The Seven Wisdoms - WISDOM TWO - Make Empowering Choices | By Fran Fisher, MCC

The 7 Wisdoms: Shown by a Book Tree


This week we're continuing a series of articles by Fran Fisher MCC, based on her book, "Calling Forth Greatness, Seven Coaching Wisdoms for Transforming Your Life".

Fran is a Master Certified Coach, Author, Speaker, and Champion for Learning, Growth and Transformation. In this series, Fran shares her passion for bringing the empowerment philosophy and principles of coaching into everyday living. Her vision is a world where the coaching approach is woven into our fabric of life!

See all 7 wisdoms here.

WISDOM TWO - Make Empowering Choices

"We stand at the crossroads, each minute, each hour, each day, making choices. We choose the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, the passions we allow ourselves to feel, and the actions we allow ourselves to perform. Each choice is made in the context of whatever value system we've selected to govern our lives. In selecting that value system, we are, in a very real way, making the most important choice we will ever make." Benjamin Franklin

Coaches help clients raise their awareness of the impact of their choices.

Having choice is an innate human freedom. You can choose your attitude, opinion, or political or religious affiliations. You can choose your friends, your employer, your interests, habits and hobbies. You can choose between the red or green grapes at the grocery store.

Who you are is determined by the choices you make, so the quality of your life is directly related to how you make your choices.

Exploring the 'Choice Zone'

There is a 'Choice Zone' between you and the circumstances in your life.

Imagine standing in your 'Choice Zone' and viewing your life's circumstances through the lens of your "true-self" (vision, mission, purpose, core values, core strengths etc.) From here you can make empowering choices. Your resulting outcomes will bring greater well-being, ease, prosperity, harmony and freedom from fear.

Now imagine standing outside your Choice Zone and reacting to circumstances or letting the circumstances choose for you. How does that feel?

Act from Your True Self

According to William Glasser, author of Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom: "All behavior is chosen, but we only have direct control over the acting and thinking components. We can only control our feeling and physiology indirectly through how we choose to act and think." So, our beliefs and thoughts drive our behavior, which results in our experience and outcomes.

Acting from our 'true self', behavior tends to be more responsible, accepting, allowing, responsive, collaborative and trusting. Our experience and outcomes are more energizing, expansive and powerFULL.

Acting from a fear-based 'false self', our behavior tends to be more reactive, critical, competitive, blaming and controlling. Our experience feels more diminished, at the effect of the circumstances, energy draining, victimized and powerLESS.

Choose How You Respond to Circumstances

"We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them." Epictetus

What are circumstances in life? The baby crying. Traffic gridlock. Late for an appointment. Mother died. Car broke down on the freeway. Co-worker is absent today. Hair is turning gray. Spouse snores. Wallet was stolen. Computer hard drive crashed. Gasoline is expensive. Neighbor's dog barked all night. Single and lonely. Hate my job. Spouse leaves the toilet seat up. Missed my flight connection. Wrong person got elected.

Living from the 'inside' means making choices that are aligned with your vision, purpose, core values and empowering beliefs. It means shifting your perception, shifting your attitude, or finding an empowering view that brings you a sense of peace and freedom from pain or stress.

Make Empowering Choices

Making empowering choices in relationship to the circumstances in your life will support you in being more confident, calm, peaceful, creative, energized, free, satisfied, and more fulfilled.

Empowering choices re-connect you to your essential self. Disempowering choices disconnect you from your essential self.

Your empowered choices may take courage, faith, time and patience, but they will transform the quality of your life.

The circumstances may not change immediately, or ever, in some instances. The reality is that we have little or no control over many of the circumstances in life. For example, the weather, changing seasons, the commute traffic, hair turning gray, mother dying, or global warming. Other circumstances might be the result of choices we have made in the past or even in the present moment. For example, late for an appointment, took the wrong turn, someone is upset with you, you are sick because you have not been taking care of your personal well-being for a long time.

Here are some EXAMPLES of the 'Choice Zone':

  • Instead of being judgmental about my friend's behavior, I choose to be curious and inquire for better understanding. (Honoring my Values of Friendship, Compassion, Caring)
  • Instead of resenting the weather, I choose to look for ways to make it a great day. (Honoring my Values of Gratitude, Appreciation, Positive attitude)
  • Instead of complaining about my team's results, I choose to be part of the solution. (Honoring my Values of Partnership, Contribution, Responsibility)


Regardless of the circumstances, you have a choice about who you are being about the circumstances. And those choices make the difference between more negativity, upset and frustration or more inner peace, joy, harmony and ease.

Consider honoring this guiding principle in life for yourself, as well as offering others the opportunity to make their own empowering choices through your coaching.

"Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom." Victor Frankl

How to Benefit from this Wisdom:

As you read each of The Seven Wisdoms in this article series, you'll be asked to reflect on how you can apply these principles in your own life or work. Choose one way that works for you, and apply it to each principle. You could keep a specific notebook for this process or simply use your journal.

Here are a few ways you can benefit more deeply from this wisdom:

  • Your Calling Forth Greatness Inquiry: How am I responding to this circumstance? What is an empowering choice for me? Reflect on this Calling Forth Greatness Inquiry for a day or a week. Notice what shows up; notice the impact; notice what you learn.
  • Visualize how your life and the lives of others around you could be empowered using this Coaching Wisdom.
  • Using this Coaching Wisdom as your focus; Journal around your learning or design your own inquiries to deepen your learning.
  • Work with a support buddy; share your challenges, progress, and learning; celebrate your results!
Watch for Fran's Next Monthly Article, WISDOM THREE: "Aim for the Goal / Embrace the Process"

© 2019 Fran Fisher, MCC

Check out Fran's free teleclasses here.

If this article resonates with you, get the whole book: Calling Forth Greatness, Seven Coaching Wisdoms for Transforming Your Life, available here on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback formats.

If you liked this article on Fran Fisher's Seven Wisdoms, you may also like:

Fran Fisher Headshot

Contributing Author:

Fran Fisher, Master Certified Coach, MCC. is a champion for the power of coaching and its transformational impact in the world. She is one of the pioneers of the coaching profession and a founding executive board member of the ICF. She specializes in coaching and mentoring coaches for their MCC. Connect with Fran on LinkedInFacebook and learn more about her free resources for coaches at

Learn more about Fran & see all their articles here >>

Image of Tree of Knowledge by Rakic via Shutterstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.