Three Choices for Getting Unstuck

Categories: Influencing

3 Doors_iStock_000033474504SmallAre you feeling stuck or stumped with regards to a situation, problem or issue of concern? Is there something bothering you, or worse, affecting the quality of your life and relationships?


Many participants in our coaching programs as well as our Influencing Options training programs know the simple magic of the Three Choices: Influence, Acceptance and Removal. Here’s a short recap for those who would like to move forward and move on!


Influence: You can always choose to try to change a situation or try to bring about change in another person by influencing. This requires effort, time, energy and sometimes courage. There is some risk: it could get worse. But for certain, if this issue or problem is important to you, then it may indeed be worth the effort to try to change it. If you’re not confident about your influencing or confronting skills, get some help or assistance.


Acceptance: Sometimes, it’s just not worth fighting for . . . or as my mother used to try to encourage me to pick my battles carefully, there are some things that are just a good idea to give up. The important thing to remember is that this does not mean you “lose” in a situation; in fact, choosing acceptance, or letting go, allows you to prioritize what’s most important to you, what you want to spend your time defending or influencing, and what to let go. Acceptance means you give up any moaning, groaning or complaining about the issue, too. It’s not letting this issue or problem take up any more energy in your life. If later you decide to revisit the concerns, that’s okay, but for now, you let go and move on.


Removal: Sometimes, you can’t influence (or you don’t want to), and you can’t accept it (it’s too important to you), so you can choose to remove yourself from the situation, job, relationship or area that’s causing the distress. The cost here can be high—revenues, relationships, business, etc. but often the costs of not removing are greater. There are mini-removals, too, where you create boundaries around the impact something may have on you so as to minimize the effects.


Regardless of the context, these Three Choices empower us to stay out of “victim mode” or the “toxic zone” where we are unhappy, frustrated, stressed, upset or even depressed. We always have these choices and as we increase our awareness, we become more effective and can focus on the things that really matter to us.

Libby Wagner
Author: Libby Wagner

President, Chief Visionary Officer