In conversation, I say, “I have to…” a lot. In reality, it’s not always true. Truth is, we choose. Always.
Practice saying “choose to” instead of “have to” and watch what happens.
It’s amazing how the simple act of changing one simple word can shift the entire meaning of a phrase.
Let’s try it. When I say “I have to”, it feels like work. Pressure. Obligation. I instantly have an aversion to it as if I’m being dragged along. And it sets me up for disappointment if I don’t do it.
Now let’s shift focus. Say, “I choose to.” Feel the difference? It’s a whole other energy. I feel stronger and focused. I am taking responsibility, so instead of being dragged, I’m now looking forward to it. Or, maybe I’m not looking forward to doing it, but I look forward to it being done. I know I’ll have a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction afterward.
As you go through the day, notice when you say, “I have to” and change it.
“I have to take my medicine.” or “I choose to take my medicine.”
“I have to pay my bills.” or “I choose to pay my bills.”
“I have to be nice to that person even though she’s been a jerk to me.” or “I choose to be nice to that person…”
There is a great deal of power in saying I choose things, in two ways.
- It gives a sense of responsibility and accountability. When I choose something, it means I have consciously gone in a direction of my own volition. I’m not a victim.
- It makes me aware that I can choose not to do it, too. Saying “I have to…” implies that I’m stuck. At any time, I can choose to change course. I’m not stuck at all.
Try it for yourself. Say “choose to” instead of “have to”.
What do you notice?