Creating Possibility-Mark Carlson-my NSHM Guest Health Coach

by Judy Griffin on October 29, 2015

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I started a couple of new clients this month.  They are wonderful people and I am so proud of them for taking the necessary steps to improve themselves and to do the hard work of creating some personal transformation.  Every time I start a new client I am often reminded how negative and obligating our self-talk can be without our even being aware of it.  These words flow seamlessly from our mouths.  As we work together and I call them out when they are said, eventually they start self-correcting as they speak.  It is amazing to see this happen.  It’s powerful and it’s transformative.

Consider these words:    then      Consider these words:

MUST or SHOULD                      GET TO

HAVE TO                                    CHOOSE        

NEED TO                                    DECIDE

SUPPOSED TO                           COULD

REQUIRED                                 OPTIONAL

Using the word SHOULD in a sentence might sound like this:  “I should (have to; must) really eat better and exercise more.”  If you are anything like me, the second I’m told by someone what I should do, my natural tendency is to do the opposite.  Does it matter who is doing the talking here?  If it is someone speaking externally, or if it is you talking internally to yourself, the result is often the same. … Rebellion.

How differently does it feel to say this instead?  “By choosing to make better choices with my diet and by opting to exercising more regularly, I could feel so much better and have more energy in my daily life.”

The first sentence is filled with obligation, shaming and limits.  The second one has possibility, opportunity and choice.  Isn’t this much more liberating?  Regardless of the fact that science may or may not support the power of positive thinking, what matter does it make if science supports it or not?  It’s the result one gets from one’s own self-talk that matters.  It’s my belief that one attracts what one speaks.  Speak duty, obligation and angst and chances are that’s what you attract.  Speak, possibility, optimism and hope and that is most likely what you will receive.

Try this exercise.  For the next week keep a journal close to you.  Every time you say an obligating sentence using the words Must, Should, Have to, Need to, Supposed to, Required to, write it down in the journal.  You will be amazed at how often you say these words (assuming you have the personal awareness).  If you aren’t noticing the use of these words, solicit the help of your spouse, significant other, co-worker or a friend.  Then at the end of the day, rewrite the sentence using the words Get to, Choose, Decide, Could or Can.  Look inside to see if this really doesn’t support you better. Then like any other new skill, practice, practice, practice.

This does not mean that we never have obligations and requirements in our life.  Life is filled with these things.  You must go to work.  You must pay the mortgage, you have to eat and you are required to file your taxes.

Try this instead.  You get to go to work and you get to pay your mortgage.  Think about the unemployed who would love those options.  You can decide when and what to eat for dinner. Think about those who go hungry at night or sacrifice their meal so their child can eat. And while you have an option to not file your taxes, you can decide to do so as a service to the great country in which we live.  After all, while it is an obligation it is also a privilege.

These are simple tools to frame the impact of the curve balls thrown at us in our daily lives.  Use them to keep perspective and to create possibility.  Life is just more fun that way!

“At the end of the day we are given the greatest gift of all … The Gift of Choice …” Denis Waitley

No matter your situation or circumstance, what do you choose?”

Mark Carlson, Health, Life and Business Coach, is the author of "Your Decade Diet: How Your Body Changes Through The Decades"

Mark Carlson, Health, Life and Business Coach, is the author of “Your Decade Diet: How Your Body Changes Through The Decades”











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