The nature of choice means that there is something we must leave behind. The road we didn’t take maybe one we later regret. Or the item we left behind is bittersweet in our memories. But when we choose, it means we let go of something. To move forward in life, we must release the past because dragging it along with us is burdensome and keeps us from growing and expanding.
As we close out the year, we need to release the past and look forward to what we want to achieve in the New Year. We also need to know how to make decisions we are content with years later with no regrets. By doing so, we won’t feel like we’ve left something behind because it won’t matter.
Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity, and a willingness to embrace paradox rather than choose sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are but never stop trying to learn and grow. ~ Tony Schwartz
Releasing Distractions By Taking Responsibility
We all have those things the egoic mind uses to keep us distracted from the work we are to do. The ego likes to wander into the land of could have’s and should have’s with no other purpose than to derail our current focus on the present. We cannot alter the past. The best we can do is to reframe our thinking about previous events to make them into experiences we can use to grow. By accepting what is, we can release the past so we can move forward with no attachments.
Another distraction we need to let go of is making excuses or blaming others for where we are in our lives. When we don’t follow through on something we wanted, look in the mirror and recognize we are the only ones responsible for our life. We can’t blame others for how we react to situations or the choices we’ve made. Once we become wholly responsible for our lives, we empower ourselves to control the direction we want our lives to take.
Permitting the egoic mind to use these distractions to keep us stagnant allows it to control our destiny. We lose the ability to navigate our own ship to the ports that our souls long to explore. The ego is steering along the shores of safety and inactivity.
Letting go is not getting rid of memories. Memories will stay; they always do. Letting go is making sure that the pain associated with the memories goes away. ~ Arti Honrao
Letting Go Of The Need to Conform
I am a bold individual who is unafraid to give my opinion. But that wasn’t always the case. When I was younger, the idea of speaking up for myself was scary. My egoic mind thought it was better to keep quiet and not upset others and take the verbal abuse I was receiving. My ego was wrong. It was allowing others to use me as a doormat to build themselves up in their minds. I stuffed away my real self to make a good impression or to want people to like me. We all want to be wanted, but never at the expense of our authenticity.
Letting go of dishonesty with ourselves and others is vital to our soul expansion. It’s never too late to apologize to another and rebuild a lost connection because of our bad behavior. Forgiving ourselves and others is a sign of healing. It allows us the ability to have closure within our lives about past issues.
This path allows us to understand we don’t have to be perfect. We need to become our authentic selves. Whatever challenges we have overcome or we are currently facing, it’s normal to have mixed emotions. Understand our feelings are what they are. All we are supposed to do with them is to feel them completely. Once we’ve felt them, then we are to release them. Some of these emotions may arise again. Feel them and let them go. That is the pattern we can use to allow the emotions to flow and not stop up, which causes us more harm.
You can’t move forward if you’re still hanging on. ~ Sue Fitzmaurice
Saying Goodbye To Unsupportive Aspects Of Life
People in our lives that are unsupportive of our goals and dreams limit us. Studies show we are a reflection of the five closest people in our lives. Are these people positive, uplifting, or are they negative nellies we hold on to because of misplaced loyalty or negative self-worth? I believe that people come and go along our journey, and not everyone will be in our lives long term. Therefore, if someone isn’t supporting us or putting us down, it may be time to release them from our lives.
When we examine our lives, what things do we need to unlearn? What beliefs no longer serve us? If we want to grow and expand, then we need to change our perspective and let go of those things that hold us back. Are we rationalizing as a way to avoid responsibility and make our egoic minds feel better? Is the ego distracting us, so we procrastinate and become inactive in our own lives?
These choices seem small, but they are tools the ego uses which don’t support our goals and dreams. The egoic mind uses insignificant things, television, social media, political commentary, to distract us from doing the work we are meant to do. The work we are to do has a real impact and importance for our soul to complete.
It is mental slavery to cling to things that have stopped serving its purpose in your life. ~ Chinonye J. Chidolue
Leaving Behind Our Fears
When we choose, one factor that demands our attention is fear. Is this choice going to cause us harm-physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically? Is the decision going to affect the status quo which the ego wants to maintain? Could we fail? Will this selection make us look bad to others? Notice the ego isn’t concerned about our happiness or moving towards our dreams. Its concern is protecting itself.
Does it matter what others think about our choice? It shouldn’t. The fears of the ego are only in the mind- they aren’t our reality. Fear is a state of mind which the ego uses to keep us from living the lives we dream of having. When we step out of our fearful minds, we automatically see our limitless potential.
When we release the past fears and realize that any fears of the future are only imagined, we can determine that the choice or decision we are making may not have negative consequences. Choices, like any change, are neutral. How we interpret them is what gives them meaning. Unique perspectives, multiple options, and our viewpoints determine the outcomes we have. Therefore, even if the results aren’t what we hoped for, we can reframe the consequences into a lesson for us to learn or an experience we needed to further our growth.
In letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself. ~ Deepak Chopra
Assessing Our Decision-Making Process
How we make a determination has profound effects on our lives. Do we actually consider the method we use? The choice we make today determines our tomorrow. We need to pay attention, so we don’t allow the egoic mind to keep us on auto-pilot and make fear-based decisions, which keeps us in our comfort zones and idle.
Decision making occurs in the frontal lobes of the brain. But stress, anxiety, and doubt can disrupt the process. When you are focused, hopeful, and confident, we can use both the brain’s cognitive and creative aspects for decision-making. Using both hemispheres allows for creative problem solving, increased productivity, and imagination.
As we become aware of our feelings when we are trying to make a choice, we can determine if we are in the best frame of mind to determine the course of action to take. If we are feeling stressed, we should wait until we feel more focused. By doing so, we allow the entire brain to participate in the process, thus giving us the best progression towards our goals.
You’ve got to make a conscious choice every day to shed the old – whatever ‘the old’ means for you. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
Steps For Making Better Decisions
Now we are using both sides of our brain in our decision-making process. We can take these additional steps to make better choices in our lives.
- Having a vision for what we want to achieve inspires us to move in new directions. We can do this through journaling, meditative visualization, or creating a vision board. This visualization helps us to see, so we believe we are moving towards our goals.
- Understand any choice we make causes a chain of events. Think through what may occur and what potential issues may arise from the decision. Don’t let the ego allow fear to arise concerning potential consequences. All decisions have risk, but the egoic mind sees any risk as something it needs to avoid. Once we’ve done this exercise, we can feel confident we can live with the results of the decision we made.
- Pay attention to our gut reaction because that’s our soul speaking to us through our bodies. Our intuition is felt when we get quiet and listen to the whispers of our soul. Are we feeling restricted or tight in any areas of our bodies? Or do we feel light and open? Look to our inner wisdom. The soulful knowledge connected to Spirit is vital to make decisions that are authentic for us.
- Be careful who we ask when looking for advice. Those close to us may be able to offer an opinion or perspective, but others cannot know what is best for us. Only we can. And for many of us, too many viewpoints can lead to confusion and second-guessing ourselves.
Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t. ~ Steve Maraboli
Teaching Decision-Making to Children
When my son was a toddler, he would stand in his crib, and I would hold up two shirts and let him pick which one he wanted to wear. Learning how to decide between two options needs to start at a young age over things that don’t matter. This exercise builds confidence in the child, so they can make more meaningful choices as they get older.
My husband’s son came to live with us when he was fourteen years old. We went school shopping for clothes, and I told him to pick out five shirts. He couldn’t do it. He had never picked out his clothes, so he didn’t know what he liked or what to choose with so many options before him. So I picked up two shirts and asked him to pick one. And the process to show him how to make a decision began.
I’ve done the same thing with my granddaughter. I let her decide between two options. She’s gotten used to this and now offers her own opinion about other options she knows are available to her.
When we don’t allow our children to learn to make selections when they are younger, we stifle their growth and limit their future. When decision-making becomes too overwhelming for them, they tend to give up. We want our children to thrive, not succumb to indecision, and not live out their dreams.
Letting go is the willingness to change your beliefs in order to bring more peace and joy into your life instead of holding onto beliefs that bring pain and suffering. ~ Hal Tipper
The Duality Of Decision-Making
When we teach children to make a choice, it builds confidence in their decision-making skills. But the egoic mind doesn’t remember all the times we choose wisely or when the course of action we took worked out well. It remembers the times that were uncomfortable for us.
This negativity is the duality of the egoic mind. It only sees good or bad, happy or sad, and right and wrong. But what if whatever the choice we make is the one we needed to choose? In reality, that is the true nature of choices. Any selections we make provides us with an experience it meant us to have.
Only the ego thinks one encounter is better than another. The soul knows we are searching for those lessons we are to learn to expand our soul. If we are going within to determine a course of action, we will stay in the magic of flow, and all our experiences will be for our benefit.
During the process of choosing, the mindfulness we have activates and strengthens the prefrontal cortex of our brains to filter out the egoic mind’s distractions and its dualistic viewpoint.
Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it. ~ Ann Landers
Moving Forward Without Looking Back
We make decisions every day, from the mundane to those that are life-altering. Humanity believes our right to choose is fundamental to our individuality. The egoic mind believes there are dualistic properties to decision-making, but it’s a lie. We all have processes we use to make a choice or determine a course of action. Let the soul guide us to do those things we desire instead of allowing the ego to control the selection by trying to avoid an outcome.
To make a transformation into the New Year, we need to leave a part of ourselves behind. We must release the past, let go of limiting beliefs, unlearn those things that no longer serve us. The price we pay for a new vision, new goals, and a better life is to leave some things behind so we can move forward.
The only thing a person can ever really do is keep moving forward. Take that big leap forward without hesitation, without once looking back. Simply forget the past and forge toward the future. ~ Alyson Noel
Do you need support to help you make better choices as we start the New Year? Do you want a strategy to help you overcome the ego’s limiting beliefs and live a successful life? If so, please contact me, and we can put together an action plan for you to create the life you desire.