First of all why would it be good to change your words of ‘having to do’ to ‘getting to do’? I think we channel a lot of energy into our words. Therefore it’s good to think of which ones to choose. Every time you say something it makes you feel a certain way. It could be neutral, but more often it makes you happy or not so happy.
A while ago I wrote about how stressed I was in my blog Relax and Unwind. It was a busy period at work and a busy period privately. During this time I was also going to the gym about four times a week and I ‘had’ to do a lot more things. The funny thing is nobody told me I had to do all these things. I was obligating myself to do it and if I would skip something I felt guilty and I felt like I failed. As you can imagine this made me feel even more stressed.
So I was the one who was adding more pressure. I did this until I broke and I was mentally exhausted. During my holidays in Turkey I thought of things I could do differently. One of these things is simply not saying ‘ I have to’. Rather than that I can say ‘I will do’ or ‘I get to’. It might sound silly and as if it wouldn’t make a difference, but trust me it does! If you tell yourself a hundred times a day (which I did) that you ‘have to’ do certain things it starts to feel like you really need to. And if you don’t? Well then I felt I’d let myself down, since I had to do this, right?
Of course this is something you don’t change overnight. I notice that at times I still say it a lot, but every time I do I stop myself. So I’m becoming more conscious of my choice of words. By doing so I’m lifting the pressure I’d put on myself. There is nothing I have to do, but it’s my choice to do it, which means I actually get to do these things. I get to go to work and I’m grateful I actually have a job. I also get to cook and I’m grateful I have enough food every day to do so. Try this and you notice it will make you look at your life differently. You will start to feel privileged and grateful instead of pressured and obliged.
Now that I’m practicing this new way of thinking I feel I get more room to breathe. Without this pressure I feel free and a lot happier. It gave me more energy to actually do all the things I always want to do without the obligation of having to do them. It even makes me feel less reluctant to do the chores I usually don’t like.
How can you practice this yourself? The first step is becoming conscious of when you are telling yourself you have to do certain things. Try to stop yourself every time you do. Once you realize you’re obligating yourself you can think of an alternative choice of words. The more you practice it the better it will go and the better you’ll feel. There are already plenty of things we have to do in this world, but the way you talk to yourself is free of choice.
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