The third installment of my series, How My Brain Tumor Will Change Your Life, is about choice. Even in circumstances that seem beyond your control, you get to choose how you react. That was one of the messages during my speech at Ignite DC 4—watch for the video coming soon.
I obviously didn't choose to have a brain tumor, nor do you choose some things that happen to you. Other than that, though, there is a lot that we can do.
From the moment I knew I needed surgery, I made a conscious choice to focus on being healthy again. It was part of every step I took, including doctors' appointments, meals, and even how I broke the news at work.
I also marked the progress of my recovery with this focus in mind; excitedly telling anyone who would listen what I could do each day that I couldn't the previous, from washing my own hair to crossing the street.
In turn, they celebrated with me. Friends bought me a fancy new robe and slippers, and checked in regularly to offer support and encouragement.
These simple acts—acts that I set in motion through my focus—helped us all experience that my goal was becoming reality.
Is there something in your life right now that feels out of your control?
If there is, here are the three steps of choice:
- Allow yourself to be scared. Facing your fear means you no longer have to hide from or avoid it. And that means you can turn all of your energy and focus to what you do want. I wanted to be healthy again—how about you?
- Once you make a deliberate choice of where to put your attention, tell everyone. When I did, an amazing thing happened. The more I said I wanted to be healthy, the more everyone reflected the words back to me. Pretty soon everyone believed that it was possible.
- Notice when it starts to happen. What you want might not happen overnight. Instead, there are a million little steps to be acknowledged and celebrated for what they mean—that you are on your way.
You have a powerful weapon in your arsenal. It's choice.
No matter what is happening in your life right now, and how much you feel that it is out of your control, you get to choose what you do about it.
You decide where you put your attention, how you talk to others about it (and elicit their support), and whether you see your progress toward achieving your goal.
Your choice starts now. When you're ready, I'm here to help you take a conscious and deliberate action.
And if you need more help, I also offer The Power of Choice guided conversations for groups and organizations.