Stress Management: Have To Vs. Get To

Jeff Herring
 


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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.

Visit SecretsofGreatRelationships.com for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.

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