The Power of Choice to Make Changes for the Better

by Jayne Kopp on September 3, 2011

The power of choice, choose change

choice

When facing challenges, its easy overlook the fact that we always possess the power of choice to make changes for the better. In other words even if we don’t realize it, we can always improve any situation.

Unfortunately, its easy to allow our thoughts to get the better of us and instead, while feeling low, we often remain stuck, immobilized and absolutely consumed with ‘whatever ‘it’ may be that’s knocked us down a peg or two.

Sometimes we get so lost, we simply can’t even imagine things EVER getting better, so the fact we can choose to change based on our own personal power never enters our heads. When we let ourselves get to this point, we stay trapped; make no progress in the healing department and waste time wallowing in our own disappointment.

Even though it’s natural to feel this way sometimes, in order to survive, we must realize that in life ‘things’ happen and though we cannot control ‘what’ happens, we can control how we look at things and our response / reaction to the circumstance.

Once we get our heads around this simple fact and realize we can choose to change the way we look at things, we will have learned one of the most important life lessons.

For example, if you’ve lost your job, naturally you won’t feel over the moon, in fact you’ll feel awful, but rather than focusing on being down in the dumps, moping, blaming outside circumstances, etc, your time would be better spent to look for the higher purpose in every situation in order to determine how to make it better.

Better you ask??

I will admit that losing a job is far from a celebratory occasion, but at the same time moping won’t alter a thing and likely you already know that.

With this being the case, we should then decide to see these situations as opportunities for improvement and acknowledge the fact that you now have the doors open and you’re free to take a different path in order to better yourself.

You see, giving power to your negative situation will only result in becoming consumed in your misfortune. Focusing on the doldrums will multiply the pain and misery and like it or not, it will soon become ALL you’ll ever be able to see.

I know based on personal experience. When I went through a rough spell a few years ago, from the moment I placed my feet on the floor each morning, my brain would kick in and within a split second, “I remembered” that I was supposed to be feeling down. My brain was trained so well to sink into misery once I opened my eyes.

From that moment forward all day long I felt as though I was pulling a piano… uphill!

What’s really unfortunate (and I realize it now) is despite the joy and happiness my children brought to me, and even on the most beautiful of days, I simply could not break out of the trap in order to actually see the brightness and wonder around me in order to enjoy any of it.

In other words, I was blinded to everything else that would have otherwise made me so happy and saw nothing but sadness.

It’s a real tough go when we get into this stage and it is terribly difficult to recognize that we can exercise the power of choice to create change for the better.

It’s so important to try to retrain our brains to remember this as well as realize that we need to start by reprogramming our thought our mental process first and foremost. Once we start to change our thoughts it becomes abundantly clear that they do in fact ultimately determine our reality.

What do I mean by our thoughts create our reality?.

Telling ourselves over and over again how ‘bad’ things are and how horrible things are going, results in nothing more than ‘things being bad and horrible’ solely because we have made them so.

Choosing to change our thoughts to focus only on the positives will automatically make us feel better and has a way of opening our eyes to all the wonderful opportunities and things we have to be grateful for.

In the end, we feel uplifted and obviously by focusing on what is right rather than what is not makes the world of difference to our morale.

The funny things is too that nothing has changed “externally”, rather we have exercised our ability to make changes to our thoughts … proving how powerful our mind really is.

This holds true for whatever happens in life…not just when it comes to ‘losing a job’ which was meant as an example.

With the right mindset, we have the power to turn anything around… but it all starts with our inside attitude and our willingness to choose how we look at things.

If this isn’t clear, let me give you a couple of examples:

In my line of work, my primary focus of my business is to empower others to step out in order to create a better existence combining entrepreneurialism with personal development.

Many people contact me looking for a way to get started online and usually it’s the prospect of earning that attracts them initially.

Though there are a handful of people who recognize they are in charge and have made a choice to change their current situation, there are so many people who haven’t yet wrapped their head around it.

For example, last week I spoke to a fellow who had been laid off, was depressed, hadn’t worked in months and lived on social assistance. He told me “nobody would hire him”.

Naturally, I was sorry for his situation, but by his own admission, it was his depression that was holding him down, and the fact that he was holding himself down… was making him feel even more depressed. (A catch 22!)

I asked him ‘why’ nobody would hire him… and he didn’t know the answer.

I asked him if he had applied for any jobs… and actually, as it turned out… he hadn’t!

I asked him ‘why’ he hadn’t applied for other jobs… and he said ‘because nobody would hire him.

(You see how he had “convinced himself” based on nothing more than his own internal programming?)

I then asked him how he thought he might do working online. He told me that to be honest, he really wasn’t truly convinced he could actually make it happen, but nevertheless the thought intrigued him.

I asked him if he was willing to work towards making changes and learning a few new skills.

He said he’d like to… but deep inside he didn’t truly think he could.

He admitted that he felt so bleak, that if he were to be blatantly honest, he couldn’t imagine things getting better from his vantage point.

As you can likely imagine, this wasn’t your typical business call… I spent a great deal of time explaining that he simply had to choose to change his mindset before anything else in order to look beyond his self induced feelings of despair.

In actuality, only his thoughts were holding him hostage.

I know it’s a difficult transition when re programming your mind… but the reality is it needs to be done.

If we all let our thoughts hold us down, there would be very few people moving ahead.

So why is it so difficult to make changes?

I was listening to a call the other day between Sonia Ricotti the creator of the Unsinkable Series and Gina Mollecone Long. Even though I had this post already drafted, I couldn’t help but throw in some great pointers I picked up from the interview.

Gina pointed out that the human mind had the innate ability to grasp onto the things we focus on, and throw away or ignore everything that doesn’t match or align with it.

In other words, if we are feeling depressed, our brains will continue to gather and hold onto depressing thoughts, but anything that isn’t depressing or dismal won’t fit into the programming of our mind and will be discarded.

She then shared a couple of most hilarious, yet brilliant exercises:

The first one… and I hope I have this right, was to sit quietly where you are and look around the room.

Now focus very intently on picking out everything that is RED in the room.

After a while you start to pick up on absolutely everything that is red, yet pay little attention to any other colors. Red just keeps popping out at you and before long it’s all you pay attention to!

Now… try to pick out everything that is blue. At first you hardly notice ‘blue’ (or any other colour for that matter), but when you begin to focus on blue, after a while … you will notice there’s blue everywhere!! (yet you didn’t see it while focusing on ‘red’!)

I thought this was quite ingenious personally!! :-)

Now you might be thinking… “Oh… I can’t be so simplistic with my thoughts. I’m truly down in the dumps”.

If you sincerely can’t imagine for a moment feeling joy, then try this:

Look up at the ceiling and then… smile. :-)

Now try to feel sad. (I’ll bet you can’t!).

Looking up at the ceiling smiling is almost hilarious. There is no way you can feel down while doing this exercise.

This is a very good thing because it will open your eyes to knowing there are still a few “happy seeds” in your system; you’ve just chosen not to pay attention to them for so long.

The bottom line is… making the choice to change your current situation IS possible.

You just have to change your thought process to recognize it.

There are millions of people who have been in tremendously challenging situations and have managed to pull out of them all because they “decided” to do so.

In conclusion the thoughts you focus on and give power to WILL become your reality.

If you want to change you can, regardless of your situation. The only reason you may not feel you can improve is because you have told yourself and trained your brain to believe you can’t!

The bottom line is you do have the ability to improve everything, you just have to ‘know’ it and put your new belief system into practice.

If you need help tweaking your thoughts in order to start making changes, contact me (one who’s been there, done that!) at any time.

Please leave comments or questions below. I’d love to hear from you!

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie Spencer September 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm

This article is amazingly touching for me as well… I always blamed my thoughts, good and bad, on the circumstances surrounding me but have recently learned that the outside world is nothing but our perception of it and it’s truly up to us to *choose* what lens we’re going to look through. Thank you, again!

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Ilka Flood September 8, 2011 at 9:15 am

Hi Jayne,

What a wonderful and uplifting post! (In every sense of the word as I did look up to the ceiling and smile.)

That goes the show that we are holding ourselves prisoner with our thoughts. There’s a saying that goes like this….

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.” _Buddha

Ain’t that the truth? Your little story about the gentleman who thinks nobody is hiring him is the perfect example. He’s holding himself hostage with that thought and isn’t even trying to make a change.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful post!

Ilka

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Liz September 8, 2011 at 6:58 am

Jayne, Love your post.

I tried looking up at the ceiling and smiling, even laughing and you’re right. Surprisingly enough it made a difference, and I didn’t wake up feeling too chipper this morning either. Very cool!

Happiness is a choice and I’ve learned from experience that we have to really embrace it when we can.

Your example of losing a job isn’t going to make us happy at the moment it happens or even the days following but I truly believe there are miracles in tragedy and we have to look at it that way. It’s about focusing on the beauty around us and not the ugly.

It may seem hard at first but I think that’s because we’re conditioned to be sad when sad things happen. Like you say, we all have the ability to be happy, no matter what the circumstances, we just have to believe it and then practice it.

Thanks Jayne, very inspiring!
Liz :-)

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Marcus Baker September 8, 2011 at 12:57 am

Hi Jayne,

Woosh got here at last and of course it was as usual, an uplifting and thought provoking post from you.

What we don’t realise so often, is that we have the power to bring about change. All we have to do is remember to exercise it instead of giving it away to all kinds of people, circumstances, feelings etc

Just loved staring at the ceiling with a huge grin on my dial by the way!! Was quite challenging to let go of that view in fact. Ha ha

We have free will and we can exercise it at any time. Recently a friend of mine was telling me that he was in a bad mood. I asked him whether he enjoyed feeling that way.

Of course he said he didn’t, to which I replied, “So if you know this all you have to do is let it go.” For a moment he looked confused and then I could literally see the dark cloud lifting and relief showing on his face. Now I am hoping he will give himself permission to “let go” next time too. :)

Your title is spot on…. it’s all about claiming that we can make choices and then making them!

~Marcus

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Felicia @ No Deposit Poker September 7, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Hi Jayne,

I feel so refreshed and motivated after reading your post. I was feeling kinda sad about my work being very tiring and I feel I’m not much appreciated by the work I’m doing. However, after reading your post, I guess it’s better than getting laid off and having to go through the trouble of finding another job.

I agree that there are some people who do not see themselves earning online. They feel skeptic and they think they will never be able to do it and will fail if they do so. Their negative mentality about the unknown is normal, as they have been used to earning their money in the corporate world.

Thanks for sharing this motivational post! :)

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Martin September 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Hi Jayne,
Interesting post.

I like this quote from above,
“Even though it’s natural to feel this way sometimes, in order to survive, we must realize that in life ‘things’ happen and though we cannot control ‘what’ happens, we can control how we look at things and our response / reaction to the circumstance. ”

Sometimes, with all the “think it into existence” philosophy thats out there it’s easy to lose sight of, or forget that we live on a created planet as created beings, and there are circumstances that are totally out of our control.

But just like you said so well, we can control how we respond and how we react to those circumstances.

But the power of choice. Wow! why were we given that freedom?
It would be so much easier if all of our decisions were all determined and assigned to our lives before we were born.

But then, how boring that would be… right?
Robots must be extremely bored.

I really enjoy your positive and uplifting posts.
Martin

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Martin September 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Hi Jayne,
Interesting post.

I like this quote from above,
“Even though it’s natural to feel this way sometimes, in order to survive, we must realize that in life ‘things’ happen and though we cannot control ‘what’ happens, we can control how we look at things and our response / reaction to the circumstance. ”

Sometimes, with all the “think it into existence” philosophy thats out there it’s easy to lose sight of, or forget that we live on a created planet as created beings, and there are circumstances that are totally out of our control.

But just like you said so well, we can control how we respond and how we react to those circumstances.

But the power of choice. Wow! why were we given that freedom?
It would be so much easier if all of our decisions were all determined and assigned to our lives before we were born.

But then, how boring that would be… right?
Robots must be extremely bored.

I really enjoy your positive and uplifting posts.
Martin

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Martin September 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm

the above comment didn’t get my comment luv feed, so I’m leaving another comment. Please feel free to delete this comment thread…

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Ryan Biddulph September 5, 2011 at 8:53 am

Hi Jayne,

Excellent read!

I like how you broke down idea of thought causing all. It’s amazing how easily our life changes as we change our thoughts. The trick is to release the thoughts which are confining.

The person you spoke to on the phone is typical of many who feel listless and hopeless. His thoughts were his jailors. His thoughts will be his liberators, if he chooses to pick himself up and change his life.

The motivation must come from within. Outside sources of inspiration can lift us up, but who’s choosing to be inspired? The individual, that’s who. The individual empowers himself, with the power of his thought.

Thanks for sharing your insight Jayne!

RB

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Jayne Kopp September 6, 2011 at 10:20 am

Hi Ryan, thanks for your great comment and contribution to this post.

I could not agree more with the fact that thoughts can be jailors or liberators… it truly is a personal choice we must make and implement.

I also agree it’s all about ‘release’ and admittedly at first this is not always easy… I do believe it is necessary to ‘let them go’ in order to move on.

Lovely to see you Ryan. You sure add positivity to everywhere you go! (and that’s a lot of places!!)

Jayne

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Dan | Confidence Coach September 5, 2011 at 2:21 am

Hi Jayne,

That’s a great post – and two really lovely simple exercises that can help to illustrate the power our mind has over us.

I really love the looking out for different colours one – I have a theory that all the opportunities we need in life are always there, all around us and if we think in the right way we can easily see those opportunities… it’s just that most of the time when we feel blue, we are looking for blue, when the opportunities are red in colour!

Thanks, Dan

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Jayne Kopp September 6, 2011 at 10:22 am

Hi Dan, great way of putting it “it’s just that most of the time when we feel blue, we are looking for blue, when the opportunities are red in colour!”

I liked the ‘colour’ exercise too. I found it quite humorous how all the ‘red’ kept jumping out and I barely noticed the other colours!! Made me smile.

Our mind truly has so much power over us… we just have to use it correctly.

Lovely to see you Dan.

Jayne

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Janet @ The Natural Networker September 4, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Jayne, aloha. As usual, another terrific post on a very important topic. That poor gentleman is definitely holding himself down.

The Unsinkable Series sounds great. In line with that, here are a couple of tips I would like to share with you.

1. The mind cannot hold two thoughts at the same time. While you are thinking about on thing, you cannot be thinking about anything else. If people would realize that, they might more easily learn to focus, as you mention above.

2. Years ago I learned a technique by listening to tapes from Abraham-Hicks. If you are feeling less than your best, all you need to do is say “I want to feel good, I want to feel good” ten times in a row. Jayne, it is absolutely impossible not to feel good by the time you finish saying that.

Earlier this afternoon, a blogger asked me to share a favorite quote. Since I have so many, I ended up sharing 5. However, I have a quote at the end of each e-mail that is appropriate for your post. Here it is:

“The only way to predict the future is to create it.” Peter Drucker

Jayne, it was a pleasure visiting with you again. Have a glorious time creating your future. Until next time, aloha. Janet

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Jayne Kopp September 6, 2011 at 10:32 am

Wow Janet, what a wonderful comment and thanks so much for adding so many other great pointers. I love the quote by Peter Drucker. It is so true. I do believe that once we break through that ‘skin’ that holds us motionless, the sky is the limit.

I also loved the Abraham Hicks suggestion – repeating “I want to feel good”… I will use that occasionally! :-)

I to have stated the mind cannot hold two thoughts at the same time … so with this said, it makes more sense to be selective and hold the thoughts that do us the most justice.

Janet, thanks so much for stopping by. You are always such a ray of sunshine.

Talk to you soon… now the kids are in school, my schedule will start getting back on track.

Jayne

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Melody | Deliberate Receiving September 4, 2011 at 11:23 am

Wow Jayne. I love the whole looking up and smiling exercise. I think I heard Tony Robbins propose something similar a few years ago. Ok many years ago… ;) He said to just get up and jump up and down, smile and laugh and just act as if you were really happy for 30 seconds. It works. It instantly lifts you out of your mood, and if nothing else, proves that you CAN feel better.

You’ve made fantastic points here. I couldn’t agree more. :)

Hugs,
Melody

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Jayne Kopp September 6, 2011 at 10:34 am

Hi Melody, is that exercise not hillarious. I tried it and almost cracked up in laughter. I loved the ‘visual’ too of what I would look like if someone was looking through the window at me!! (wooo hooo, she’s LuLu!! :-) )

I will have to try Tony Robbins method. I’ll draw the curtains though!!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I am looking forward to being back on track. (Kiddos are back in school today! :-( ) The routine will start kicking in soon.

Jayne

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Justin | Mazzastick September 4, 2011 at 7:37 am

Hi Jayne,
I am a big believer that it is best not to over-react to events and to choose what is best for us in any given situation.

When life takes a turn for the worst the best that I can do is to keep my state of being positive. This helps me to create the reality that I choose.

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Jayne Kopp September 6, 2011 at 10:36 am

Hi Justin, it truly is best to ‘try’ not to over react to things as it gets us nowhere fast!

We forget we have the choice to refrain from stewing… and that we can indeed choose our reality based on the way we choose to manage our thoughts.

Lovely to see you

Jayne

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Peter Fuller MBA September 3, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Fantastic read Jayne

It is not that things happen, it is how one reacts to them.

Peter

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Jayne Kopp September 6, 2011 at 10:37 am

Hi Peter, lovely to see you again.

Everything depends on how we react and while sometimes it’s not easy to choose the right way, … it does get easier and more beneficial if we remain focused on making the right choices.

Lovely to see you Peter. I was over at your blog the other day.

see you soon

Jayne

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