If there is one core principle in which the Power of TED* work rests, it is this: You always have a choice about how you respond to life events. You may not like all of your choices – and the range of choices may be narrow – however, you always have a choice.
How you choose to respond determines whether you react within the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™ as a Victim, Persecutor or Rescuer. Or, you can choose an empowering response to life’s challenges as a Creator within TED* *(The Empowerment Dynamic)™.
We call this moment the “choice point.”
You meet multiple choice points every day. Even a simple email presents choice points. Do you read it now or later? Do you interpret it as a threat or an opportunity? Do you respond now or later? Whom do you copy?
Our lives are made up of a series of small – and occasionally momentous – choice points. What you decide in the choice points becomes the life you create.
How do you recognize these choice points and choose consciously, rather than react unconsciously, to whatever comes up?
David faced such a choice point a few weeks ago when he received a text from a colleague about needing to have a conversation about a major client. His initial reaction on seeing the text was “oh no, something is wrong!” He avoided calling right away by going to his email inbox for a while. Finally, he caught himself and said internally, “wait a minute, this could be anything – and it could be something good!” He shifted his focus to dealing positively with whatever it was about, made the call, and was pleasantly surprised by its outcome.
Honoring the moment and becoming self-aware allows you to reflect upon what you most want to choose in the next moment. Here are 3 steps to support you in making wise use of your choice points:
Honor your choice points as a gift. Name it by stating: “this is a choice point.” By labeling the moment, your brain becomes more self-aware and snaps out of any numbing activity (like constant emails) that might have dominated your attention.
Turn toward your choice point rather than push it away. As you turn toward the moment, you will appreciate it rather than fill it with the next distraction.
Visualize the choice point and the empowering choice you are about to make. The neural circuits in your brain begin to prepare for the new response when you visualize the new behavior. This is the same approach athletes use when they visualize successful sports moves.
When you recognize and honor a choice point and resist the urge to stay busy or go to the next thing, you are leveraging one of the most important moments in your life and will have a greater chance of using these empowering moments more wisely.