The Power of Choice

Relationships have an extraordinary knack for playing havoc with our emotions.

Whether it’s an interaction with a loved one, our boss or even a complete stranger, there seems to be some unseen power with the ability to make us sad, fearful, doubtful, angry or elated: the whole gamut of emotions is there. Often we’re left with the notion we have no control and are merely a victim of whichever of one of these pesky feelings decides to show its face.

We’ll let you into a bit of a CANDo secret here; you’re not – no way, Jose!


Next time someone makes you feel doubtful, attacked, irritated or any other of the far too many negative emotions, available on your emotional menu; take a mini-moment.

In your head, give the emotion you’re feeling a name. Draw a funny little caricature of this naughty whelp throwing a tantrum if it helps. Then – and this is the good bit – imagine yourself raising your eyebrows questioningly at it, as in “what the XXXX is your problem!”.

Once you’ve done this, simply choose.

Choose to be better than this ridiculous emotion. Consider if there is another more appropriate and logical choice.

Choose to react in a way you can be proud of.

Chooseif it’s a recurring negative emotion that achieves way too much air time – to try and work out, at a later time, what’s behind its sudden appearance and how you could resolve it:

  • Are you feeling guilty because you haven’t done something you ought to?
  • Afraid that you might fail at something?
  • Irritated because you’re just plain old tired owing to the fact that you neglected to get enough sleep last night?
  • Or maybe – God forbid! – jealous because the other person has something you want?

Choose to take control of yourself and refuse to react negatively.

Choose to manage and make your own emotions in order to control the way YOU behave and react.

Whether it’s your kids, husband, mother-in-law or your boss, don’t look to them to stop irritating you, snapping, whining, bickering, lording it over you or whatever it is they are doing to make you feel the way you do. Look to make changes to the way you react to this behaviour in them. In a very short period of time, it will have the knock on effect of improving your relationship with them in general.

Using the power of choice as a technique for controlling your emotions is just one of many CANDoables that will improve your relationship life skills. If you’re interested in learning more, look out for the forthcoming CANDoable Life Lessons.  For notification of when the series launches and a FREE CANDoable Life Lesson (when they become available), click the link below to join up:

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How did you choose to feel differently today? Drop me an email or leave a comment below.

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