Anna Lindsay

Anna Lindsay

Accredited Life Coach and Mentor

I coach women in journalism and the media to feel empowered at work, achieve success and gain work-life balance with confidence | BBC Senior Journalist and News Editor

How many times have you exasperatingly told yourself “but I don’t have a choice!!” when it comes to satisfying your own goals and dreams?

You tell yourself that you don’t get to fulfil those urges because “I have a sensible job/ I have kids/ I have debts/ I have caring responsibilities,” etc etc. Maybe all of them.

Different things have become priorities over personal or career goals, right? And you can hardly just up sticks and leave the children while you saunter off and see the world like you were supposed to do before you fell into quite-a-nice career with a mortgage and a baby.

The bottom line is that most people have big life-long responsibilities and we can often feel stuck.

Over time, I’ve spoken to many people about how coaching works and how it can empower people to move towards desired outcomes in a really extraordinary way. The response is usually extremely positive.

But, whenever I get the “no choice” response, I tell them this…

If you stay in the situation you are currently in, whether that is because of love, or the deeper values you hold (loyalty, finances, the opinions of others) or something else, then you are still CHOOSING one thing over another. You have still made a CHOICE.

Sometimes it’s a choice between two things that seem just as bad as each other, but it’s still the POWER of CHOICE.

And choice really is powerful. Choice is liberating. My goodness, how choice lifts a weight off of people’s shoulders. If you are feeling claustrophobic in your current situation, trapped even, or just plain unhappy more often than you are happy… take a conscious moment to think about the choice element.

Ask yourself: “Am I being forced into my situation?” Ask: “Am I, in fact, making a conscious decision to do this?”

A coach once asked me, when I was struggling in a situation: “OK Anna, are you really sure there is no other way forward?” My reply was absolutely certain that I did not have any other way to deal with it: “I’m really sure, I feel very trapped right now and can’t see a way out”, I replied.

The coach asked me bluntly, without hesitating, but with a great deal of compassion: “But is someone holding a gun to your head?”

Harsh. Graphic even. It wasn’t what I was expecting. But oh, how that changed things for me. It was liberating.

Sometimes, the choice might not be great. Life can throw us some real hard times.

But the point is, there is choice and you can choose one path or another. Re-frame how you look at your situation – you’ve chosen it.

 

Read more blogs from Anna:

Who do you give your power away to? And 5 ways to take it back

How to make time

Fear of failure: How to neutralise it

Fear of failure: What could you achieve if ‘limiting beliefs’ didn’t stop you?

Anna Lindsay

Anna Lindsay

Accredited Coach and Mentor

I coach women in journalism and the media to feel empowered at work, achieve success and gain work-life balance with confidence | BBC Senior Journalist and News Editor

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