How to overcome the "have-to's" of life and get your happiness back

Ever had the thought "I have to" do something? It most often arises when you don't want to do something or you feel pressure - strapped for time or money or emotional resources. 

The "have-to's" end up being a force that stymies your creativity and leaves you feeling limited without options. I find that these pressures we place on ourselves (yep, we are doing it to ourselves) are a way of holding onto something that only is hurting us. 

Let me give you an example...

This blog. I feel like I have to write every week. And I haven't because every time I sit down, I feel stuck. The have to takes a task I enjoy and turns it into a chore. So here I was, staring at the last date I wrote and feeling embarrassed. I mean, in my other business of coaching - I tell business owners to blog weekly. It's hypocritical.

Or is it? Maybe I am just a human being that puts so many expectations on myself, I only feel more burdened than excited and challenged. I was letting what I thought had to be done become the dictator and I the victim.

So how do you stop it? How do you ditch the "have-to's" and regain some sense of control. 

  • Notice your red flags. I call it the shoulda, woulda, coulda's. When you find yourself saying those things or "I have to" take note, slow down and really look at what you are telling yourself. Because it is in that moment that you are already starting to hurt yourself.
  • Evaluate your options. Sure, everyone may expect something from you but the truth is, you get to decide. If you recognize that you are choosing the power is back in your hands. If I feel like I have to write a blog, I recognize that I can choose to respond to that thought or take a moment and sit with it then decide what feels to be most true to me.
  • Learn who is boss. Do you want others' judgements to drive your decision making or do you want to treasure your sanity and health and make decisions that are best for you? Again, you decide.

When you make decisions from a place of caring for yourself and your life, you will be happier. It isn't easier but it is necessary in order to free yourself from the "have-to's" and turn them into I choose to. Do you find yourself feeling like you have to do certain things or be a certain way? Share below how you cope with the pressure.