"One's action ought to come out of an achieved stillness: not to be mere rushing on."
You come to the stop sign and stop, put your car in neutral, and take a breath. You are at the Choice Point. Choice point means you are poised and ready to choose. You are at a place mentally where you are not trying to move in any particular direction and your are not resisting or avoiding anything. Your emotions are in neutral as well. You are mentally and emotionally in the neutral gear.
Choice point is like your breathing. There is a point in between when your inhale ends and your exhale begins-that is the choice point. Choice point is also like the moment in between trapezes for the trapeze artist. You have let go of the past and get to choose what happens next. There is a quality of freedom in that moment. You are not trying to resist something bad from the past happening "again." You are not forcing something to happen in the future either.
When you are at a Choice Point you are able to freely choose.
GETTING INTO THE CHOICE POINT ZONE
There are a few tips that will help you get into your Choice Point zone.
- Close your door, turn off the ringer and vibrator on your phone, and turn off the computer monitor.
- Relax your muscles. Tension is a sign you are resisting or are stressed. Take a few minutes to relax physically. Do some stretching or try self massage on your neck and shoulders.
- Take a few deep breaths. Count from backwards from ten to one slowly, with one count for each breath. Chill out.
It may seem like a long time, but in reality it only takes about three minutes to bring yourself to a calm, relaxed state. Now you are ready to choose.
WHAT KEEPS YOU OUT OF THE CHOICE POINT ZONE?
You actually talk yourself out of the choice point zone. Your words and language are powerful. If you say, "I can't do math," "I can't read fast," "It's impossible to make a million dollars honestly," you have eliminated those choices as possibilities. We often interpret them as absolute statements and not something that can be changed. If we say that we can't do something or that something is impossible, chances are it is just a belief about ourselves. In NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) these language phrases that we say to ourselves that limit possibilities are called modal operators of possibility and necessity. These examples show limitations that are based on belief-not objective fact.
When you use the words "can't" or "impossible" you set up an outcome and then put it out of reach. When you use the words "should," "should not," "must," "must not," "ought," or "ought not," you are also limiting yourself. For example, "I have to balance my check book after every check," or "I should not eat too much meat."
NLP provides several tools to free up your thinking to get to the Choice Point zone. Ask yourself, "What would happen if I did?" or "What stops me?" or "How do I stop myself?" If you want to drill down further, ask:
Do I have a good understanding of what the goal, or outcome, is?
Do I understand why I want it?
Why do I think I can't achieve it?
What are the consequences if I do achieve it?
What can I do to get it?
Once the consequences and barriers have been explored, further examination may show the goal to be less challenging than originally thought and you will be able to enter the Choice Point zone.
In order to get closer to the choice point, replace "I can't" with "I won't" or "I am choosing not to." This makes it is a choice and not an absolute fact. For example, when you change "I can't give a speech in front of a thousand people" to "I am choosing not to give a speech in front of a thousand people," it puts you in the driver's seat. You are making it a conscious choice-giving a speech in front of a thousand people is a difficult task, but it isn't impossible.
"If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise."