Do you feel stuck in a job that doesn’t fit? You may not feel like you have any choice, after all, you have to pay the bills. Unfortunately, this perspective keeps you stuck. I am excited to share a couple of power tools with you that will help you choose when choice seems out of reach. These seemingly small shifts in perception will get you unstuck and moving forward.



Notice Where in Your Life Choice Feels Out of Reach


It’s 6am on Monday morning, Miriam’s alarm clock is beeping. Her first thoughts run through Miriam’s mind: “I have to get up, I have to go to work. I really don’t want to!” Miriam hits the snooze button and lingers for a few more minutes. She feels dread about her day, the job she hates, and the commute she loathes. As alone as Miriam feels with her dread, she is not. Millions of people, think the same thoughts and feel the same feelings each Monday morning. 




Miriam (not her real name) is my client and brings her dread to her coaching session later that day. I let Miriam vent for a few minutes. Then I ask her what she’s feeling in her body. As Miriam tunes in, she notices a lot of tension around her chest and her whole body seems awfully heavy. Miriam feels exhausted, frustrated and tired. After I acknowledge Miriam’s awareness of her inner state, I ask if she’s up for an experiment.


How about you? Where in your life do you feel dread? What makes you feel like you don’t have a choice? How does it feel in your body?


Upgrade Your Inner Dialogue to Choice


Miriam is up for an experiment and we dive right in. The experiment is about shifting your inner dialogue. Now that you are aware of how your current inner dialogue is making you feel, let’s explore how you might upgrade it. The way to upgrade your thinking is to create a statement structured like this: “If I think….., then I will upgrade it to….”


“What’s the thought that is most habitual to you, Miriam? It sounds like it might be ‘have to’?”


Miriam agreed that ‘have to’ was the thought that was most common on Monday mornings and she created her statement: “If I think ‘have to’, then I will upgrade it to ‘choose to’.”


I invited Miriam to say her upgraded version a few times to notice how it makes her feel in her body. Miriam reported feeling a bit lighter and noticed an openness around her eyes. Together we celebrated Miriam’s ability to tune into her body sensations and the powerful shift her new thought was creating.


I explained that her simple statement is extremely powerful. Miriam’s subconscious mind is now on the lookout for ‘have to’ and will faithfully replace it with ‘choose to’, every time she thinks it.




What about you? What’s the thought you repeatedly think that leaves you feeling powerless and drained? Here are the most common words that kill your drive: should, need to, have to, ought to. Which of these words do you tend to say to yourself?


Here are the most common words that will put you back in the driver’s seat: want to, choose to, and like to. Which of these words would you rather think?


Now create your own if/then statement. Say your upgraded sentence a few times to yourself and notice how your body responds. Your subconscious is now going to create that shift in perspective for you in seconds, every time you think that old, habitual thought. You are creating a powerful shift from feeling powerless to feeling at choice.


Look for Choice When Choice Seems Out of Reach


Miriam paused for a moment and then protested. “I understand that the if/then statement is going to shift the semantics of what I am saying to myself, but am I not just fooling myself? I still have to go to work, whether I say ‘choose to’ or ‘have to’, right?”


After I thanked Miriam for bringing that up, I invited her to do another experiment. “Let’s say that for now you choose to go to work. You may not feel like it’s a true choice, since you haven’t figured out yet what you want to do instead. I get it!” I went on to explain that there are still so many choices in her day. From the moment she wakes up, to the moment Miriam falls asleep, she could make a myriad of choices. Sometimes ‘what’ she does, doesn’t seem like a choice. In those moments Miriam can still choose when, where and how she does it. 


“Shall we play another game, Miriam?” Miriam was happy to experiment further. I asked her to take a blank sheet of paper and write one of the things she repeatedly dreads at work into the centre of the page. “That’s easy!” Miriam exclaimed. “I hate filling out my time sheet.”


Miriam wrote the word ‘time sheet’ in the middle of the page. Next, I asked her to write the words when, how, and where around the word time sheet. “Let’s come up with a few options for each of these words. Remember, we’re just playing, so let’s have fun with this!”




Miriam chose her ‘when’ options first:


  • First thing Friday morning.
  • Right after lunch, Friday afternoon.
  • Just before I leave work on Friday afternoon.


“That’s great, now you have a little more choice. Where could you do it, Miriam?”


Miriam chose the following options:


  • At my desk.
  • In a coffee shop.
  • At home.


“Fantastic! Now you have even more choice. How could you do it?”


Miriam paused, then she said. “I could think about it all day and drag it out. Or I could set a timer and get it done within ten minutes. I’ve never thought about it that way.”


“Awesome insights, Miriam! Now that you have all these options for doing time sheets laid out on your piece of paper, which of these options do you want to pick?” 


Miriam chose to do her time sheet quickly at her desk, right after her lunch. She chuckled as she acknowledged that she had now turned doing time sheets into a little game she got to play each Friday after lunch. Together we celebrated her powerful transformation.


Choose YOUR When, Where and How


How about you? What’s one of the things you dread? Follow in Miriam’s footsteps and jot it down on a blank piece of paper along with the words ‘when’, ‘where’, and ‘how’. Then create your own set of options. Once you’ve written them all down, choose the option that feels most energizing to you and follow through in living your choice.


You are well on your way to creating more choice in your life! Just like Miriam, you don’t have to travel alone on your courageous journey to career clarity. Take another powerful step towards creating the career that energizes and inspires YOU. Book your free career clarity consultation NOW!