“The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice.”
I often hear people saying that they “have to” do something. What do you think that means in terms of the energy level that is being expressed? They are probably viewing the situation from the perspective of low energy or even apathy. “I have to go to work,” means that you think you have no other choice but to go to work. This is self-oppression at a very subtle yet insidious form.
Yes, there are times when we don’t see anything else but the “have to’s” in life. “I have to work.” “I have to pick up the kids from school.” What you’re really saying is, “I don’t really feel engaged in this activity, but am being made to do it by a force outside myself.” When you feel forced to do something, you feel victimized by life and the circumstances and people involved.
The lowest level of energy we experience in life is in the victim zone. Life happens TO us. We are at the effect end of the cause-effect context. When we are in victim mode, we don’t want anything except to be left alone.
When I hear my clients say these three little words, “I have to…” it’s a call to action for me to challenge their statement. I usually ask: “Do you really have to [fill in the blank]? What would happen if you didn’t do it? Who says you have to do it?” Then the conversation gets interesting as I can hear the gears in their head getting unstuck when we talk about the options they can create as opposed to what they “have to” do.
Even shifting the “have to” to a “need to” statement gives you a little bit more energy. It’s IMPORTANT. It’s a need. We all have a little DNA in us that responds positively to the need level in life. Just try not to take your next breath. You NEED TO breathe. Your body will make sure you do, even if you are unconscious.
Let’s take it up just a bit in terms of energy….I’m going to issue a challenge to you. Take any statement of, “I have to….,” or “I need to….,” and shift it to, “I choose to….” Let’s take the example of “I have to go to work.” Do you “have” to? No. You can always not go. And not go the next day and the next day and the day after that. The consequence of that is that you may not have a job to go to. What happens if you lose your job? You could lose your house, your kids, have to move in with your parents, etc. Is this what you want? Probably not. So, you “choose” to go to work even if just to avoid the negative consequences of not choosing to go. This is where you start to muster your inner cooperation and your energy levels begin rising as a result. Saying that you are choosing something puts you back in the game, it takes you out of the victim energy and into the levels of energy where there is possibility and opportunity.
Maybe it sounds like it’s simple, yet I know it’s not easy. When you are in a big transition, there simply is not a lot of energy for optimism. Paradoxically, the kindest thing we could do for ourselves when we are feeling low is to pick ourselves up off the floor (or the couch) and kick ourselves in the rear, yet it’s the hardest thing to do. This is why having a coach to help us when we’re stuck in a seemingly never-ending transition is a life-saver. We’ve all experienced how helpful it is to have someone who has your back (and is not afraid to kick you in the butt) assist you to keep moving forward when you don’t really think you can.
And what might it take for you to “want to” go to work in the morning? A new job? New boss? A new you? This is where coaching becomes magical, where we can get out the power tools to assist you to go from “have to” all the way to “want to,” by supporting you through all the choices you get to make in service to the transformation necessary to get you there. You can literally reinvent yourself to meet the responsibilities of life with enthusiasm, resulting in greater levels of fulfillment, peace, and even joy. You become aware of the grace you are extended in your life and open to expressing gratitude for the blessings instead of moaning about your problems. It’s consciously choosing to replace reactivity with creativity. It’s taking your power back and banishing victim-speak from your vocabulary.
Your life’s next chapter could be somewhere on the “choose to” and “want to” side of the picture. It’s where the juice is, the authenticity, the power. This idea is more than a play on words. Your transformation can start with your consciously choosing the words you speak.
Love and Blessings on Your Journey,