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July 2008 : "Choice"

Do you know it all comes down to choice? You get to choose 'what's so' in your life. Let me put it this way… you get to choose the meaning of what happens to you, by you, from someone else, to someone else. Let me give you an example. Your sister says, "You are just an obnoxious person." Guess what? You get to say whether that is going to ruin your day, your life, your mood and even your relationship with your sister. I'm not talking about whether you were obnoxious or not but rather how you are going to hear what was stated by your sister.

How about your boss? What if your boss cuts you off in the middle of one of your sentences and not just any sentence, but the one that is really, really important and will show the boss how really smart you are? Yes. You, once again, get to choose whether or not it means that he "doesn't appreciate me" or "he is a jerk" or "he just doesn't care about me." You get to choose.

You see, you are the one making up the assessments about the assertions. What happened, the assertion (a fact that can be proven true or false) is that your sister says "x" and your boss does "y." YOU make up the assessment (the story about the assertion) as to what it means.

If you were to come to me and tell me that you didn't want a relationship with me because of something that I did that offended you, and you were not even willing to discuss it with me, I could make up a story, an assessment perhaps: "You are rude and uncaring about how you treat people."

However, where would that allow for the possibility of our relationship ever mending? True, you've already shared with me that you do not want a relationship with me but funny enough, that is a relationship of "no relationship;" however, this Laser Coaching Tip! is about choice. So back to me and you; I can make up any story I want to about what happens to me. I can put any meaning on it.

For instance, I could make up another story that might go like this: "You are going through a growth period in your life and need some time for yourself without my influence. If we are ever to have a close relationship, you have to go through what you have to go through and eventually you may change your mind and realize that it wasn't me at all." That works for me and although I may miss you in the moment, it may even allow for me to go through my own growth period. This is entirely possible. Choosing a meaning that works for me also allows for me to continue living a life I love rather than making up stuff about you, or me, or trying to second guess why or what happened or… any of that meaningless babble that we can 'run on ourselves' and even make ourselves a little crazy.

So next time something happens where you notice that you are making up a story about what someone means, you have the opportunity to first notice where you automatically want to go. Next, think about where that story might leave you; in other words, what emotions or moods will that story leave you living in? If it's not somewhere you want to go, then stop! Make up a new story that works for you. My caveat is that you live your life responsibly. Taking my example above, if you truly meant to offend, or if you realize you did offend, make the effort to "clean it up" as best you can under the circumstances and then, make up a story that leaves you living that life you love.

Patricia

Patricia Hirsch, MBA, Master Certified Coach and Chief Empowerment Officer with Design Your Life Coaching