5 Ways to improve life when bad choices have consequences

Everything that happens to us is a consequence of choices made. Often the choice we make is nothing more than how we react to a situation. Surely you’re not surprised that choices have consequences?

men jumping because choices have consequences
Photo by Cam Adams on Unsplash

What things keep happening to you?

The company I worked for went bankrupt and they made me redundant. They shut the company down and reopened the next day with a skeleton staff. I had no savings, and there was no payout.

It wasn’t my choice for the company to go bankrupt. But I did choose to go and work for the company. I also suspected that bankruptcy was on the cards, I didn’t expect it so quickly, so I didn’t act on my instincts.

A few years later I was working for a health organisation. The training department was shut down. and I was made redundant, I had no savings, but at least this time I got a payout.

It wasn’t my fault, but I was never happy in that role. I said I wanted out, but could only do so if I got made redundant with a payout. In other words, if choices have consequences, maybe I did cause this to happen. After all, it was what I secretly had asked for. Either way, it definitely was the sign of a shit cycle.

Would you say you’re to blame if you had a car accident because somebody ran through a red light?

Probably not.

But these 5 reminders will help you deal better with life

1. Everything that happens to us is the consequence of choices.

However, you need to consider that you did make choices that caused you to be there right there and then. You decided to leave at 8.15, and you turned left instead of right. The other driver chose to leave home at 8 and decided to drive while distracted. We are not looking to blame anybody, what we are doing here, is showing you that choices have consequences.

Let me be clear. I don’t believe that we consciously would put ourselves in a position of harm or danger. I also think that we don’t always have the knowledge, wisdom and resources available to us that enable us to make better choices. So it makes it appear as if we don’t have the choice which keeps us stuck where we are. Trust me, I have been in that position many times.

“What we need you to understand is that choices have consequences and that at times, the choices that we make, are limited because of our situations. Everything that happens to us causes a reaction. Even how we react is a choice that we make.”

2. You choose how to perceive your life

About 11 years ago my father past away. The doctors diagnosed him with cancer in April of that year. In June I went home to say goodbye to him. My family talked about what would happen. My parents even talked about my mother finding a new partner.

One of the classic stories of that time is that my dad wanted to go to the visitor’s room to talk with me and my partner at that time. The nurse walked into the room and said: “Shall I unplug you?” My father responded with his cheeky humour and said something like “Is it so bad that you want to end my life now?”

The nurse was embarrassed; my parents thought it was hilarious. The story spread like wildfire around the hospital, my mom still remembers it as one of the highlights of joy in those final days. To me, this story shows how open and honest my parents were about the inevitable. My father passed away in September. (On a side note, ten years later, my mum went to the hospital to see a doctor. The same nurse looked after my mom, and they both laughed about the anecdote. My mum was told by the nurse that she was reprimanded for the incident all those years ago. )

About six weeks before my father passed away, my partner’s father passed away. He had been in the hospital for at least three months, with one thing after another going wrong. His family never discussed the possibility of him passing away and what would happen afterwards. His mom was decorating the house preparing for the day he would come home.

Three days before his passing my partner at that time decided not to go and visit him in the hospital. My partner’s mother and family didn’t prepare themselves for the inevitable. Nobody in the family discussed the possible outcomes, making the shock of his passing unbearable for my partner’s mother.

3. Find the lessons that will make you a stronger person.

To this day I feel blessed that I experienced both deaths so close to one another. I have learned so much from it and also the choices we can make in life. Neither of our families wanted our fathers to pass away, but we choose very different ways to deal with the inevitable. One choice was to live in denial, and the other was to create an opportunity for growth and moving forward.

During that difficult period for everybody, I realised I wasn’t meant to be part of that family and relationship. My choice is to communicate and to be honest.

4. Your whole life is a string of choices, consequences and responses.

It is human nature to be upset when something happens in your life. It is okay to grieve at the loss of a loved one, but ultimately you can make an experience destructive or an opportunity for growth.

The responses that we have to events in our lives can determine how we feel and the impact we can have in this world. We don’t want you to deny what has happened, and we want you to embrace the opportunity for growth. We want you to choose something better for yourself and others.

5. There is no right or wrong. There is no good or bad.

Your choices have consequences and there are no right or wrong choices as long as you’re ready to deal with the consequences.

Going through challenging times such as redundancy is a great time to notice how different people react. Some people panic, some people complain, others see an opportunity. Those challenging situations are a great time to see what people are like, they are also a great opportunity to discover who you are. The truth is, regardless of how you respond, most people end up on their feet anyway.

How are your choices impacting you? Share your thoughts in a comment.

Contact us to find out how Holistic Lifestyle Coaching can help you overcome challenging situations.