How to Get Out of Your Own Way – Choice, Not Chance

createmorefreedomThe first act of freedom is to choose it.” ~ William James

Life is about making choices.

This has become sooooo apparent to me this past year as I attempt to intentionally design my life for the next few years. I felt an overwhelming sense of decision fatigue – the kind I feel walking into a supermarket and trying to buy toothpaste seeing shelves upon shelves of various forms of spearmint vs peppermint (?!!) and would I rather have whitening power or flouride… but on a larger scale.

(BTW this is why I LOVE traveling to developing countries where I walk up to a wooden kiosk and ask for toothpaste and they slap on the counter the one kind they have, and I happily walk away having found my toothpaste).

While not many of life’s choices are as lightweight as choosing between flavors of toothpaste, we make them every day – ALL day – without being conscious of many of them. This tendency to go into autopilot and not realize we are making choices in each moment can bite us in the butt.
What you choose and how you make choices (or don’t make them) is central to your inner confidence and sense of authenticity.

Choices do, however, come in two flavahs:

1) ACTIVE: When you make something happen and live with the consequences, and
2) PASSIVE: When you “choose not to choose,” and continue to live with the status quo because the stakes appear too high for any changes choice might bring. This one can be a comfy place, but it gets booooooooooring.

Active choices can be painful. Feelings of fear and vulnerability often come along with the territory. When you acknowledge you have choice in the matter, you are more exposed (cross dem legs!). Alas, just because we know what’s best for us doesn’t make it any easier.

This active choice-making is risky, too. The most difficult choices don’t have any absolute right or wrong; there is no perfect solution. It takes great inner confidence (and courage) to face these hard decisions.

On the other hand, putting off decisions, or not taking the time to clarify what it is you want or believe in (which in general leads to crappy choices), can have serious backlashes in the way of stress, depression, discouragement, a total lack of feeling authentic, and even physical illness.

Procrastination and ignorance seldom have any favorable results. But that’s kind of obvious.

The take-home point is this: Once you accept that your choices create your experience and your reality, even if you don’t like what you created so far, YOU ALSO GET TO CREATE YOUR NEW REALITY – THE WAY YOU WANT IT TO BE! And now you can do so more mindfully, deliberately and, skillfully…which freakin’ rocks!

Though in the end the choice is yours, getting to the place to be able to make a decision doesn’t have to be a solo trip. Ask for help. Talking things out with another person can be helpful, especially someone who is on your side but has nothing at stake in your decision (like a coach, a spiritual teacher, or a counselor). Just putting voice to your concerns may help you sort things out, and writing down the pros and cons will give you more clarity than keeping everything in your head.

You can also learn skills that help you make choices that are more clear, deliberate, and in alignment with your passion and values (check out this recording of the oldie-but-goodie Jedi Juice™ training call, “The Power of Choice – and the freedom of owning your shit,” here).

Getting some distance (emotional or physical) may make sussing out your options (and what you WANT) easier, especially if that distance allows you to see the reality of the situation, rather than the way you wish it could be.

Even with thoughtful consideration, not every choice will be the right one. But remember this:

“Wrong” decisions don’t make YOU wrong.

Trite as it may sound, one of the ways we learn is through the mistakes we make. And on the flip side, one way we build confidence is to take risks, commit to a choice/decision, and succeed, even if its after a few (or many) failures. We won’t ever have that chance if we don’t ever deliberately make a choice!

Not each of the choices you make will have profound effect on the whole of your life. But the ongoing and continuous act of making choices – in full awareness – will.

Making choices you believe in, choosing intentionally and with keeping your deepest values in mind, and taking responsibility for your choices – these are some of the markers on the road of living an aligned life.

What choices do you know you’ll have to make today? How can you enter into them with more awareness of what values you are saying “yes” to and what values you are saying “no” to?

Set the intention to be more aware of the opportunities for choice in your day today, and make them in alignment with what the real, authentic you desires.

Ana Verzone is known as the Soul Midwife She helps individuals awaken their lives and personal freedom with confidence, clarity, self-love, and passion. Her monthly eZine goes out to thousands of subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download her FREE 7-day Clarity + Courage Course by visiting


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Days 96 to 100 Happy Dance! What I’ve Learned After 100 Days of Living Full On

Yeehaw! It is hard to believe that I started this journey just over 100 days ago (I wrote this late last night which was technically Day 101;) Since coming back from the river over the long weekend, I’ve had some time to reflect on what I’ve learned so far on this year-long (and hopefully lifetime!) adventure.

I was on the Smith River Monday and Tuesday, and as I pulled into town after those awesome days on the water, I noticed several things: 1) I was undeniably tan. SO TAN compared to others here in the Pacific Northwest just coming out of the Winter/Spring transition. And despite my history of melanoma, it meant to me that I was playing outside, which made me happy;)

2) I also noticed that I was so relaxed the rest of the week, and that I was less easily irritated and much more patient and present…and freakin’ HAPPY!

I know this shot is cheesy, but I’m singin’ it anyway – 100 days, baby!!!!

Well, I did admittedly catch on fire a bit when someone had been snarky with a student midwife I was teaching. I got all motherly and protective! You should have seen it. I reared up for her like a mama moose;) This happened in the privacy of the two of us hanging out, of course (I have learned a bit of diplomacy over the years) – but I found it more entertaining than unsettling. I’m not kidding though – other than that incident, it was like even if I had WANTED to get pissy I couldn’t have. It was awesome! And this has been growing ever since I started this challenge.

It has been interesting observing my mind this week and reflecting on how things have changed since I started this challenge. Something would happen and I’d say, “Oh bummer. This is totally going to irritate me.” Then I’d wait for the reaction…and it wouldn’t come! I watched it happen a few more times and I thought, “Damn! This shit really works!”

What shit am I referring to?

  • self love
  • compassion
  • responding instead of reacting
  • observing the mind throughout the day (and sitting meditation)
  • taking care of my body – rest AND exercise…and I suppose lots of great sex doesn’t hurt either;)
  • honoring my values
  • surrounding myself with good friends and family
  • making decisions (even HUGE ones!) based on integrity with who I am and what my dreams are
  • building my confidence and courage to take the actions that move me forward towards my dreams
  • striving to be as present as possible with the people I interact with
  • being outdoors as much as possible
  • …and more

In short, all those things make up the definition of what Living Full On means for me. And when I do all those things, I am a happier, more joyous, more compassionate, patient,

Just for kicks I thought I’d toss in this photo of my Happy Mentor: my mom. Hee hee! She’s 77!

loving, and present person. So don’t think for a moment that living Full On is a selfish thing! When you live Full On, you bring light and love and joy to the world.

I think the last time I felt like this – energized, passionate, calm, present, happy, patient, loving, compassionate – so consistently was when I was a climbing guide and living out of my car. It was brilliant. And it IS brilliant to feel that again.

I confirmed what I knew to be true but had a hard time implementing and experiencing in a balanced and regular way while working full-time (and then some;) and living far from big mountains: that I CAN feel that way again. I can feel that way without having to be in the mountains every day of my life and doing scary shit and traveling to remote places. Yes, I WANT to keep doing those things – and WILL. But there is a peace that come from finding this SOURCE, this place to tap into wherever I am.

It doesn’t mean it is OK to ignore my values of being in the outdoors, or finding adventures, or feeling healthy and sexy and alive. It simply means that when I can’t get or do exactly what I want, I am learning how to still feed my soul, and how to do so in a balanced way.

I think the next chapter of this journey is going to involve learning more about balance…refining this dance of living Full On every day.

I’d love to hear about what you do to find balance in your life to give me some ideas for what’s coming up. Please let me know in the comments below. I’m sure others will love to read about it as well! So…

How do YOU balance your passions with other parts of your life?

Also, what does Living Full On mean for you?

Note: Ana Neff is a personal life coach, mentor and Freedom Junkie™ She helps individuals awaken their lives of freedom and personal success with confidence, clarity, self-love, and passion. Her monthly Freedom Junkie ™ eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting