Inner-Recognition Creates Choices

What is it that keeps us stuck with choices we don’t want? We mull the unresolved situation over and over again in our minds, yet we still can’t find a way out of our choiceless dilemma. We want to make a decision that gives us relief, yet most of us are caught in our ego’s perspective (and society’s) idea of what is right and wrong. We desperately want to do the ‘right’ thing. This has us look outside ourselves for other people’s responses as well as societal norms to guide how we look, what we say, and what we do. It also keeps our focus away from what is going on within us. Without our ability to fully recognize how it is for us BEFORE making a choice, we stay in this unending mental loop of no good choices. We are stuck waiting for something outside of ourselves to change or be resolved.

If we want to decide proactively and discover a choice that works for us, we need to step back from our old perspective around what is right and what is wrong or what others are doing.

From there, we get to focus on and recognize what is happening for us by identifying our feelings, recognizing the story we tell ourselves, and connecting the feelings and stories to a time a previous time in our lives – perhaps childhood or adolescence. Most of us are simply replaying the past in a current situation that triggers old feelings – and THOSE feelings are bigger than the current situation, making it almost impossible to see a way out.

For example, when my employer reduced my hours, title, and salary, I didn’t feel like I had a choice. My ego took over with thoughts like, “Things are tough out there. Be grateful you even have a job. I felt ashamed and didn’t take time to recognize how I was feeling or what I was thinking about myself. Instead, I blamed the leaders and complained to my co-workers. Nothing changed until I went inside myself to distinguish how I felt and let myself off the hook. Then, I was able to get “unstuck” and make a decision to do what was most loving for me.

Without the old story, we have a clearer lens, we can make space for what is, and then choose what is most loving for us from there.

The ONLY way out is through. This means taking our attention away from everyone else that is part of the circumstance/situation and focusing on ourselves. ‘How am I feeling in this situation? What is the story I am telling myself/believing about it? How is this feeling/experience familiar? When in my past have I felt this similar frustration/anger/sadness/ whatever it is?’  These questions allow us to recognize our own inner experiences. When we can recognize our inner experience, including the thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions, the old energy can transform through the lens of our perception. Identifying and expressing how it is for us allows the energy to move out. Once that happens, our perspective can change. When we realize that the world didn’t end, or no one left us when we spoke our truth, our ego can relax and the old story about what is right and what is wrong can drop away. Without the old story, we have a clearer lens, we can make space for what is, and then choose what is most loving for us from there. Without recognition, we stay in the old pattern and the old energy stays stuck and we continue to feel powerless/choiceless.

There is one caveat to this approach – it doesn’t work if you are still committed to determining who is right and who is wrong. If you are looking for blame and shame, you won’t find any new choices besides blame and shame. Instead, decide to move your point of view from who is right and who is wrong and consider what is right for you while allowing others to do what is right for them. From THIS perspective, we can forgive ourselves for not having a better way to honor what was best for us up until this moment. NOW – with our new perspective, we can choose what feels best for us, regardless of how others respond to our choices. This doesn’t mean we stop being responsible for what we have committed to with our families, children, or work. It DOES mean we stop doing what feels bad for us just to be seen as the good friend, mother, sibling, spouse, worker, or leader.  Instead, we focus on recognizing and resolving whatever keeps us from expressing our unique and authentic selves and doing what is right for us without making anyone else (or ourselves) wrong.

How can you recognize what’s right for you today?


Wendy Watson-Hallowell | The Belief Coach
Wendy Watson-Hallowell | The Belief Coach
WENDY is passionate about enabling individuals, organizations and communities to value themselves and each other in the ongoing process of change. Wendy has guided hundreds of individuals and over 750+ public and private sector organizations to achieve tangible increases in impact and performance. Her successful practice in mentoring and coaching has led to authorship of the book, ‘Live a Life You Love and Make a Living Doing It’. Over the last 30 years, Wendy’s skills have been honed in leadership roles at MTV Networks, The Rensselaerville Institute, and a variety of community based projects in her town. In 2015 she launched BeliefWorks and offers Belief Coaching as a way to address the root cause of what limits the results we can achieve both personally and professionally. This is an 'upstream' solution to change. Instead of changing limiting behavior, she focuses on changing the limiting beliefs that drive that behavior. In all cases, her clients and partners speak to the specific increases in achievement that her consulting, coaching and partnership roles make possible.

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