I have to wake up early tomorrow and take my kids to school. I have to go to the gym this week. I have to attend that function at work. I have to lose some weight. How many times do we tell ourselves we have to do something? Upon further inspection, what do we really have to do?
This list gets pretty short if we are really honest with ourselves. You don’t even have to wear clothes when you leave the house! Would you get some odd looks? Maybe get arrested? Sure, there would be consequences, but you don’t have to wear clothes. You choose to wear clothes.
How do you feel when you have to do something? Thinking in these terms creates a feeling of resistance and of being a victim. When we get pushed, whether it is by someone else or even from our own doing, it is a natural reaction to push back and negative consequences are inevitable. Below are just a few examples of the consequences we may experience:
– Excuse making
– Poor work
– Minimal effort
– Negative self talk
When you say you have to do something, what you are really saying is If I had my way, I would be doing something else. But I don’t have my way, it is beyond my control. I am powerless. It is also often associated with an “or else” consequence driven by fear. Your reason for going through with the task comes from a negative place of avoiding some undesired consequence.
It may seem like a small shift, but when you choose to do something, it releases energy inside of you and it is based on free will. It is your idea, your choice. You are in control. You have the power and freedom to act and are a willing participant.
How do you feel when you choose to do something? There is a sense of ownership and empowerment. You are in control and it is your choice. The natural by-product of this attitude is:
– Striving for excellence
It what areas of your life are you feeling resistance? What are you avoiding and putting off? Are there things you feel you have to do? When you find yourself feeling like you have to do something, ask yourself:
What would happen if I don’t do it?
Am I ok with the consequences?
What are the benefits of my taking action?
Why is this really my choice?
What are some of the things in your life you feel like you have to do? How is that perspective holding you back?
What would it look like if there were no more things you have to do?
Your partner in excellence,