ReduceStressNow.net     You have a Choice

You Always Have A Choice!

But you don't agree this is actually so

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Two Roads diverged in a Yellow Wood
Your mind may give you the thought that you don't have a choice, but is this true? It may be telling you to dismiss the alternatives you have as being awful, or even totally unacceptable, but they are still choices, and they do exist.

Leaving physical coercion aside for a moment, you may think that a choice was forced upon you. Perhaps someone forced you to do something by threatening you. But you could have refused. You could have accepted the extremely unfavorable consequences of saying no, no matter how extreme.

Even if someone is threatening you, you still have a choice of whether or not to cooperate. Which doesn't mean the consequences might not be serious or even very severe.

Blackmail only works because people think they can be forced into a choice. This is not to suggest any course of action, but you could accept the choice to have your career ruined, or your property destroyed, or even your life terminated. These situations would be dire, and very undesirable, but even here you still have a choice.

Are you physically threatened?

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Now let's look at physical coercion. Even if someone is forcing you physically, you still have a choice of how to respond. You may be tied up and not able to move at this moment, but you can still shout or scream. And when this moment is over, you can refuse to cooperate.

Whether or not to cooperate is a choice that you generally have, although in very extreme situations termination of your career, or a vital relationship, or even your or someone else's physical existence is a (highly unlikely) possibility. But be reassured, most situations do not usually have such extreme consequences, despite what your mind may try to tell you.

You may not like the choices available to you; there may be only absolutely dreadful, even unthinkable options; but the choice is still there.

Are you enduring a consequence you don’t like? In this case you need to recognize your responsibility for your earlier choice. The situation is now what it is - the consequence of that previous choice. - and now you have a new choice of how to respond.

If you contemplate some previous unwanted situations from many years ago, you'll usually find the unforeseen benefits they brought. In the long run, you can generally find advantages in whatever has happened, no matter how dire the circumstances may have seemed at the time.

Some other choices...

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Another choice you always have is either to uncritically accept or to carefully investigate any stressful thoughts that your mind gives you. Just because your mind has given you a thought, that does not mean it's true!

Since the job of the self-sabotage mechanism is to sabotage your progress, it may highjack your mind to give you untrue thoughts. So don't be gullible, stop automatically believing your mind!

Explore the more stressful thoughts to see which ones are proven true and which ones are not. Discarding the untrue ones - as well as the doubtful ones - will decrease the stress they cause.

And there's yet one more choice you have in all situations - your attitude. You can approach any challenge, any circumstance with either a positive or negative attitude. And the choice you make in attitude will make a major difference to the outcome.

So although you may not see that you always have several choices, that does not mean that alternatives don't exist. Any choice you make will bring you less, or more, stress than another!

Food for Thought

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"A man's true state of power and riches is to be in himself."

Henry Ward Beecher (1813 – 1887) American social reformer, abolitionist,
author, and lecturer


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