Free To Decide

Photo by Florian Schmetz on Unsplash

An idea that many of my clients struggle with is the ability to accept they have the ability to decide what they want and what they do not want. Many of them feel that they can only make decisions for themselves if someone else agrees or approves of that decision.

This belief and behavior comes of course from trauma and traumatic conditioning and response. No one is born believing they cannot make their own decisions. They are trained to react that way.

People are trained to question their choices by others who make them feel that those choices are wrong or bad or stupid. People are trained not to trust what they really want because others make them feel that their choices have hurt them in some way or made them unhappy.

You are able to decide what you want and what you do not want without any input from anyone else.

Making your own decisions is another form of boundary setting. If someone wants you to do something for them, be in a relationship with them, choose what they want over what you want they are pushing over your boundaries. They are pushing over your free will. They are in fact taking away your right to choose for yourself and your life.

Someone invites you to a party but you do not really want to go. However, your trauma response is that if you do not go someone will be upset or unhappy or think something about you. So you go, even though you do not want to go. You can say no. You can decide what you want to do.

It is okay to make decisions without asking if they are okay with everyone or the right thing to do. Will they always be right? No, but that is the way we learn what we do not want to do next time. Are the decisions we make to please others right? They are likely not right at all for us. They are only right for what someone else wants and feels.

Think of the decisions you have made today. Were they made based on what you really truly wanted or were they influenced by what others wanted or felt? Were they influenced by traumatic conditioning? Did you actual want to do what you did today?

I have had clients who were making decisions about significant and important things in their lives not make the decision they wanted but the decision someone else wanted or that someone had made them feel they had to make. And making those decisions had resulted in these same clients being sad and disappointed with everything that happened after the decision was made.

Many times clients will say that when I tell them they can make their own decisions they feel uncomfortable, even scared. Believing that they cannot do so, they fear taking that step. The power of fear is tremendous and all traumatic response is based in fear.

Make decisions based on what you want. What you really, really want for yourself based on how you feel. Do not let someone or some past trauma rob you of your free will.