I have a dear friend who, after 4 years out of the corporate life, recently took a contracting job back at one of the fortune 500 companies she worked at. We caught up on the phone recently, and she is miserable. She’s really not enjoying navigating the politics and twisty paths you sometimes journey to get things done there. She feels stuck. Unhappy. And frustrated.
I relate because I’ve experienced this, where some of the choices I’ve made haven’t turned out to be smooth or super fun. She asked me what she should do. Honestly, I really don't have the answer for her. Only she can know what she needs to do, what her reasons are, and decide. But since she was asking, I offered her a quickie tool to take her power back. And that is, to own that she is choosing to be where she is right now.
Choose Every Choice You Make
Not in a punishing/judgie way. In an empowering way. When you feel “trapped” or “stuck” sometimes it’s because you’re feeling like you don’t have any choice. And, as annoying as it can be at times, OWNING the choice you are making and why you’re making it, really does help shift you out of a helpless mindset and into a more resourceful and capable one.
She could quit the assignment, but that isn’t how she operates. So she’s choosing to stay and complete the contract. Owning this doesn’t turn her un-fun assignment into a fun one all the sudden, but it does give her more clarity on why she’s doing what she’s doing. See how now she is empowered? No more, "I HAVE to do a-b-c," but, "I am choosing to do a-b-c, because of x-y-z, and it feels so much better.
Like Your Reasons
The act of doing this helps you see that you do have different choices, they just aren’t what you are opting for right now. And, by the way, if when you take a look, you want to make a different choice, go for it. It’s not what choice you make, it’s the owning of where you are that is your choice. Chances are you have a good reason to stay in a situation that you feel stuck in. So own that, it doesn't mean you have to be there forever.
What About When the Choice is Not Up to Me?
Yes, there are times that "where we are in life," is not our choice. So how do you find your power in those situations? In what you choose to make what you’re experiencing mean.
It could be “life is unfair,” which locks you away from your personal power, or it could be “this is happening for me.” “What can I learn here? How can I grow?” These are types of empowering questions you can ask yourself to connect you to your power in any situation.
Ask Yourself These Four Questions to Take Your Power Back Now!
When you find yourself feeling “stuck,” ask yourself these four questions and see what shifts for you. I promise there will be a shift! So give it a whirl.
1. What are the choices I could make in this situation?
2. What is the choice I am making?
3. Why am I choosing what I’m choosing?
4. Why am I not choosing the other options?
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