I think tough decisions are made easier when we become acutely aware that we have the choice to not make them. Sure, we may not like the consequences of failing to make a hard call about our lives, but it’s still within our power to not make them.
And there is something freeing about that- The idea that life isn’t happening “to us” but that we’re an active, informed participant in the whole thing.
Reactions are choices, and choices are (by definition) powerful. Our choices are limited only by our imaginations. Not long ago in my office, someone came down with a cold and started sneezing profusely. Needless to say, the reflexive “Bless you”s came hard and fast. Then, in the fashion of an old “Seinfeld” episode, the next sneeze was met with “You’re soooooo good looking” which left some younger staffers perplexed. We got a good laugh and now that’s all anyone says when someone sneezes. It’s better, isn’t it?
It’s a small thing, but it’s evidence of how choices become ingrained through repetition and all that’s needed to change those deeply embedded responses is a single moment.
Every moment is a new opportunity to do something different. Obviously, you don’t have to avail yourself of that opportunity every moment, just don’t become so numb to it that you forget that it’s there.