Never say “I have no choice” again

When I took on responsibility for founding a new company on behalf of the BMW Group in the USA eight years ago, I was thrilled and excited. Two weeks later, I was frustrated, depressed, and confused. He didn’t know it then, but he experienced these feelings directly as the result of a decision he made over and over again.

The point is, I was 100% sure that I had no choice about how things were going. My situation was out of my control, I was doomed and rudderless. Nothing could have been further from the truth, but I was confident and firm in my opinion. He had no choice but to fail.

  • Read: Marie Kondo is right: External disorder reveals your internal state
Never say “I have no choice” again
Never say “I have no choice” again

When BMW originally approached me with the idea of ​​founding a specialized training consultancy, Coaching I thought it would be a challenge but relatively easy as I’ve swam in these oceans throughout my career. These subjects are my jam; How difficult could that be? (I entered excitedly and enthusiastically). I quickly realized my naivete and utter stupidity; So I decided to sink into my “noise”. (Enter frustration, depression, and confusion.)

The “noise” or the internal critic or whatever you want to call it is that little voice in your head that keeps you small. It tells you that you are too stupid, old, unhealthy, inexperienced, or too little to fill your void and do what you want to create or achieve. It’s loud, it’s impressive, and all too often we lean on noise and believe it. Then eventually we step back, go or retire.

Image: Cecilie_Arcurs | Getty Images

The power of choice

The interesting thing is that the noise is there to keep you safe. You see, if you hear the sound, don’t try. The sound tells you that you have no options. So why bother? If you don’t try, you won’t fail. And who wants to feel the pain of failure, right? It’s a good security system if you think about it.

Introduces the idea of ​​power of choice. Eight years ago when I was excited, scared, and inexperienced, I didn’t think I had a choice. I leaned into the noise and decided that I was actually too stupid and ill-prepared to start a business from scratch. So I made a decision. I decided not to try and put all my energy into blaming others for why our new business would never work. “You don’t understand, my boss didn’t give me any tools, the US already has its own preferred suppliers, nobody wants what we have to sell, we’re too small a fish in a huge pond, etc.” I swam in the guilt game until my fingers went limp. I didn’t know then, but I made my first choice. Who chose? Be a victim of the situation.

  • You may be interested: 7 ways to “exploit” fear

Not knowing what to do instead of trying, I spread the guilt. This is a classic state of sacrifice, and being a victim is really a state of mind. It’s an option, one of the five options that we will always have …

  • Accept
  • Change it
  • See from a different perspective
  • leave it
  • Remain a victim of the event.

The simplicity of the five options; That is, the awareness of overcoming our painful obstacles overwhelmed me when I first found out about it. It really pissed me off as I couldn’t believe the simplicity and hadn’t learned it before. But the truth is that most of us do not know that when we are “locked up” we have options because we focus on the consequence, not the choice. And it is the desire or the fear of consequences that determine your choice.

I didn’t find out until months later, but in the first few months after founding BMW rpc (The Retail Performance Company), I made every decision completely unconsciously.

Still a victim

When I was living in the guilt game and apologizing about why our company had no chance of survival, I was still a victim of my situation. To be clear, this was a choice, and that choice is a strenuous one. I’ve spent many hours meeting potential clients defending the company’s lack of success without giving myself a chance.


I’ve designed the world so that when the company fails, it doesn’t blame me and see me as a failure. Really think about it; The energy consumption was immeasurable. Although I don’t regret this time in my life, I’ve been thinking about what could have happened if I had put energy into trying something / something during these weeks to move the business forward, rather than energy into thinking about all possible possibilities to get stuck to fail you and create obstacles later. It’s the same thought I have when I go to the post office and wonder how different the life of the clerk behind the counter would be if they would smile and help me instead of rolling their eyes because I filled out the wrong document got to renew it My daughter’s passport. You must be exhausted from blaming and pointing out all of your client’s shortcomings. Imagine if she put all her energy into making a new choice.

Interestingly, the victim state can serve you; but only if you are aware that you are in it. For example, if you start a new exercise routine where you use the new treadmill in your basement but haven’t even put on a shoe and tell yourself that you are too tired or busy, you are in a victim state. the blame game.

However, if you make a conscious decision to sit on the couch one night, eat chocolates and say out loud, “I’m going to immensely enjoy these chocolates tonight and exercise tomorrow,” with real intent, then exercise the next day about becoming aware of our victimized state that actually serves us because we enjoy it. The key is awareness, mindfulness and tolerance. There is a difference.

leave it

This is a good choice and if you choose to do so, consider the ramifications. Too often people make the decision to leave a situation when they actually run away. There was a moment eight years ago when I made up my mind, yes, I’ll just go. Nice choice; In fact, I was thrilled when I thought of the consequence: Nobody is going to judge me because I had already laid all the foundations to be the victim and blamed everyone else for the failure of a business (a company that wasn’t even an LLC was. limited) yet). I went so far as to tell my boss in Munich that I think it best for the company to get out of the game as soon as possible. In his wisdom he refused my refusal. He said no. Nice try. I wish you a nice weekend and everything will be fine on Monday. “It literally ‘took away my choice’ so I had to look for a new option.

I didn’t see him coming. Eight years later, I thank you every day for being a smart leader. He realized that he was listening to my “noise” and ran away; Typical fighting, flight or freezing behavior. If I had left I would have regretted it, and even if the choice had been to take at least one action, I would always have regretted the consequence.


We have all replied, “Sure, I’m fine …” when asked about a situation we say we are done, but in reality we are still thinking about it, or even thinking about it. Acceptance is when you have truly found forgiveness or have no emotion about a situation or a person’s actions. When my boss made that decision for me, I was in acceptance mode almost immediately. “Well, I can’t go so I have to succeed.” (In my memory, I said this out loud; I’m not sure it’s quite right.)

See from a different perspective

Image: Anika Huizinga on Unsplash

When someone crosses you in traffic, is your typical reaction a curse, a cute gesture, and you spend about three minutes after experiencing feeling hot, sweaty, and frustrated? If so, you are the 99% reacting like this, it’s normal. The question is how does it work for you? We know deep down that the person who was crossed did not do it on purpose; mainly because they have no idea who you are. It wasn’t personal, it just happened. However, we fall into the guilt game (victim mode) because of deep feelings about the situation.

Now let’s imagine someone meets us on the street and this time, after your blood pressure has dropped in shock, you should consider the following: Maybe this person is late for an interview and has been unemployed for 10 months. Or what if the person is a future father and has just learned that his wife is in labor? The point is, what if there is another perspective that needs to be considered? Taking into account a new perspective changes the rules of the game into positive new actions and even new options.

By stopping and considering someone else’s perspective when communicating, we can avoid conflict or even come to acceptance or change in a healthier way.

When my boss removed my option to quit, I immediately accepted the situation. Then I changed my perspective and began to see the opportunity. That day I contacted a former colleague who was CFO and within a week he had secured my accounting partners and the bank. Although the steps were small, changing my choice enabled a new sense of optimism that sparked new positive action.

This is the magical process we must have if we want to break loose: thoughts lead to feelings that lead to actions.

Have you ever politely asked your teen to get out of bed and scream, “Get out of bed!” This tactic rarely works, does it? By pointing your finger at someone and telling them to do something, you focus on the action. When we get a person to have a new thought about something, they will feel like they want to do it and act on their own. If instead of an action we have a new thought with the young person in the form of a question like “Didn’t I hear you say that there is a new girl at school?” Share, the teen will think about it. Think so differently, they will feel strong and act immediately, not because you told them to, but because you gave them something new to think about. This is the secret sauce.

And the real secret is that we can do this on our own. When we feel that we are stuck or that something is happening to us or in a situation with no other option, we can stop and change our own perspective, that is, have a new thought around us. Although it is not easy, I can confidently say that this is a game changer and is the beginning to improve the situation.

Change it

Often times, this choice is more difficult because of the consequences. Making changes takes effort and sometimes courage. When I headed a performance management team at Human resources Many years ago I was challenged to get employees who were not working to change this, but sometimes the consequences for them were terrifying. Usually the consequence was to outdo one another, to fail, or to fail. Truly, however, it could easily be a success or positive validation. The employee’s fear was greater than he wished.

For me, the desire to succeed was greater than the fear of being ashamed, of losing money, or of making a mistake. So I took risks, tried new products and when they didn’t work I changed my perspective and tried again. Note: This “success story” didn’t happen overnight. The process of getting in and out of the victim mode, changing, accepting, changing, etc., took me over and over again for years until I could really own my state and seldom become a victim of a situation. The good news is that with practice, the process of thinking, feeling, and acting became a habit, the best leadership lesson ever learned or practiced.

Eight years ago my stumbling block was based on feeling out of control and afraid of failure. When you get to yours, and at some point in your business or life trip, you may hear yourself say, “You don’t get it, I can’t do it because … fill in your void.” “If you do this Hear sentence, you’ve made a decision and are most likely in a victimized state. Acknowledge it, accept it, change your perspective, and then work on changing it.

You can’t miss anything you’ve just learned. Neither do I. Now that I have this power to choose, I have no more excuses. Every time I encounter an obstacle or feel stuck, I have to make a decision. accept, leave, change, etc. However, sometimes I still choose a sacrifice and when I do I really enjoy my chocolates and then I look outside, a change comes.

  • To Learn More: 7 Reasons We Fear Change

Similar Posts