Have you ever said "I have to ____" or "they need me to ____" Do you ever say "I have to do this" for a chore or something, even in your own life? Did you ever say that with things people "need" or want you to do? Do you ever say yes to something and regret it later?
Here's a straightforward way to improve your boundaries using language - this is a valuable tip.
I used to do this ALL. The. Time -- "I have to" or "I need to" or "They need me to" -- as if I had no control over my own choices and schedule, as if I had no choice in the matter.
Do this one simple thing instead
Change "I have to ___" or "they need me to ___" to "I CHOOSE ____."
Even if I didn't feel like I was choosing, every time I caught myself saying, "I have to do this thing," I would say, "I choose to do this thing," because then it forces our brain to evaluate. It makes you take a step back. It kicks off an internal check.
Do you want to choose that thing?? Realistically is there time, and does it fit into what else needs attention? How does it fit into your current demands on your time and energy? If you had a choice (which you DO), how will you fit this into all the other already scheduled or necessary things?
Once I started saying "I choose ___" it caused a stepping back. Objectively, is this really something I choose?
What do you think? Would that create a shift for you? Have you tried it? If you try it right now, what happens? I'd love to hear what you observe in the comments below!
Choosing this way relates to internal boundaries, which is part of my Gentle Boundaries Course.
Internal boundaries change our internal language and shift external boundaries because every time we say to ourselves "I have to" or "they need me to" we remove our choice and power, losing touch with our inner self.
"I choose to do this errand now" or "I choose to do this chore now" or "I choose to adjust my schedule for this person's request" makes big chores, tasks and giving to others easier because "I CHOOSE" empowers.
If someone asked me to do a thing because they "needed" something, just changing it to "I choose to do this thing that this person needs" forced my brain to evaluate - is this something I want to choose? Realistically is it even within my capacity to do? Do they really need me, or is someone else available? Can they do this thing without me? Honestly, is this something I can fit into my current responsibilities and schedule? Is this an essential thing, or just that they want it? Either way, when can I choose to do that thing?
It gives you back your choice, power and voice in a very gentle way.
So try that out and let me know how that works -- if you catch yourself saying "I have to" or "they need me to" or whatever similar sort of language is in your head, know you have a choice, change to "I CHOOSE" and let me know how that works for you.
Share your thoughts and comments below ▼ I love hearing from you ❤️
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