‘Have to’ is a very common phrase you may hear yourself saying every day, choosing to eliminate ‘have to’ from what you are saying to yourself (your internal dialogue) or from what you say to others helps you avoid procrastination and is very empowering.

Why is ‘Have to’ Bad?

One of the reasons that ‘have to’ is psychologically damaging, is that it makes you feel dis-empowered, thereby sapping your emotional energy and taking away your motivation.

‘Have to’ also makes you feel as if you are being told what to do, this can anchor you emotional state back to a time when you were a child when you may have been told to do something by a parents, the reason being ‘because you have to’ if this happens you also will feel anger, frustration due to the lack of autonomy.

‘Have to’ causes a double bind in your mind where you mind is stuck and alternates between what would happen if you begrudgingly did and what would happen if you didn’t. It gives you a lack of choice and you will feel trapped between 2 pretty poor outcomes.

So How do I get rid of ‘Have to’?

The first thing to do is ask yourself a few questions and bring choice into the equation because choosing to do something as opposed to having to do something also makes you feel better.

Do I really have to?
Is there no other choice?
Could I make a choice to do this when I want to?

So stop using have to, instead create choice and decide to do what you want to do.
By creating choice you create the ability to decide what you want to do, you free your mind up to alternatives in addition to this you are empowering yourself to do whatever it is you need to do for far better reasons.

The next thing to do is to say to yourself;

‘I choose to’ …….because……..

By adding the ‘because’ and by asking yourself why you are doing something you have chosen to do, most people will come up with a positive reason to do the action, as opposed to a negative reason that commonly attaches itself to a ‘have to’ statement.

Have to and Goal Setting.

A have to statement seams to attach itself to an ‘away from goal’ whilst a choose to statement attaches itself to a towards goal, I’m sure for you just like most people the fact is that having a ‘motivational direction’ of towards something is far more empowering and it gives you clear direction, in doing so it also avoids procrastination and do what you need to do instead of avoiding what you don’t want to do.

For example compare these two statements;

“I have to go for a run, because I’m getting fat and I’ve eaten far too much recently”.

“I choose to go for a run, because I want to get fitter and get slim”

Which of the above statements motivate you and make you feel empowered?