finding possibilities(Part 1 of a 3 part series  - “Fair Weather Thinking” is designed to help you identify more possibilities in your life by helping you clear the path of mental and physical debris that can cloud good decision-making. This series is presented in 3 distinct parts – Own Your Stuff, Set Clear Boundaries and Take Care of You.) 

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”         ~Thomas Merton

When the skies are clear and the weather is fair, it’s easier to see the stars. Stars are light infused inspirations – they remind me of possibilities.

Possibilities are the embers of hope – the kindling for the fires of our lives, that ignite potential and meaning (click to Tweet) 

With the exception of the gifts we’re given and the challenges we’re issued, our lives are a grand compilation of the choices we make. (click to Tweet).

Since we make choices based on the options we perceive, it’s important to have clear mental skies. When clouds come in, if there’s fog,  during dust storms or if fear freezes over cognition, “possibilities” get lost in the storm. Consequently, we can make poor choices and suffer the consequences. Sometimes people refuse to take responsibility for their choices – a decision that is most unfortunate. They find themselves doomed to cloudy days, always blaming someone else that they forgot their umbrella.

Clear heads are better able to survey the landscape of possibilities and make the choices that create the lives we want, but, how do we keep our heads clear? Many people feel they could no sooner control their lives than control the weather – thankfully, both may be possible. Empowerment is key – and yes, you can do that for yourself. Do you want to see possibilities with more clarity? First own your “stuff.” Here are a few tips.

1. Take responsibility for your own choices and the life you are living. When you do so, you are EMPOWERED. You are no longer a victim of fate, but the Master of your destiny. You are the Master of your destiny anyhow…you always have been. (click to Tweet)

This is great news. You’re no longer dependent on the goodwill of others for your well-being. Goodwill is a gift – not to be expected, but appreciated when it does land your way.  In turn, hopefully you will share your fortune with people and gift them as well.

Your choices created your current situation…if you aren’t happy now, make different choices. I haven’t always lived the Well Lived Life, but I’ve always understood, even through the times money was extraordinarily lean, I was a single-mother or I was doing work I didn’t have passion for – those were the results of my choices. Own it, change it, love it!

2. Be aware the choices you make create the habits that either drive you – or stop you. You can make a Finding possibilitieschoice to change your habits or replace poor habits with more productive ones. You may need some help doing this…if you do, mental health professionals, coaches and mentors are all willing to help you find your way and, as a coach myself, we are happy to call you out on your ‘stuff.’

Habits are what you do repeatedly, eventually, it stops feeling like a choice. Habits can impact, among other things,  the way you eat, how productive you are and how timely you deliver on commitments. Habits can support your success or failure. Habits can be internal or external. They include how you think about yourself as well as how you behave in the world.

Take stock of your habits. Are they helping or hurting you? You may need help managing time, building momentum, improving communication or building your business – whatever it is, there are people who will happily give you the help you need…just don’t be in the habit of not asking for it!

3. Get comfortable saying “no.” -  Over extending yourself pulls you off focus, depletes you, alienates you from your own possibilities and, quite likely, interferes with the person you are “helping” by keeping them from seeing their own possibilities. It’s great to lend a hand, but not at the expense of fulfilling your own destiny or keeping someone from fulfilling theirs.

When we say “yes” to the point of overcommitting, our lives become unruly. It makes it difficult to honor the commitments we make to the best of our ability. It can make us stressed, angry and resentful. That isn’t doing anyone favours. I hate to break it to you, but you probably aren’t the ONLY person in the world that can do the helping. In fact, it may be hurting everyone to say “yes,” so learn to say “no” when you need to. (Click to Tweet)

One example is knowing how long or how much to help our children. One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was say no to helping my grown children. Guess what? Now, they can help themselves.  Don’t get me wrong. I watched like a hawk from the sidelines. From. The. Sidelines. I’m so proud they figured it out – I always knew – okay, hoped – they could!

So, now that you know ways to be the boss of your own self – go practice. Start now. Take control! Next time we’ll discuss building barbed-wire boundaries (kidding….sort of).

Until then,

Count Your Lucky Stars,

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Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams,  helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives. Writer, Artist, Coach         

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