I remember when I felt stuck in almost EVERY area of my life. I was miserable. And to make matters worse, I felt completely trapped. Like there was no way out of the sh*tty situations that seemed to surround me. I felt so powerless. Until…I decided that I wouldn’t settle for this life. That I would choose instead to believe that things could change and that I didn’t need to accept things the way they were. I began to believe that I had the power to change my life. And I went on a personal transformation journey to do just that. And it worked! One game-changing thing that I learned along the way was this: you always have a choice – surprisingly more than you may think. Let’s discuss.
The Truth About Choices
This may piss you off a little, and I’m good with that because this is the truth that you need to hear. The truth about choices is:
Side note: This phrase came to me while I was thinking about what soul message The Chic Life community needed to hear. I googled it to see if it’s a famous quote. Turns out the fictional character Harvey Specter said it, but I’m pretty sure he’s not the original source since I’m pretty sure this general idea has been around for quite some time. Lol! Original source is unknown, but if you know it, please comment below so I can attribute proper credit.
You always have a choice.
Even not choosing is a choice.Denise Grover Swank
Yup, not choosing is choosing to stay.
But beyond that…
You may *feel* stuck in different areas of your life:
- Your relationship (romantic, platonic, friendship, etc.)
- Your job / career
- Your home (your actual house, your city, your state, etc.)
But you can make a choice to change ANYTHING at any time.
Now, you may be thinking, “But, Diana! You don’t UNDERSTAND! I HAVE to be in this relationship. I HAVE to work this job. I HAVE to live here.”
And I totally feel you. Because I used to think the same thing. Here’s one example from my life…
My Story: Being “Trapped” at My Job
Many years ago, I hated my job. With every ounce of my being, I wanted to quit. The thought passed through my mind multiple times a day. I willed my body to walk into the work place every single day. Some days it felt like I was walking against a strong wind pushing me back as my mind silently screamed, “Turn around NOW!” But despite my instincts and wants, I kept going back to my soul-sucking job. Why?
Simple: I didn’t think I could quit. I didn’t think I had that option. Like, I understood that it *was* an option, but I didn’t think it was possible for me.
And since I didn’t believe in other options, I didn’t take other options. Heck, I didn’t even look as hard as I could have for them!
Side note: I *thought* I was looking for other options, but in hindsight, my lack of belief in options gravely limited my search. The way I would search now is VERY different from what I actually did back in they day. And *this* new POV is what’s inspiring me to write this post.
Why I thought I couldn’t leave*:
- I was afraid of being unemployed: The job market was in bad shape. It was a time people were advised to hold onto their job no matter what because many others didn’t have one and were having a hard time finding one, and it was seriously f*cking up peoples’ lives. I feared if I left, I’d never find a new one again. Or at least not for a long time. Side note: our fear-based thoughts are so dramatic, no? Never “again”!? C’mon.
- I needed the money: I had bills to pay. And I was not independently wealthy and had no financial support system to fall back on.
*And there were more reasons, but I’ll just use these two for the example.
Pretty big things to worry about, right? They’re valid concerns for sure.
But here’s the thing: they were NOT forcing me to stay at my job.
My unwillingness to take a deeper look at my situation was.
You Have Choices…But They May Be Sh*tty Options
Here’s another truth about choices:
You have choices…but they may be sh*tty options.
There, I said it.
This may not be what you wanted to hear, but it’s something you may *need* to hear.
Because, in my humble opinion, a sh*tty choice is better than no choice.
Old ways won’t open new doors~Unknown
When you think you have *no choice*, you take *no action*. You keep doing the same thing again and again. But the same thing will get you the same results. You need to do something (anything!) differently to get different results.
BONUS: A lot of times those choices you think are “sh*tty” can turn out WAY better than you expected and be THE THING to get you on track for a better and brighter future. Dare I say, one that is aligned to your dream life.
Believing you have no choices keeps you stuck. Believing in options opens up possibilities.
My “Sh*tty” Options
Let’s look at my situation as an example. Here are some choices I could have made.
- I could have just straight up quit my job and been unemployed until I figured things out.
- I could have applied for new jobs to at least see if the options were really as bad as I assumed they’d be.
- I could have had an honest conversation with my manager to see if I could get relief in some way, shape, or form at my existing job.
- I could have seen if there was another way to be supported by my family.
- I could have taken a part time job and built up savings to prepare for quitting.
- I could have quit and gone back to waiting tables (which I did during and for awhile after college).
- I could have tried harder to monetize my blog.
Let’s get more creative:
- I could have moved to my mom’s home country, The Philippines, where the cost of living is lower, and I could reconnect with my other side of the family.
- I could have downsized my life: sold my belongings (clothes, home goods, etc.) to build up savings and sold my car and lived somewhere I could walk to everything I needed.
As you can see, some of these choices are kinda of sh*tty and others are really not that bad. They may be WAY different than the “traditional” life path that society tells us we must follow. But…I dunno, a couple of these look pretty exciting!
Your “Sh*tty” Options
I bet if you really sat down and listed out your options, no matter how “bad” they may be, you may see that there are more options open to you than you thought.
Possible options include:
Please note: I’m NOT suggesting you take any of these, I’m simply pointing out options. And like I said…they may be sh*tty.
- Not happy in your marriage? How many weeks, months, years will you repeat the same unhappy life? Don’t sit there feeling trapped. You can do couples therapy, you can separate, you can get a divorce. As someone who has been trough a divorce, I can tell you it is hard. But I’ve also heard from many people who say divorce was the best thing that could happen to them.
- Don’t like where you live? You can move! Seriously, you only *think* you HAVE to stay there. Don’t have the money to move? Cut back on costs or make more money and save up! Sharing custody of kids? I’m not going to say that I understand the logistics of this, but…could you possibly move somewhere far enough away for space but close enough to make the commute reasonable? Or you could fly back and forth (expensive – but an option!).
I’m NOT suggesting you do anything drastic. I just want to help you get OUT of feeling stuck and INTO feeling empowered through choice. To help shift your mindset a little.
I let myself stay stuck in certain situations for YEARS. I know what it’s like to be all “woe is me, the world is so unfair” and to have a little pity party on the daily while doing NOTHING to change my situation.
Newsflash, there is no superhero coming to save you. Sometimes you’ve got to be your own superhero. Side note: I remember randomly having the thought of being my own superhero back when I was stuck as I was beginning my transformation. It hit me that I was going to have to get myself out, and the thought of channeling my inner super hero was really empowering for me. Hopefully it is for you too!
When you start believing in options and believing that things can get better, that is often the first critical step to things actually getting better.
Choices May Vary
The last thing I want to add is that your choices may vary.
We are all SO different. We’re born into a wide variety of circumstances. And your family, connections, physical location, financial situation, and overall life situation will greatly impact the choices available to you. Someone with privilege will have WAY more / better options than someone who does not.
It sucks, but it’s true.
But I’ve personally found it helpful to have hope. To believe that no matter what, things can get better. The less I look for solutions, the less I find. The more I look for solutions, the more I find. And I have this hope for everyone else too.
Additionally, there’s a fine balance between taking on too much blame/responsibility versus being in a victim mentality that is keeping you stuck. Only YOU can know the difference. And if you’re like me, it may take some time to find the right balance.
Choices and Empowerment
What I really hope is that this is the message someone needs to hear today. Somewhere out there is someone who was like me once. Someone who feels trapped in some areas of their life or their life overall. Someone who feels like they have no options. But someone who, like me, may have more options available to them than they think.
Someone who is reading this and starting to explore new choices and seeing that maybe there are more than they initially thought.
If this is you, I hope you see new possibilities and have new hope that things can get better. I hope seeing that choices are available to you helps you step into a new level of empowerment.
When you feel stuck in life, it can sometimes leave you feeling trapped in one or more areas of your life.
We always have a choice. Sometimes our choices are kind of sh*tty. And we all have different choices available to us due to factors outside of our control. But choices – we have em. In fact, not choosing is a choice to stay where we are.
When we feel stuck in life, it’s important to explore choices. Even the “sh*tty” choices can turn out better than we initially thought they may. Not seeing choices can lead us into victim mentality, which can keep us stuck longer than we need to be.
Choices can give us hope, show us the possibilities available, and can even help us step into strength and empowerment.
More Personal Development Tips
Thank you for reading this post about how You Always Have a Choice – Surprisingly More Than You May Think.
Questions? Thoughts? Please comment below! I’d love to hear from you!