We all like to think that we are in control of the decisions and choices that we make throughout our lives. How many times have you regretted your decisions or thought if I could do that all over again I would do it differently. Being aware of what influences your choices can help you make more informed decisions.

Making choices is not always easy because sometimes in order to make a choice you have to let go of something else, something that is familiar and familiarity gives the feeling of safety. Even if the situation, person or thing that you need to let go is not good for you or does not serve you well you still hold onto it because on some level it feels better than the unfamiliar and the unknown.Stepping into the unknown or the thought of it can bring up fear and vulnerability which in turn creates anxiety. When you feel anxious you will be faced with many reasons for not doing what you truly want to do. At the same time as this is going on ones ego (which is the centre of consciousness) needs to be strong in order to withstand this internal tension. If it is not, then you will possibly make a choice which on some level  feels safe. If this happens over a period of time you can end up leading a very safe and unfulfilled life and repeating the same patterns of behaviour that do not work. This in turn does not allow one to grow as a person. 

This pattern of behaviour can start in early childhood where the child, in order to feel accepted by parents, authority figures and/or peers, learns to deny or split off this part of themselves.

You may be asking  what happens to the emotions and feelings attached to what you originally wanted to do but felt unable to. Well they have to go somewhere and if you continue to make choices that restrict your personal growth these feelings and emotions do not go away, they become repressed. Feelings that are repressed go into the shadow part of us but instead of staying locked away for ever they tend to spill out, often in moments of unawareness. Examples of this happening are road rage, anger, self criticism, bullying, scapegoating
 etc..  For some people, as this anxiety builds up (this can happen over a number of years) depression can set in. Some may tell you that there has been no major traumas or incidents that would cause them to feel depressed, they just feel down and there is no reason why they should feel like this. As a person gets to know themselves through therapy they often get to know how difficult they find it to have a voice.They learn about themselves and start seeing themselves in a different light. By  strengthening their ego they are able to make choices that feel right for them or if they fall back into the old familiar they are aware of it