Where Does Freedom Begin?

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

This topic of FREEWILL or CHOICE is clearly an important one.

It is easy for us to say that we are ‘free to choose’ or that we have ‘freedom’, especially in America.

We are founded on the principles of freedom, of capitalism and democracy that says you are free to live (nearly) any way you choose, work at any job you choose, live in any town, city, or state you choose, drive any car you choose, etc…

If that is the case, however, then why is much of the population living unhappy and unfulfilling lives as if we are not free?

Do we even know what freedom means?

Do we even BELIEVE we are free?

We find ourselves stuck in unsatisfying dead-end jobs, feeling trapped in toxic relationships, out of options due to poverty, helpless due to physical or mental illnesses.

In all of life’s situations it is so easy to say “because of _______ I can’t have/do _______”


If that were true

  • it would mean we are victims trapped by circumstances and not free at all.
  • It would mean that every person in history who was in that same situation NEVER FOUND A WAY OUT because THERE IS NO WAY OUT.
  • It would mean that every person that is to come after us with similar circumstances is doomed because they fell into the very trap that destroys lives with NO WAY OUT.
  • It would mean our ONLY options are to succumb to addictions, take prescription meds, get on government subsidies, or stay in miserable jobs because we “need the money”, or stay in abusive relationships, be depressed, hopeless and powerless

(I’m not casting stones here… I’ve done, said and felt all those things myself)


But are those statements really true?

I think most people could get past those statements and agree that freedom means I have a choice to stay in this situations or to get the courage, drive, creativity, and self-worth to break free from the limits claiming to hold us captive. 

And what are those limits? I’m glad you asked!

As I see it, the more important truth here is:

WE ARE FREE TO BELIEVE WHAT WE CHOOSE TO BELIEVE ABOUT OURSELVES AND OUR CIRCUMSTANCES.

BELIEF REFRAMING EXERCISE

WHEN I CURRENTLY BELIEVE I CAN CHOOSE TO BELIEVE
I am not smart enough I can learn what I need
I am not skilled enough I can get the skills I need
I had a horrible childhood my past doesn’t define my future
I am my own worst enemy I am my best friend
I’ve tried before and failed to stop trying is to guarantee failure
But I’m afraid Faith cast out fear
But leaving my comfort is hard Staying miserable forever is harder
I need _______ to be happy I am happy while pursuing ______
I can’t do ________ I can do ___________
I’m depressed I’m empowered, alive, beautiful and FREE

Clearly, this list could go on for miles.

As you can see, this exercise is incredibly easy to do.

  1. Grab any piece of paper and make two columns.
  2. In the left column list the items that are the current “thought” limitations in life that are preventing you from true happiness and fulfillment
  3. In the right column counter all those limiting beliefs with an opposite reality.
  4. NOW CHOOSE TODAY TO CHANGE YOUR BELIEFS ABOUT YOUR LIMITATIONS

I know it may sound easier said than done, but after decades of battling my own demons, in the end, I realized it’s not difficult at all, it is a choice, it’s a decision!

I no longer choose to label myself as a victim of circumstances, today I am a warrior in pursuit of my dreams.

Most all of our problems in life stem from the disconnect we have from our UNDERSTANDINGS and BELIEFS.

We can say “I am free” and mean it, yet believe and feel we are trapped, helpless, and hopeless.

These are the subconscious limiting beliefs at the core of all of our indecisions, misfires, and our mindless and endless groundhog day experiences… nothing ever changes if we don’t’ change it. 

And labels are one of the biggest problems here. “I have PTSD”, “I am an addict/alcoholic”, “I have an eating disorder”, “I am poor”, “I am weak-willed”, “I don’t have time”, “I can’t because…”.

It we don’t first change the “I AM” statements we will forever be self-sabotaging any success we attempt or desire.

Once we discover that it is our BELIEFS that hold us captive and not our circumstances, we will then truly understand what real freedom is.

Real freedom is a choice.

And we are always choosing to live in the solution or be defined by our problems; whether we realize it or not.

It is a single decision to believe differently that can change a life immediately and forever.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” 

~ Henry Ford

Here’s to your best life now!! ~George 


Nikaos Strategic Coaching – I myself have overcome PTSD, Social Anxiety Disorder and a host of addictions and am now living my best life, every day. Does that mean it is easy, no… but I am no longer held captive by my limiting beliefs and unhelpful thinking patterns and I have found freedom from believing that my severe childhood physical, sexual, mental, emotional and spiritual abuses made me who I was; today I am happy and at peace with myself and the world and I am boldly pursuing my dreams in every area of my life. And part of my passion, calling and gifting is helping others awaken their inner-warrior and find the same freedom I have found.

Learn more about how I can help you on your journey to true freedom 

Why Doesn’t Freedom Feel Like Freedom

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Like ALL of our challenges in life, KNOWING something is true and actually BELIEVING it is true are two very different things, and most often, we just end up WISHING something was true.

We can get very excited about the “thought” of being free, and our morning meditations and visualizations of what life will look like and feel like when we have already achieved those deepest desires of our heart can inspire us to keep moving toward the prize.

But true freedom, as everyone here should already know (or you will soon enough because this is the core message on my heart that applies to everything), That when I talk about freedom I am rarely referring to material freedoms. Sure we may have needs that represent freedom like a new car, better living conditions, a successful business or financial freedom to allow for deeper relationships.

But more importantly, the deeper freedoms, and the more insidious prisons we find ourselves searching for a way out of are the elusive desires for inner-peace, contentment, joy, fulfillment, happiness, feeling connected, significant, empowered, even loved; these core longings of the soul we often mistakenly try to fill by increasing outer world advancements.

So why is it, if God (and you are free to define God as you choose) wants us to be free in spirit, fully alive, living out our best lives, loving ourselves (healthy, not ego) and serving the world and if we believe we are doing that to the best of our ability; then why is it so hard to feel those things?

IT IS ALL IN THE PROGRAMMINGWE STOP BELIEVING WE ARE FREE

Yesterday is a great example of this (and why I felt inspired to share this morning). The morning was difficult, I was having troubles getting inspired and engaged. I’ve given myself the freedom to work on what I want, when I want. That in itself was a difficult transition because most of my life I had been so rigid in my “set goals and achieve them” road-map to success mentality that if I had a goal in front of me and I didn’t feel like working on it, I would grind through.

But I discovered recently that there are always a dozen different goals to work on in my new business, or in my relationships, or in the areas of self-care or growth and learning. I realized that I was the one putting the rigid pressure on me to achieve “believing” a difficult grind is the “only way to success, freedom and fulfillment”.

But when I choose freedom today, I give myself permission to be me. When I love me, I don’t carry on in a taskmaster/slave relationship with myself.

When I feel stuck, unmotivated, unfocused and it begins to lean on frustration, I am not only FREE to step away from that, it is a soul-care imperative that I step away. Whether it be just for a break, a quick walk around the office, get some water (I never drink enough water anyway), or maybe a 5 minute meditation or prayer, or put on some binaural beats to clear the energy or call a friend for a quick chat; anything to get re-centered, refocused and back In-State or In-The-Flow or connected to God (I’m sure you know what I mean)

But yesterday wasn’t about that, no matter what I tried including changing tasks over and over and many steps mentioned above, EVERYTHING was out of sync. By noon I had a 1/2 dozen misfires and had no idea what was going on.

I realize in hindsight, it was at that point that I no longer “felt” free, because I no longer “believed” I was free, and therefore I no longer “was” free, but it was a cage I put myself in.

Always remember, we HAVE what we BELIEVE we have, and we ARE what we BELIEVE we are.

… AND THE DEATH SPIRAL ENSUES

I believed I was “supposed to be productive” or I would “fail” and then the catastrophizing mindsets begin to chant their ugly song.

“If I don’t get this project done I can’t move forward”

“If I don’t move forward then I will have to push back the deadlines”

“If I push back the deadlines then the customer will be unhappy”

“If I make my customers unhappy then I will lose them”

If I lose customers then my business will fail”

“If my business fails my family will struggle, and I will be humiliated, and I will never be able to start over, this is my only shot, and this can’t be happening I have to get back to work and… and… and… whew… exhausting!

And notice, the exhaustion comes from the internal battle that ran amuck, not from actually getting something physically productive done.

The Real Problem

So what did I end up doing yesterday? I just laid down to “rest my eyes for a minute” around one in the afternoon, and I passed out for 2 hours! Go figure, I had been burning the candle at both ends creatively and I emotionally was exhausted! That’s why I couldn’t engage in any project, body was fine; mind was done.

Free Again

So I got up at three, listened to some of my favorite music, made a healthy meal.. and I sat back down at the computer around 4 pm and then had one the most incredible epiphanies; I had been trying to grind out one aspect of my new company for several days, but turns out it was putting the cart before the horse and I needed to adjust my short-term goals to a whole different target.

Once I started working with a completely new agendy my creativity and energy began to flow like melted butter out of a hot pan and I probably looked like a madman on crack until 2 am because I was loving every minute of it! And the result was a giant needle-mover in my business that I didn’t even know was possible!

Once I gave myself the freedom to be me, to listen to my internal needs, and to love myself enough to meet ME where I am (instead of beating myself up with my own expectations and condemnation that “I wasn’t where I felt I should be by now), my joy, inner-peace, contentment, satisfaction, self-worth, feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment all returned in full-force.

Our freedom, or lack there of, is a product of our beliefs, thoughts, feelings and actions, in that order.

When we learn to tune into our God-frequency and live from inner-awareness, then we can begin to trust our inner-barometer to guide us into the “next best thing”.

Freedom is a choice, it is internal, and it is available 24/7 if we ALLOW ourselves to experience it.

May your hearts deepest desires be realized sooner rather than later,

George