If there is one core principle in which the Power of TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)® work rests, it is this: You always have a choice about how you respond to life events. You may not like your choices, and your 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 moment you are faced with such a choice we call 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 when you face choice points becomes the life you create. If you perceive a choice point as a problem, then you will likely react to the anxiety or fear you feel. Whether your reaction is to “fight, flight, freeze, or appease” in nature, you will produce or perpetuate drama.
How do you recognize these choice points and choose consciously, rather than unconsciously reacting 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 several 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.
- Hit the “pause button” and take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to calm.
- Turn toward your choice point rather than push it away. As you turn toward the moment, you can appreciate it rather than fill it with the next distraction or reaction.
- Visualize the empowering choices you can 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 spot and honor your choice points 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. You now have a greater chance of more wisely utilizing your empowering moments.
Making empowered choices is at the heart of cultivating your capacity as a Creator.