“No one else can ever make your choices for you. Your choices are yours alone. They are as much a part of you as every breath you will take, every moment of your life.” ~Dr. Shad Helmstetter
Life is filled with choices. Some small, some BIG. Many times, we overlook the fact that we are making them. It’s been estimated that we make at least 5,000 choices a day that range from what time we wake, what we eat at meal times — to what route we drive to work — and more.
Sometimes I feel bombarded with all the choices I have to make. Sometimes I feel like I’ve made the wrong choice. But, what I’m learning is:
- To allow myself to make mistakes
- To allow others to make mistakes
- To not take other people’s choices personally
- To not always make choices FOR other people
- To not allow someone else to make MY choices for me
Those last two are biggies!
I have many people in my life who are lazy choice makers. Either they expect me to do the work for them, laying out their life for them and then taking it out on me when I have made the wrong choice, or a choice that doesn’t suit their fancy.
On the other hand, I have those people who try to make my choices for me — or at least try to influence or manipulate my decisions.
I am finally learning to combat both of these types of people, who by-the-way we all have to deal with in our lives. (And neither is a healthy relationship.)
I am learning to turn a conversation back to the con artist (and their confidence trick) — and see it for what it really is. I am learning to recognize when someone is trying to benefit themselves by persuading me to do what it is THEY want me to do. I am also learning to stand up to it and say NO.
But, I am having to consciously do so. I am having to listen to language a little more closely. I am examining intentions for what they are. I am also learning when to give a little rope and when to take in slack.
The people who con us into doing things we don’t want to do, for their benefit, are nothing more than lazy individuals who believe:
- They are better than you
- They are entitled to something
- They are more important than you
- They are smarter than you
- They deserve whatever it is they want from you
They are selfish and lazy. They are using you as a crutch to either make your decisions for you — or force you to make decisions for them.
They only way to change the pattern is to change the way you think, respond and deal with them.
If you put the responsibility back onto them (where it belongs in the first place), you will certainly feel resistance from them. Don’t let up, though. Stand your ground (feet planted firm).
Also – many times the con artists in our lives will use the “time” analogy on us. Make us feel rushed or force us to make a decision within a certain amount of time so we can’t think it all the way through.
Here are several tactics I have been incorporating to combat the con artists in my life — and begin making choices for myself. Hope they can help you too!
- Don’t make an emotional decision. Don’t say “yes” or “no” too quickly. Sleep on it or take into consideration the REAL amount of time you have to make that decision — and then give yourself a reasonable deadline before offering your answer.
- Don’t let the other person change the subject out of nowhere. Point it out when they do and direct the conversation back to the main point.
- Recognize gas lighting for what it is and DO NOT allow it. Walk away if you have to – from the conversation, from the room, from the house — from the person.
- Be confident in your answers. This is done by thinking things through. Don’t let someone else try to change your mind after you have already made a decision. Let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no.” – note: This is mainly for major decisions and some of the bigger ones. There is no right or wrong, and there is always room for communicating both your opinion and the other’s — with a rational person. It’s when dealing with a covert manipulator or con artist that you must take a strong stance.
- Listen (carefully) to the other person’s request and then do the math yourself. Is it a reasonable request? Is this something you can do? Is the request something that you feel is morally wrong? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? – listen to your gut instinct and trust yourself. Be CONFIDENT in who YOU are!
Making choices is something we have had to do our whole lives and we will continue to have to do until dead and buried. Where we are now is due to the choices we have made. If you don’t like where you are at — it is up to you — and only you — to start making different choices that will take you elsewhere, whether its spiritual, emotional or physical.
“The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his step.” ~ Proverbs 16:9
It’s not an easy path, but I believe with all my heart it is the right path. We were not placed on this earth to be a door mat. We have a much greater purpose. One that God ordained for us.
Hope this helps you friends!! I used to be scared to make my own choices out of fear that I would make the wrong ones.
Now, when I do make the wrong ones (which WILL happen since no one is perfect) — I recognize it and then continue moving forward — learning from it. Once you start, it’s not near as scary as it seems. I promise! 😉
For more quotes on the choices we make, visit Life Lesson: An Owner’s Guide blog.
For more Biblical quotes on choices visit HERE!
Until next time,