We all make choices every day. Whether or not to get out of bed, what we wear, how we behave… These are choices we make without even thinking about it. But have you ever wondered how you came to make them? Why did you make those choices?
For many of us, we do these things by habit, not choice. They are safe options that we’ve tried and been successful with before. We know they are safe. We know they work.
But are they the choices which give us the best possibilities in life?
Neuroscience of choice.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Our brains are working quietly away in the background, beyond conscious thought. One of the things our brain does best is to protect us from harm by limiting our options. It won’t allow us to be exposed to risk.
According to an article in Medical Express, scientists have found that our brains make decisions before we’re consciously aware of it.
“As the decision of what to think about is made, executive areas of the brain choose the thought-trace which is stronger. In, other words, if any pre-existing brain activity matches one of your choices, then your brain will be more likely to pick that option as it gets boosted by the pre-existing brain activity.
“This would explain, for example, why thinking over and over about something leads to ever more thoughts about it, as it occurs in a positive feedback loop.”
Empowered or disempowered?
Those kinds of decisions are what I call disempowered choices. You haven’t had the opportunity to consciously consider all your options.
What is an empowered choice and how does it differ from any other choice you make in life?
An empowered choice is one where you ensure the choice you make benefits all areas of your life (or at least only has a very short-term cost on one life area for the benefit of many others). It is a choice made after weighing up the impact or outcome of that choice against your other commitments.
When you take the time to put thought into your choices and to really address the way they will alter the course of other areas, you start to make wiser choices that are more productive, keep your life on an even keel, and allow you to live your best life.
There are other choices you can make.
Once you are aware that your choices are often being made for you – by your brain, social expectation, previous experiences, or even fear of change – you can start to think through your choices before you make them.
You have options. You don’t have to follow your regular patterns. You don’t have to do what everyone expects of you. You CAN change your path and change your ways.
As with all things in life, you have the option to choose the path you take. Will you continue making disempowered choices or will you start making consciously empowered choices that will benefit your life?
Here’s a tool that will help you begin the process. Download our Wheel of Life and go through the steps to determine where you’re at in all areas of your life, where you want to be, and, what empowered choices you need to make to get there. This relatively easy process can have a lasting, positive impact on your life.
Changing your thought process is something you need to work at, and coaching can help you stay on track, holding you accountable for your actions. Are you ready to achieve your full potential? Let’s chat.