Why Choice Could Be The Key To Improving Your Mindset And Mental Health

Sometimes in life we become stagnant, and our ability to make big changes seems almost non-existent. It could be because we're clutching on to past mistakes and unconsciously letting them define who we are and where we could go in life. Or it could be pinned on decision paralysis, where we're fearful to make the wrong move and instead make no decisions at all — which is a decision in and of itself.


And, while we may take steps to improve our mindsets and mental health through practices such as positive affirmations and journaling — there are a variety of techniques — it could be the lack of empowered, intentional choices in our lives that contributes to our feelings of victimhood or failure. If you've found yourself living a life you didn't take much of an active role in choosing, you may be missing out on the process of creative manifestation and building an aligned life.

An intentional beginning

To utilize the power of choice in your life, start with committing to a new chapter. This may look drastic, from putting in your notice at work to pursue your own business to moving to a new city that's more aligned with your values, but it can also look like small changes in the direction of the person you once envisioned yourself being. The key part of starting anew is releasing the limitation that your past determines your future. Giving yourself a clean slate, so to speak, is integral in allowing yourself to experience a rebirth and choose a new direction.


When we feel we're a victim of circumstances and don't have much say in where we've landed in life, feelings of helplessness can shape our perspective. This is why choice, even if it's a smaller choice at first, can greatly improve our mental health. The empowerment of actively making intentional choices can lead us down a vastly different path.

Work with the future and release the past

Perhaps you've heard the buzz around 'future self' exercises in the wellness community over the past few years. There is something to be said for the profound power of visualizing what it would feel like to be your future self. Perhaps this is someone who pauses before reacting or has compassion and patience for others. Maybe it's someone who wakes up and meditates for 20 minutes before checking their phone. The key to reinventing your future self is to, again, not let your past self hold the reigns. You can release that person now while also thanking them for that stage of your journey.


Visualization is a powerful tool to bring into being that which we cannot yet see in the physical. We do this intuitively in small ways, such as picturing what we'll do over the weekend or mentally putting together an outfit before a big date. But you can use visualization to make larger shifts in your life and to feel what it would be like to be someone who has the freedom to use their time as they wish or the loving, healthy relationship they desire.

Commit to your creativity

Choice is an act of using our inner-creative power. When we create, rather than consume or passively settle, we feel empowered. And this isn't limited to creativity in the form of art but through the lens of seeing your life as something you get to create. We've likely all heard how the brain cannot always tell the difference between reality and imagination, and using this to our advantage can propel us to the place we'd prefer to be.


Committing to this creativity and actively enjoying our role as creator in our reality will greatly improve our mindset. This means monitoring the treadmill of unhelpful thoughts about the past and instead choosing a new gear that projects us into the future selves we'd like to be. It takes patience, consistency, and self-compassion but is well-worth the effort. Embodiment of our chosen path is a slow and subtle shift that makes big waves.

Fill the mold each day

Filling the mold of who we'd like to be and the life we'd like to live takes a small amount of effort and focus daily. If you're ready to shift your life into that of an artist, you begin taking steps to embody the daily habits of an artist. What does she do first thing in the morning? What does she wear? What sort of events does she attend? Does she dedicate a few 15-minute blocks of time to her painting, writing, pottery, or sketching? Does she allow for more downtime where she can sit quietly and let inspiration come to her?


Filling the mold is allowing yourself to take on a new identity in smaller increments. You'll see the changes of the choice manifest in your physical reality slowly over time, and others will, too. The practice is similar to romanticizing your daily life, and you'll likely be in awe of how apparent it is that you truly are the creator of your own experience.

Reflect on past decisions you learned from

True change and choice require some honest self-reflection. Examining our choices from the past and the places those decisions led us to is an important part of the practice. This is how we learn not to make the same mistakes twice and how we identify what choices were right for ourselves. Exercising caution when making larger leaps and also knowing when staying stagnant is the less empowered choice are skills that must be developed over time.


When we examine the types of choices we don't wish to repeat, we gain immediate power. We're informing ourselves that we are no longer the type of person who makes those choices. All guilt and shame can — and needs to — be released. We must let go of regret to finally feel free. In contrast, be sure to also reflect on the instances where you made the correct choices. Acknowledge that you are in alignment with the self who made those choices, and you will continue to make expansive decisions that nurture your life path.

Pour yourself into your new narrative

Sometimes referred to as "self-authoring," fully embodying your new narrative might be nerve-wracking, but it can also be an incredibly fulfilling and fun venture. Knowing the difference between fear due to actual danger and fear due to stepping into the great unknown is an important skill. If you're making a bold choice and choosing a new direction, experiencing some anxiety and fear is completely natural. Leaving behind the familiar and comfortable is likely to be jarring to the body, mind, and soul. But remember — not making a choice is also a choice.


These expansive, calculated risks are the ones that take us to the places we've envisioned ourselves going — the places we couldn't go if we remained stagnant in comfort out of fear of failure. Empowered choice is the key to an improved mindset. It's through our commitment to creativity, reflection of the past, and work with the possibilities of the future that we can experience alignment and satisfaction in exploring our human potential.