Stress Management: Have To Vs. Get To

File this one under the category of "watch your language."

The language we use when we are trying to change something simply amazes me. We say things like I can't - it's not fair - I'll never be able to do this - etc. And then we wonder why we are frustrated and don't feel so good.

One of the most limiting things we say to ourselves is "I have to." Our brains hear I have to and tend to automatically rebel.

Perhaps it's a holdover from childhood.

A much more useful way to talk to ourselves is to change our "I have to" into "I get to."

You might say that this is just semantics. I would answer by saying it's almost all semantics.

Here's why - "I have to" usually leads to little motivation, avoidance, and grudging obligation. On the other hand, "I get to" often leads to motivation, excitement and opportunity.

So let's practice turning your I have to's into I get to's.

I have to take out the trash. I get to contribute to and serve my family.

I have to get up in the morning. I get to spend another day above ground and see what I can make of it.

I have to go to work. I get to go do something I love and provide for my family.

I have to go to class. I get to have the privilege of getting an education.

I have to pick up my kids from practice. I get to spend time with my children. In the car, which is a captive audience where we don't have the pressure of just staring at each other. Maybe we will be able to talk.

I have to finish this project for the office. I get to contribute to something I believe in.

I have to go to the gym. I get to take care of my body and maybe even have some fun.

I have to finish this column and get it in on time. I get to have the privilege of helping (hopefully) more people.

These are just a few examples. Simply fill in the blanks with the ones from your own life which will be most helpful to you.

I invite you to practice watching your language this next week I think you will be surprised how often you use the phrase "I have to."

Have to vs get to is your choice.

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