Empowering Language Part II
How many times today have you used the phrase, “have to”? Do you start your day by making a “to-do” list that begins with the question “what do I have to do today?” When someone asks about your day do you answer with, “today I ‘have to’ go shopping”, or “today I ‘have to’ go to work.”
I remember a time when my friends and I would often have our weekly meeting in the afternoon and upon finishing I would be on my way home to cook dinner for my family. I would often say, “Well, I had better get going, it is getting late and I have to cook dinner.” This was one of the first statements I changed, because the truth was, I was choosing to cook dinner for a number of reasons. It was economical, it was healthier than eating out, I value sitting down with my family to a nice home cooked meal, etc. So, realizing that it was my choice to cook (as opposed to getting takeout, or going to a restaurant, etc.) I changed my statement and instead of “I have to cook dinner”, I would just say something like, “I’ll see you guys next week, I’m going home to cook dinner.” I’ll be cooking dinner, I want to cook dinner, I have decided to cook dinner, I am choosing to cook dinner,etc. – all of these are possible statements that keep me in the place of being empowered, and the truth is, I really like to cook! I also realized that the energy I had around cooking dinner really changed with my statement, and the way other people reacted to my statement changed too. I noticed that when I said I “had to go cook dinner” the reactions almost seemed sympathetic but when I began to say that I had decided to cook that night the reactions were more joyful.
It is a very empowering thing to accept responsibility for our actions and to realize that we always have a choice.
For instance, the next time someone invites you to do something when you aren’t available, instead of saying something like, ‘I have to work that day’, try something like, “I am working that day.”
Realize that we always have a choice. Knowing that I am choosing to work (because I want to keep my job, want to keep getting paid, want to keep up with my work-flow, etc.) is very empowering. Using empowering language sends a message to our mind that we are the ones in control of our life!