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Freedom, Word Choice and Mindset

How do you feel when you “get to” perform a task in comparison to when you “have to” perform a task?

The reactions felt by the body when we say each of these phrases are meaningful. These reactions can also be felt in the heart, the spirit and the brain. We all want to feel free and have the freedom of choice; it simply feels good. (Note: This is why most relationship and parenting books recommend giving people choices.)

Using and saying the phrase “get to,” feels lighter and more expansive. It opens the door for new opportunities and experiences. We “get to” create, make choices, make mistakes, learn and grow.

“Have to” feels heavier in the body, restrictive and dare we say, even dreadful at times. It contributes to a limiting mindset and feels forced. Feeling stuck, anyone?

There are still responsibilities that we have as adults (paying bills, doing taxes, going to work and grocery shopping), but we can choose our mindset and how we want to feel as we complete the “have to’s.”

The following three strategies create a more positive mindset – one of abundance and optimism. These will support you in maximizing the feeling of the “get to’s” while maintaining a cognitive, emotional and physical reserve. I have witnesses these strategies stop the depletion cycle with my mindset and life coaching clients and as a reult they have more energy at the end of the day and you can too!

  1. Allocate specific times to complete the “have to” tasks. Look at these “have to’s” as avenues or vehicles to your “get to’s.” For example, your job pays for that amazing adventure to Europe. You pay the water bill and then have water for your family to grow a garden and play in the sprinklers.
  2. Plan your day and week with a focus on balancing the “have to’s” and the “get to’s.”A week’s schedule filled with a majority of “have to’s” is going to be draining. Schedule the “get to’s” as positive reinforcements to create more balance – schedule a walk, lunch break with a friend or a well-deserved massage.
  3. Focus your energy on one “have to” task at a time. Attempting to multi-task or thinking about what feels like a never ending list of  “have to’s” at home or at work will cause you to feel overwhelmed and resentful before you even get started.

Bottom line –  Change your word choice by replacing “have to” with “get to”  in order to shift your mindset. Word choice matters. Instead of  “I have to give a presentation today,”  try “I get to give a presentation and share my ideas with others today.”

Wishing you a month filled with “get to’s,” exciting opportunities and summer adventures,


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