Hypnotherapist / Life & Career Coach

Hypnotherapist in Berskshire - and Life Coaching
about us
contact us


Hypnotherapy Society

Federation of Holistic Therapies

Publications about Sharon's hypnotherapy & a sample of coaching articles by Sharon published on the Mind Tools website

Publication 2009 :
'The soothing voice of reason can help ease life’s pressures' >>

News :
‘True life story - Helping you think about your life’ >>

Article 1:
The Language of My Motivation’ >>

Article 2:
'The Stories That Run Our Lives' >>

Article 3:
‘Why Can I Never Say NO?' >>


‘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:

1. 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 what?’

Eg. ‘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’.

Focus Point - Published Articles about coaching and hypnotherapy - spring fields

Asking honest questions

Have you ever stopped to wonder why you do the things you do?

Have 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?

How many times have you said “yes”, when really you wanted to say “no”?

What excuses do you use that could be holding you back?

Is your life so busy that you have forgotten to listen to your inner voice?

What could you do today to improve one aspect of your life?

Blog Life Coaching and Hypnotherapy


All 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?’

Eg. ‘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:

Eg. ‘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 family.

‘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 following exercise:

1. 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:

Eg. ‘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 about it!

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 this attention.

Eg. ‘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

© Focus Point 2009 - Website Design by Flame New Media