Well, of course, we all have choice. But we may not always remember that it’s not as simple as it might seem. Choice is a popular theme these days. You’re told you have it. You’ve probably even told your clients they have it. But in reality, it’s a bit more complex; and when you’re involved in helping others (and yourself), it’s wise to honor that complexity.
You do have choice, but you don’t have real choice until you’re aware the choice you feel you’re making isn’t truly a choice at all. It’s just the result of a powerful unconscious conditioning
True choice is a higher level option. It requires more awareness than you think. But more importantly, and the point of this post, is that true choice requires the unconscious to actually give you a choice.
Having only one response to a situation, circumstance, or object is called a phobia. Add in the availability of a second response, and you’ve now placed yourself in a dilemma. But acquire a third option of response, and you finally have the freeing sense of a psychological choice – and that feels really good!
We can be so convinced that we have a choice that we don’t stop and explore the immediate response/reaction arising. You’ve probably even heard yourself say, ‘I didn’t have any other choice.’ That actually might have been true. And if so, it was the result of not having any other option available to you, or none better than the one you choose.
• You don’t have a real choice unless you have more than one response to choose from.
• When you only have two, it never feels like a good choice, because you want something from both ways of responding.
• So to find that third option, learn to stop and wait a moment.
• Explore what that third option of response could actually be.
• When you’ve got at least three (for yourself or your clients), then you’ve got the freedom to make a true, conscious choice.
Many in the helping professions live by the principle that we always have a choice. Well, here’s the complexity. We do … and … we don’t.
Overlooking this complexity will overshadow the reality that without conscious awareness of multiple options, meaningful choice is really not happening. The best guideline I’ve ever found assumes we will always make the best choice available to us. So if it’s a terrible choice, you know better options simply weren’t there to choose from.
This can save you, and your client, a lot of heartache. When any of us are locked into an automatic unconscious reaction, the last thing we want to hear is that we have a choice – because we know we don’t.
Honor your client’s reality and take the time to create those additional options before you verbalize those powerful words: You have a choice here!
What do you think? Please feel free to leave your comments below. We’d love to hear from you.
Meanwhile, may you be happy and feel at peace,