There are four ways to respond when you’re faced with a task or something to do.
When you say “I won’t” do something, you’re saying that you have no power, that life happens to you no matter what you do or believe, that you simply cannot and will not engage in what you are asked to do.
If you say “I have to,” you’re looking at the short term perspective. You “have to” complete the task in front of you or else you will experience dire consequences. You feel forced to do it, and that you have very little to no choice.
The third response, “I need to” is a more powerful place to come from. Here, you at least realize that you have a choice – that you will benefit from doing the task. However, the energy is still catabolic because you don’t really want to do it.
The most powerful (and the only anabolic) response is “I choose to.” When you respond this way, you feel you have a complete choice. There’s a powerful connection between who you are and what you do. This is where conscious choice resides.
—Bruce D Schneider, MCC, PhD
Founder, Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)
(Today’s blog is excerpted from iPEC’s self-mastery personal development program, The Law of Being.)