Too often we get too close and emotionally attached to our current situations, especially the bad ones. Stepping back and taking a “time out” is a great way to gain a fresh perspective, so that we can see it more objectively. The situation at hand is not as dire as it seemed when we were in the midst of the problem, an argument, or some other stressful situation. The tricky part is being able to stop ourselves in the midst of a crisis before we do something foolish that we may later regret.
How can we do that? One solution is mentioned in one of my favorite quotes credited to Thomas Jefferson, “When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” When we feel ourselves getting a tiny bit agitated, counting to ten or more is exactly what we need to remember to do. In fact, if possible, we need to leave the room or environment in which the agitation arises. I recommend that we seek some form of exercise or activity, such as walking in nature or doing something creative, away from the source of stress or trauma. By stepping out and backing off a prickly situation or problem, we can bring balance back to our emotional state so that we can gain a fresh perspective to resolve the issue at hand.
And, remember, we always have a choice in everything, whether we choose to see it that way or not. Choice is defined as a thought process of judging the merits, worthiness or quality of multiple options and selecting one of them. Too often we perceive only one option; but, the funny thing is that each of us always have at least two options: to act or not to act, on any given issue or situation. Therefore, we do have a choice. The challenge is being able to recognize the options when we feel trapped. Two other challenges arise with “choice” when: 1) we have to make a hasty decision and 2) we are afraid of making the wrong decision.
How can we work through the challenges surrounding choices? One obvious solution is for us to decide, “not to choose at that moment”. We have the choice to sit with the decision in order to consider the options until we can make the best choice for the situation.
How do we find more choices? We will need to take a broader look and view our situation from a different perspective or viewpoint in order to see more options. It is only then these options become apparent. Case in point, suppose an individual is challenged with a new policy at work with which he or she does not agree. Most would see that there is no choice; they are stuck with the policy; and, they have no options.
However, after stepping away from the issue, where we feel we have no choice, many apparent options begin to emerge and present themselves when we use an objective lens. We can now see that there are multiple options available: 1) comply with the new policy; 2) ignore the policy, apologize, and face the consequence; 3) speak with the policy-makers and see if the policy can be amended; 4) seek supporters against the policy and file a petition; 5) seek new employment and resign with a two weeks’ notice.
What if we make the wrong choice? Sometimes we just need to have faith that we are making the right decision. We must get a fresh perspective, face the fear, take the possible risk, and make a choice. Contemplate the worst case scenario to gain clarity, which may reveal that the choice is not so bad after all. This is a good way to decide how to choose. Now, you get to consider the options on choice presented here in this article. The choice is up to you.
P.S. The above “You Always Have A Choice” image is designed to be a coloring sheet; feel free to download, print, and color it as a reminder that the choice is up to you.
All rights reserved. ©2017 by A. K. Orobko