I had dinner recently with Holly, Bianca and Tamika from Books and Books at Camana Bay in the Grand Cayman Islands and Holly asked the question, “At what point in our lives, do we lose the realization that we always have choices?” I thought that the question was so profound that it stopped our dinner momentum. It made us all pause, as we all realized that at some point, we all say or think that “we have no choice but to do xyz”, or we feel trapped in the situations that we find ourselves in as if there are no alternatives, no way out. While we acknowledged that  there are certainly some places in the world where women, men and children have limited to no choices, we readily acknowledged that most of do have many, many choices, particularly in our everyday lives and careers that we fail to acknowledge or recognize and we that we certainly don’t own.

Part of empowering yourself is recognizing and owning your power of choice. Every day that you awaken, you have a choice about how you will view and prosecute your day, the tasks before you, the perspective that you will bring to every situation. In your career, you must recognize that wherever you are going to work that day, you are CHOOSING to deploy your intellect and your energies in that organization. Now you might be saying, I don’t have a choice, I have to work, I have a mortgage, I have kids, I have a car note, etc., and while all of the above may be true, the key fact is that you need to have an income, but you are CHOOSING to garner your income from wherever you are receiving it. That is your choice, for you could choose to deploy your energies in another environment at your election. Part of recognizing your power is recognizing and owning that this is your choice.

Each of has the power to improve or change our circumstances, to move into a mentality and actuality of maximizing our success simply in the power of choosing to do so. Once you make the choice to maximize your success, then you move to action, to using your tools (your experience, your academic background, your network) to develop a strategy to do so. But you must CHOOSE to act, not to wait for the opportunity to come along, not to wait to be recognized at work, not to wait to articulate your desires for a new challenge or for a promotion, not to wait for someone to decide if you might be interested in a new challenge, but rather for you to exercise your power, your power of choice to choose to make it happen for yourself.

There is power in the ability to choose, recognize it, own it and exercise it!