While my corporate quality career is long over, there is one phrase that continues to stick with me – “Why do we never have enough time to do it right, but we always have enough time to do it over”. The need to do it over was in part, because we either didn’t fully understand, anticipate, or plan for the downstream impact the changes that were being implemented would create.

When working on a project, creating new products or services, marketing a program, or implementing a policy change, among others, we work to understand the downstream effects and choose a path forward based on what we know of the ramifications identified. Yet, how often do we apply the same thoughtful approach in our personal lives?

Here are some scenarios in which there are two pathways we could follow. Which path would you follow and does your choice incorporate or bury the ramifications.

 Pathway One  Pathway Two
 Eating healthy foods  Eating things that are yummy but bad for you
 Learning to work through your emotions  Lashing out with out of control emotions
 Having a two-way conversation  Insisting it’s your way or no way
 Spending responsibly  Over-spending
 Blending work and self-care  Being a workaholic
 Working to understand another’s viewpoint  Getting angry when someone disagrees
 Taking responsibility for yourself  Allowing yourself to become a victim


Sometimes there are subconscious patterns at play that lead us down one path or another. This could include an unconscious loyalty to a parent, a buried trauma creating a pattern of self-sabotage, a feeling of never being enough, or a pattern of blaming and deflection to keep from being or feeling at fault.

While we may know the ramifications of our choices, other forces play into our decisions. Sometimes we lack the information necessary to understand the full impact of those ramifications or are given conflicting perspectives. Other times someone may choose not to give us all the information needed to make an informed decision or they guide us towards the decision that is right for them.

The start of my healing journey highlights some of these elements. A doctor recommended a surgical procedure without having even done an exam. He never mentioned any problematic outcomes, but I had heard from others about the ramifications of his recommended option.

Ultimately I chose a different path of care after listening to others, my intuition, and then taking responsible action to investigate other options and make a decision that was best for me.

When life presents you with a challenge or an opportunity, do you consider the following when making a choice?

  • Hidden consequences?
  • The questions you have answered or avoided?
  • Short-term and long-term impacts?
  • The ways your decisions affect others?
  • If you are imposing your beliefs on others without regard to their specific circumstances?
  • Times you were influenced by another and lived to regret it?
  • Your ability or right to know what is best for someone else?

Transformational work has many layers that can make it more difficult to anticipate the downstream ramifications of our choices, actions, and decisions. However, with the clarity each layer provides, we can be open to doing things differently – whether it be shifting beliefs, uncovering family patterns, or using color to change our perception. If you are ready to follow different pathways to your choices, please contact me to discuss transformational coaching options that will best support you.

© 2022, Systems of Change, LLC