If your life is filled with stress and an overall sense of unhappiness, you may be unknowingly making decisions that are hurting you in ways that you don’t even realize.
Picture a funnel for a moment. A funnel can be a great visualization of what happens when you make a decision. The stem (the small opening) represents the choice you have before you. The mouth (the wide part) represents the outcomes that manifest because of those choices.
I like that visualization because a choice stems from a thought that leads to an action that could lead to massive change in your life. Your choice “funnels” out into the world, affecting you and everything in it sometimes.
The funnel effect of choice:
Thought > Choice > Action > Massive Change
In several episodes and articles, I’ve talked about honoring myself with my stepfather. Back in 2014, he showed up at my mom’s house while I was there and wanted to come in, but I told him he couldn’t.
It was one of the scariest moments of my life because I never once defied him (they’d been divorced only a few months after 40+ years of an abusive marriage). I had no idea what was going to happen when I said “no” to him for the very first time. But I did know one thing:
After 40 years of living in fear, I was done being afraid.
From childhood on, I had held an image of my stepfather that I never let go of. That image included all the emotional wounds and fears I had that never went away, even as I grew to be much taller and stronger than him.
After I moved away from home and started taking care of myself, I was grateful that I wouldn’t have to run into him anymore. I thought I was finally away from him once and for all.
However, a funny thing happens when you start working on yourself and healing from old emotional wounds:
You are almost always presented with the very challenges that caused those wounds in the first place!
Those challenges are often what forge the path to an empowered life. They are the true tests of your healing and growth.
Running into my stepfather again, having learned (and taught) about personal boundaries for several years, was the ultimate test for me. He was the person that created my initial fears of honoring my boundaries in the first place.
And when I saw him face to face at my mom’s front door, I knew the choice I made in that moment would have a lasting impact in everything I did from that point on. The funnel effect would spread that choice into every area of my life, either amplifying my confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem or squashing it.
It was a moment of decision where I was either going to buckle under the pressure and show up as the scared child I’d always been with him, or step into the adult I spent so many years healing into so that he could no longer have control over my life.
In moments like this, you have a choice. And the choice you make can be empowering or disempowering, depending on how you answer one simple question:
“Do I value that person more than I value myself?”
The answer to that question could affect your entire life. Your response will set in motion an exponential array of circumstances and scenarios (outcomes) that will either serve you or serve them.
Yes, a single choice can have that much of an impact in your life.
Remember, your outcomes stem from the decisions you make, which is why it’s so important for you to know who you value most.
It’s not a distinction of who is better, it’s a determination of the way you want to live as opposed to the way someone else wants you to live.