about Sharon's hypnotherapy & a sample of
coaching articles by Sharon published on the Mind
‘The Language of My Motivation’
Have you ever stopped to wonder
why you do the things you do? Have you ever considered
the possibility that you may do some things for
the wrong reasons?
In this coaching clinic, we’re looking at what
motivates us, and that means looking first at
the three generic reasons we have for doing anything:
I have to …
2. I should ….
3. I want to …
All three are motivating in their own way, but
only one will really put a smile on your face!
And you know exactly which one that is …!
Let’s look at each in turn:
1. “I have to”
Whenever you hear yourself saying that little
phrase, stop and ask yourself ‘In order to do
‘I have to work very hard to pay all my bills’.
In order to do what?
‘In order to avoid debt and financial problem’.
‘I have to stay in this difficult relationship’.
In order to do what?
‘In order to avoid appearing a failure’ or ‘In
order to avoid being alone’.
‘I have to complete this particular project’.
In order to do what?
‘In order to keep my job’.
ever stopped to wonder why you do
the things you do?
you ever noticed the little voice
inside your head that seems to be
on a constant loop?
Is it possible
you have created a certain impression
of someone or some situation based
on other people’s thoughts and beliefs
rather than on your own?
many times have you said “yes”,
when really you wanted to say “no”?
do you use that could be holding
your life so busy that you have
forgotten to listen to your inner
you do today to improve one aspect
of your life?
of those reasons are perfectly valid, but when
you feel you have to do something, a sense of
resentment can build up, perhaps subconsciously
over time. And whether it is someone else or yourself
who actually imposes the “have to”, this resentment
can insidiously affect the way you react and behave.
Have you ever witnessed (or been guilty of …!)
a childhood tantrum when the child is told do
something he or she clearly doesn’t want to do?
It’s impressive! But children are honest in their
emotions, and free from many of the social restrictions
of adulthood. Adults tend not to scream and shout,
but rather we let our feelings fester. Instead
we counter the ‘I have to’ with an internal
barrage of ‘I don’t want to’, ‘why should
I?’ or worse, ‘I’m not going to’.
Of course this is a situation taken to its ultimate
extreme. Many times we have to do things, and
do them without repercussion. But the question
is this: Does “have to” motivate you to try harder,
put more effort in, go the extra mile happily,
enthusiastically and energetically?’ If not, wouldn’t
you rather it did?...
2. “I should”
Whenever you hear yourself saying the little phrase
‘I should’, here’s another question to
ask yourself: ‘Who says so?’
‘I should work hard’
Who says so?
‘My parents brought me up believing this is how
I should be’.
‘I should stay in this difficult relationship’
Who says so?
‘My friends and family would expect me to work
at it and not give up.’
‘I should complete this project’
Who says so?
‘My boss. It’s part of my job, and other people
are depending on me’.
When you feel you should do something, it you
may feel as though you owe something to someone,
and you are justifying your actions. The unsaid
precursor is often ‘I don’t really want to’,
or ’ I don’t really believe in it, but ….’
As in the ‘I have to’ scenario, the motivation
is not coming from within your heart but from
outside forces, with beliefs and values that are
probably not your own. Again there is risk of
resentment creeping in, and the motivation is
a negative one.
3. “I want to”
You know this is the ideal situation, as soon
as you hear those words! And the inevitable question
this time is ‘because?’ or ‘why?’
See how the response becomes a positive one:
‘I want to work hard’
‘It gives me a great deal of satisfaction and
fulfilment and helps
me lead the lifestyle I want for myself and my
‘I want to stay in this difficult relationship’
‘Because although I find it challenging, I actually
love this person,
and can see the positive sides to staying together’.
‘I want to complete this project’
‘It’s my job, and I can do it well, and it will
help other people, and that’s important to me’.
Your entire energy changes when you do things
because you actually want to do them. With this
positive attitude, you’re coming from a place
of desire and anticipation, which is highly motivational.
The change in perception impacts what you do and
how you do it: Now you pay the bills happily (!),
rather than begrudgingly; A challenging relationship
or project is a positive challenge rather than
a millstone around your neck. When you do things
because you want to do them, they become less
of a chore, and much more fun.
Let’s look at how you can use this language of
motivation to turn those “have tos” and “shoulds”
into positive, motivational “want tos”, with the
Gather together your recent goals, personal plan
and even your current to do list. Look through
these, and decide whether each goal or task is
there because ‘you have to’, ‘you should’
or because ‘you want to’.
2. For all the ‘have tos’ ask yourself ‘in order
to do what?’
If the answer is phrased negatively:
‘I have to pay the bills so my electricity doesn’t
get cut off’
try rephrasing in a positive way:
‘I have to pay the bills so that we can keep warm
and healthy, cook nice meals and be comfortable’.
Now take away the ‘I have to’ and replace
it with ‘I want to’.
‘I want to pay my bills on time so my family and
I are warm and comfortable’.
Does that make you feel any different about the
task at hand?
In theory, it should help you feel more positive
3. For the ‘I shoulds’ on your list, ask
yourself ‘who says so?’
Determine whether the person or outside force
responsible for this feeling of ‘I should’ deserve
‘I should complete this task because my boss
needs it done’.
Clearly your job requires it, then you need to
do it. But, as before, see what happens when you
try to rephrase the statement:
‘I want to complete this task so that my boss
is impressed with
what I can do and I can ask for that pay rise’.
Much more motivating!
But what if you can’t find the positive justification
for the ‘I shoulds’? It may well mean ‘you
shouldn’t’, and it’s time to recognise that fact
and act on it!
When you start to live life by ‘want tos’ rather
than ‘have tos’ and ‘shoulds’, you’ll feel much
more motivated. And when you really ‘want to’
do things, you’ll find a positive change in your
demeanour, energy and attitude. This motivation
impacts on all around you, and so not only will
you benefit, but so will all those who come in
contact with you.
Get motivated to live life the way you want to,
because you want to!
Mind Tools 2007