Do we have the choice?
As human beings we often believe that we do not have a choice. Whether this be over what happens in our personal lives, at work or even in our own minds, we think that we are not always in control, that we do not have a choice. The truth is that we do. We absolutely do have the power to choose and are the creators of our own reality through choice alone. The external world will continue to happen outside of us but how we choose to respond to what is outside of us is our choice.
Yes our minds may be full of thoughts that seemingly come from nowhere but we do have the choice of which ones we pay attention to, which ones we identify with. Positive thoughts will come and go as will the negative so why do we choose some thoughts over others to pay attention to? We can spend hours with those thoughts that are really not serving us, creating scenarios in our mind. We construct situations from the past and the future often unaware that we are making these up. The past has gone and what we take in of it and how we take this in through our own filters and make our own meaning of it points to it not being true. The future has not happened so again whatever thoughts we are having about it are made up. People are often unaware of this so believe in these constructs and create their reality from here, often to their detriment.
That is not to say that we should ignore all thoughts, there may be some that we perceive as negative that we may want to pay attention to as they may require exploration. There may be belief structures underlying these thoughts that are unconsciously holding us back in life. To be able to identify these through greater awareness of self really is key and to do this without judgement or impatience and know that this is a process, is important.
Learning then what to pay and not to pay attention to is where NLP and Coaching really assist. Both offer transformational tools and guidance for bringing the unconscious into the conscious awareness.
Are you choosing, but not really choosing
There will have been times in our lives where we have made choices and not given these a second thought, believing that we had fully made our choice when in fact we had not really chosen from a truly conscious place.
So do you choose but not really choose or when you choose you really choose. Confused?
Well then let’s take an example of a person in their role at work. Are they working in a company where they do not agree with the culture of the company, they are not invested in the company vision, how management lead, and often find themselves frustrated within their workplace? This is an example of choosing but not really choosing. So they choose to be in that job and go in everyday, on the surface there but actually not really choosing to be fully there. Inculturated in a company where they do not want to be. So why are they still there? Possibly they are living in fear of leaving because they do not want to lose the steady income, believing that to do something they love, a passion, would not provide the financial security currently offered. Perhaps they don’t think they would get another job, doubting their own capability, self worth.
These are all limiting beliefs which keep people stuck. People often do not believe that they have a choice so continue through life feeling unfulfilled. Allowing life to pass them by in a job they don’t want to be in, choosing yet not really choosing.
And in a relationship. Choosing to be with that person but actually not really choosing them.
Thomas Monson said, ‘Choose your love; love your choice.’
Seems simple right? Yet there are many people who choose and then spend their time not being happy, not loving, complaining about their partner. Perhaps too caught up in wanting them to be more, waiting for the potential in them rather than accepting them as they are now. Too scared to see it is themselves actually they are not happy with and are projecting this onto their partner. Or knowing that this is not the life that they want with this person but are too in fear of being alone, of not meeting anyone else, too scared to have a difficult conversation, to break up a family, so continue on in a relationship that they are choosing but not really choosing. People come into our lives to reflect, reflect, reflect back to us. When we can really understand this then that relationship will change.
Notice when you feel what you feel in the face of that person because the more that you can do this the more that you will learn about yourself. The more you will develop and the more you will see you in them. The good, the bad and the ugly! And know really that none of what you see is good, bad or ugly. The moment we label these there is a chance that we will reject these as part of us, mainly the bad and the ugly. In this rejection of ourselves we reject them.
When you’ve chosen the person you love, love them, fully choose them and if this changes then accept this and be honest. Be honest with yourself, be honest with them. Choose.
‘We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. Look back in your own life and notice how often you have gone through the same experience.’ -Louise L. Hay
So the beliefs people hold play a big part in the choices they make. What people are not always aware of though is that their beliefs are not in fact theirs, they were gifted to them by their parents. People will then take these through their lives, unconsciously believing them to be true.
So when people experience struggles in life believing they do not have a choice, there will be an exploration of their belief structures which could assist with really understanding this struggle. It is important first for a person to understand what lies beneath before making a choice, bringing this into the conscious awareness.
So an external experience takes place which they perceive to be a struggle. The truth is that it is not the external that is the issue, It is how they have internalised this and made meaning that is the problem. They have linked the external issue to their internal representational system which includes their beliefs, values, meta programs etc and made meaning from here which over time, in repeating these patterns habitually they become coded. As human beings we then unconsciously operate from here, responding and making our choices from here. A situation will occur on the external which triggers our internal response based on these coded belief structures and we respond from there. How we respond is actually the issue and can limit us in life. Choices are made from these limiting beliefs which limit our experience, our understanding, us.
Some beliefs will have served us in the past. We may have used these to protect us perhaps but now ask yourself the question do you still need protecting? The likelihood is you don't and these beliefs are no longer serving you.
Once a belief structure has been recognised we now have the choice to keep holding this or to reframe the belief we have coded which is holding us back now.
Reframing points to changing the way in which we perceive something. However we frame a situation/belief is the way that we experience it whether we are aware of this or not. So if we are framing something in a way that is not serving us then why not reframe this. Understanding now how we create these beliefs we have the opportunity to change them. It is important to first identify the highest frame governing the game. That means to really understand what is at the heart of this not just what appears on the surface. Once this has been fully identified it can be reframed.
Let's look at someone who is holding a frame around their job, they are unhappy within a role.
The choices available for reframing here are:
To see it in the positive as it pays the mortgage and keeps you in the lifestyle that you enjoy. By reframing in this way if you are choosing to be there you can find a new appreciation for it.
Reframe any fears you have around leaving the job and leave.
Ensure that the new frame is one that you fully accept and is realistic within your life. Be fully committed to this without judgement and see how life can change when you give yourself permission to choose.
Are you choosing DO-ing or BE-ing?
On the face of it BE-ing seems simple. BE-ing you. The paradox here is in this simplicity it can be really hard to BE. If it were that simple we would live in a very different world. As human beings from very early on we are taught everything but to BE, instead we are taught how and what to DO. We are often not given the freedom to choose and are told off for being naughty and told not to be this and that. Growing up we are conditioned further and further away from the beings we were born as. All of this conditioning becomes internalised and we learn to become the not us! The not us is what is known as the superego which is where the judgement of ourselves comes from and we believe this not us to be us.
We become identified by our job, and are regularly asked what we DO?
‘I am an accountant’, ‘I am a dancer’, no you are not. You are you. You DO a job but you are not your job. The importance of not becoming identified with anything outside of you is also because what happens if you lose the job, you are no longer able to do it? What happens to the you, you have created this identity around? To BE then is to be ok in the face of whatever happens outside of you.
In understanding this we have the opportunity now to make a choice. Choose to BE if this is your preference. Choose to no longer be invested in the mind. Choose to be here, in the present. This is where the BE-ing is. The true you is only in the now. When we are being, present to the moment, to the now, there is nothing to do. You won’t even know that you have chosen this as there is nothing to know.
There is nothing to do and everything to BE
So what are you choosing?
Losing the mind and finding the freedom is ultimately in the choices we make, understanding that there is choice available to us. Choose to fully understand how you run your mind and choose to understand that there is the opportunity to let it all go and truly find freedom.
So what are you choosing?
My personal experience having discovered NLP this year through The Coaching Room, has been that to really understand the mind first is key.
Learning about shadow and recognising my own as they arise in the moment has been transformational. Choosing to accept these as apart of me and no longer projecting these onto others has changed my relationship not only to self, with others too.
Knowing the past and future are all constructs of the mind and that my potential is here and now, in the present moment, allows me to observe my thoughts as they come and go and no longer be invested in them, they aren’t real.
Letting go of the expectations I held of others and myself, identifying the belief structures which were underlying certain behaviours and knowing these beliefs were gifted and not mine has been truly freeing.
Learning about meta programs, reframing, how I attached meaning to language, when I was using motivational strategies that were no longer serving me...
Deepening my understanding of paradox, non-duality, that there is no separation and no longer identifying with the DO-ing, having greater awareness of the BE-ing...
And appreciating the process as it unfolds, knowing that by having the awareness, the patience, and by giving myself the permission, without judgement, that anything is possible.
Development is happening for us as human beings in and outside of awareness. We cannot stop this. There are still many people though who suffer this psychological struggle, unnecessarily, as they are prisoners to their own mind. Not believing that the choice is all theirs. To know that there is nothing wrong with the world outside of you, that how you internalise the world through your own representational system is what is wrong and to know that there is the choice to change this by fully understanding the mind first and being present to the moment, fully here in the now…. the opportunity to find the freedom is yours.
Imagine the freedom if you chose to choose, to really choose.