Everything we do is a choice; so why doesn’t it feel that way? Why do we get to the point where we feel that our lives are out of control? The other day I sat down and thought about what was making me feel so out of control in my own life, and, more importantly, what I could do about it. As I considered the question, I had a huge epiphany about why I wasn’t living the life I wanted. It was like a lightbulb turned on in my head, and with this newfound understanding I have actually been able to make some pretty significant changes in my life. This was my epiphany:
When our choices become habits, that’s when they stop feeling like a choice.
It wasn’t that I had lost the ability to choose what I wanted to do. Rather, I had been relying on the choices I made in the past to determine the things I was doing every day. I was doing the same things, hoping that something would magically change. I was allowing history to repeat itself, and assuming that was my only option.
Now, reflecting on the situation, I realize that I had a choice the whole time. But, by default, I was making choices I no longer wanted to, just because it was the way it always had been. Essentially, I was reliving the past, not understanding that, to change my life, I had to make new choices, not just repeat the old ones.
Not every choice you regret is necessarily a bad choice, but it is a different choice, and one that may not get you closer to your goals or the life you want to be living. But even just understanding that your choices are within your control is so important. It is such a powerful feeling to realize that you are in control of the choices you make, even if you don’t always make perfect decisions.
So today, when are about to do something negative out of habit, remind yourself that you are making a choice—you can either live in the past, or make a new choice. And that new choice will change your life.