It starts with one choice.
It’s not the ability to know that you’ll make the perfect choice, every time (or else we’d probably never get started).
It’s not about knowing whether or not you’ll be able to make the right choice the next time.
There is only one choice that is important–and that’s the choice you make in this moment. The choice to live into your potential. The choice to choose your best interest. The choice to sometimes wrestle with the discomfort of breaking a bad habit or saying “no” to something that, in the long run, doesn’t help you.
The most important choice you’ll make is the choice you make right now.
I’ve written a little bit about some of the darker demons I wrestle with, but one of the milder struggles is biting my nails. I have done it since I was little, and it is one of the main cues to my husband that I am anxious or preoccupied.
It’s something I wish I didn’t do. I’ve been able to go for stretches without doing it–at one time, I went as long as five years without biting them. But during a major crisis about four years ago I found myself doing it without even thinking about it…and once I started, I found it hard to stop. As a result, I’m rarely proud to show my hands. I look at other women with beautiful nails who come to our booth when we’re at shows and I shove my own hands in my pockets.
There are times when I think, “You know, this doesn’t matter that much. I have bigger things to worry about.” But I can’t hide the fact that whenever I look at my hands, it still bothers me. I think about it every single time I see my hands.
Which tells me that I’m consciously making a choice, every time I bite my nails, to do something that isn’t living into the best version of myself. It is a choice. Even if I do it out of habit, I am choosing to leave that choice to autopilot.
And perhaps it isn’t so small. After all, isn’t every small choice a chance to practice for larger ones? If I choose to take care of myself in small ways, then the big ways become a natural outflow of my consistent choice to put myself as a priority.
I think the most important choice we can ever make is the choice to be our best selves right now. Sometimes that means making small choices (like the decision not to bite your nails, or eat that second cookie, or think a negative thought when you step on the scale). And sometimes that means bigger ones. But making a brave decision to be your best self in the present moment has the power to change everything–especially if you are brave enough to do it again in the next moment. And then the next. And the next.
The best part? It’s okay if you mess up. Because there will always be another “right now” to give you a second (or tenth) chance.
So once I’m done writing this blog post, I’m going to go paint my nails. When I have my nails painted, it helps me remember to choose my best self when I want to bite them.
Every moment is a new opportunity to choose you.
What choices–big or small–do you struggle with in the moment? I want to hear from you. Sometimes committing it to writing can make all the difference (says the girl who now can’t back out of painting her nails).