If you’re like me, you have a voice inside your head. A voice that sometimes tells you that you’re dumb or stupid or wrong, that you’re not good at anything. At other times, that same voice tells you that you’re better than others, that you deserve it, that you’re a genius. Ever wondered where all those opinions come from? Are any of them actually your opinion of yourself?
If you want to find the answer, listen to the voice. I don’t mean listen in the sense of following instructions, but listen with the intention of identifying the source of the words. Who else has described you that way?
Before you start going down the blame path, the point of the exercise is not to blame anyone but simply to realise that we all carry around other people’s opinions, and often mistake them for our own. If you pay attention to what’s passing through your mind, you’ll recognise some of those opinions, and who owns them. If you don’t pay any attention, you could very well be letting someone else drive your car.
In the world of choice theory, counsellors use the analogy of a car for your life or life situation. When discussing what’s going on in your life or a particular situation that you’re upset of anxious about, a choice theory counsellor may show you a diagram of a car and ask you where you’re sitting in the car. Are you behind the wheel or is someone else driving? Are you in control or have you handed control over to someone else?
Choice theory, as the name suggests, is about the power of choice. Choice theory tells us we all have the power to choose what we think, say or do. The challenge is whether you accept the responsibility of exercising that power.
Once you accept the responsibility there is no-one else to blame. You also come to realise that the only person whose behaviour you can change is the person you see in the mirror – you.
For an easy to understand overview of choice theory see: http://www.brucedavenport.com