Rich Perry

STRENGTH & FOCUS: 5 tips to claim your independence from bad choices that stole your freedom

STRENGTH & FOCUS: 5 tips to claim your independence from bad choices that stole your freedom
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

We all know why we celebrate Independence Day here in America. It’s the day our forefathers stood up and said, “Hey, we’re sick and tired of doing this shit. We’re done!” Then they slammed the mic down and the show was over. It went something like that, right?

Have you ever been sick and tired of certain behaviors and choices, but you still continue to do them? Now, I’m not talking about paying bills or visiting those boring relatives every Christmas; I’m talking about repeating choices that no longer serve you. We all make mistakes from time to time because we’re human and stuff happens. But what if you make the same poor choices over and over again? Those bad decisions are no longer mistakes because you should have learned your lesson the first time, and there’s absolutely no excuse after the second or third time.

Let’s be honest with each other for a moment.

Killing an entire bag of potato chips or cookies is a poor choice, and nobody put that food in your mouth.

Hanging around toxic people or in bad situations is a poor choice and nobody forced you to be there.

Making bad investments or spending money to keep up with the Joneses is a poor choice and nobody made you spend that money.

Maybe you’re wondering…

Is it possible to break the cycle?

Yes, absolutely! But you have to be the one who breaks the cycle.

I’m going to share five quick tips to help you claim your independence from bad choices that stole your freedom!

1. You are No. 1.

You have to see yourself as the No. 1 person in your life, and that means respecting yourself enough to make smart choices that serve and benefit you as a person. When you know your worth and what you bring to the table, then you won’t settle for anything less. Know that you are important and deserve the best things in life.

2. Take responsibility for your actions.

Take ownership for your thoughts and actions and hold yourself accountable. Nobody put those cookies in your mouth, forced you to hang around negative influences, or made you waste money on bad investments. You always have a choice, and you’re responsible for the choices you make. Likewise, you’re also responsible for the choices you don’t make. When you make good choices, then give yourself a pat on the back. When you make bad choices, then it’s time to pay the piper.

3. Forgive yourself.

Remember that you’re human, so if you make a poor choice, give yourself permission to let it go. You’re not going to do yourself any good by holding on to past choices and beating yourself up for yesterday’s mistakes. Learn to forgive yourself and then let it go. However, you’re not allowed to screw up on purpose and use forgiveness as a “get out of jail free card” because it doesn’t work that way. If you make bad choices, then you’ll have to suffer the consequences.

4. Replace bad choices with good choices.

One big reason people fall back into a rut is because they didn’t replace the bad behavior with a better behavior to fill the void. Let’s say you want to stop overeating. Rather than substituting that downtime with something unproductive, like watching extra TV, you should make a healthful decision, like enrolling in a gym. If you want to leave your current social circle because the people are toxic, then don’t just lock yourself away in the house because then you’ll get lonely and possibly depressed. Instead, find a hobby or join a social group that promotes interests that serve you. If you want to make better money decisions, then hire a consultant who can advise you or, at the very least, educate yourself.

5. Reach out and ask for help.

If you need help, then ask for it. Hire a coach, get an accountability partner, or ask someone you trust to offer sage advice. If you’re asking for help from a non-professional, then make sure this person has experience on the matter and can actually be helpful. This isn’t a bitch session to complain about life; make sure you’re being productive. You should be focused on finding solutions, not crying about problems.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found these tips beneficial. If you’d like to read more articles like this, then I encourage you connect with me personally at and follow me on social media.

Have a Happy Fourth of July and be excellent!

Create the future you want with the choice to change now! This column offers Strength & Focus for the moments you need to overcome the distractions of the week, each and every day. Look for it on Mondays on NEPA Scene.