Mónica De Salazar
3 min readSep 27, 2016

3 ways to deal with the feeling of you not having a choice

Sometimes we feel dragged around by the events and circumstances in our daily lives. It’s almost like we “don’t have a voice”… or choices, and we feel like we just have-to-do things we don’t really like.

But really?

You do have choices but it is important for you to realize that and do something about that

Lets say a friend is asking you to come to a party, but you have a very important exam next morning. This might be a situation where you feel dragged by the circumstances, and feel like you can’t say “hey, buddy I have a higher priority and will not make it to the party”. To say such thing may sound rude, even when true to you.

You might say something like “I have an exam tomorrow that is very important, but how about getting together next weekend?” Any better? It’s not like you always have-to-do everything you’re wished to do, or expected to do.

Set your priorities straight, and negotiate from them

Once in a coaching session I was talking to this coachee on how he was accepting awful relationship conditions. All along he was telling me he might as well get used to it and then everything would be O.K.

Then I asked him: “How about we cut your leg off?”

He said: “No! Why?”, and then I told him: “Why is so many people willing to negotiate the unnegotiable?”

Would it be O.K. if it was about just cutting the toes, or up to the ankle? Would that be fine? Of course not!

We all need to know what truly matters to us (including mental and emotional well-being) so that we can be clear of the things where we can be flexible and those that are completely out of the question.

How about sleep hours, our finances health, our own health, individuality, job performance, time, people treat to us…? You name it.

Which leads me to…

Learn how to choose your battles

Let’s face it, we really don’t need to win at everything (unless you’re a self-centered person who thinks that the world exists to listen to you, help you out on your trouble, and pretty much be at your service). So when we realize we don’t need to have every single victory we figure out that there are things and situations where we can take a step back and give in, not because we’re weak or uncaring but because it really is no big deal to us.

So, let’s say you’re having lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in quite a while. What’s the priority? Maybe just getting together with your friend. Then you’re friend tells you that he/she just became a vegetarian and that he/she would appreciate if you could go to a salad place instead of that burger place you were thinking about. Think again about what the priority was. You may find out that unless the food in the salad place can food-poison you or something really bad for what your personal priorities are (those things you cannot negotiate) then you can give in on this.

There’s no need to make a debate out of everything.

Still feel like you have no choices? You always have a choice, you just have to figure it out.

Mónica De Salazar

Green MBA + #CreativeProblemSolving Consultant. Focused on Business Strategy for Digital, Social and Environmental transformation. Founder of @LifeStrategics.