How external influences in your life can impact your decisions?

No matter where you in the world you live, your choices may be influenced by others’ opinions. However, it is important to be aware of how influences impact on your own integrity. In other words, what may be right for you in a situation may differentiate from what you have learned. This has the potential to keep you from living the life you dream. The life which you feel deep down is right for you.

As a child you learned from and trusted the adult figures in your life to show you the difference between right and wrong. Your parents, teachers, mentors, authority figures provided their own moral code while yours was in development. However, today you are able to distinguish your right from your wrong by yourself. Often, sometimes different to what you were taught.

What you learned as a child is not enough as you need to connect with yourself.

Your own personal integrity will guide you towards the choice that is right for you. Each situation will be different. Each of your choices will be different.

As you move through life you discover there are rules for behaviours and actions which society has deemed acceptable. When you follow them it may often detract from your own moral path of integrity. These rules lead you towards what the majority believe is right and wrong. However, most do not challenge when those rules detract from their own value system and personal integrity.

Therefore, it is important for you to understand and know how to differentiate between what society accepts and what is in line with your own personal integrity.

However, it is still important to listen to your trusted networks when you are in doubt or need a little encouragement. Take the opinions of your friends, family and colleagues with an open mind. Listen to your gut instinct. Be cautious. Validate those opinions before you make a final decision.

The advice offered to you by your trusted network may not necessarily be wrong because it was given based on their own morals, their own personal integrity.

Alternatively, the advice may feel wrong to you because it goes against everything you believe in. Your own moral code and personal integrity. If you take the well intended advice of your trusted network it will jeopardise what you believe in.

At this point you may be asking how you get through this dilemma.

The key is to know yourself, your beliefs and your own personal integrity.

To know oneself means practising awareness and asking questions. It may even mean challenging the norm.

“Why does something have to be this way?”

“Will the sky really fall in if I do what makes me happy?”

As you consult the opinions of your trusted network take note of how you are responding. Physically and emotionally.

At this stage. Do not change your habits, you are learning. Do what you feel will inspire your understanding. Connect with your mind, body and soul. Do you feel your muscles tense? Does your jaw clench? Do you feel a tightness in your stomach? Recognise these feelings as cues whenever you are faced with a similar situation.

When you are aware of your feelings and reactions, pick one action you want to change and challenge it. Set yourself reminders about what you will do and monitor your progress.

For example, the action I am currently working on is: `I will be more patient with others’ indecisiveness’. As an Aries I am generally impatient in nature, but through my awareness practise I have slowly developed a way of being patient.

Always reflect on the progress you make each day and when you are successful in changing your reactions – celebrate, because to change habits takes strength and courage.

When you have achieved one change, move onto the next which needs to be addressed.

Above all, stay true to yourself.

What habits have influenced your behaviours and reactions instilled upon you from childhood?

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