So, how do you make genuine changes faced with the siren song of habits?
The first move is to re-capture your sense of conscious choice in place of habitual reactions. This leads to new options and frees you up from repeating the mistakes that have risen from repetition.
Be aware: it’s not a single event, but a way of life.
More Good Options Than You Think!
You can choose how to respond, regardless of the situation and circumstances. Here are some possibilities that can change your world today. None of the options is confusing and you have permission to pick just one to get started:
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Try something new and different, and don’t worry about getting it wrong. People who never made a mistake never made anything else.
- Caught up in your emotions? Over-enthusiasm, revenge, or frustration will each whisper lousy advice in your ear. Wait until they stop talking, chill out, and re-visit the decision.
- Listen longer before you respond to someone, at work or at home. The other person will feel more respected and you’re just liable to see something from their viewpoint–in which case, you may end up in agreement. At the least, you’ll learn something new.
- Eschew snap judgments. It’s easy to take a stand; the workplace smiles upon “strong”people. But when it comes to who is right and who is wrong, a knee-jerk reaction can wreck relationships. Besides, do you like it when someone makes a judgment about you?
- Stop the self-talk about what you can’t do. Once you start doing that, you’ll make it come true. Give your idea a try and see what happens. If it doesn’t work, so what? Really. So what? If it does work, think about how you’ll feel.
Now there’s only one option: Will you choose to try doing something differently?”