How to Replace ‘I Have To’ with ‘I Get To’

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a teacher friend of mine. Specifically, a conversation she and I had a couple of years ago that really changed my thinking.

This friend had just been diagnosed with MS after years spent trying to figure out exactly what was wrong with her body. Despite this upheaval in her life, she was in a pretty positive headspace. And being a happiness coach and fan of positive psychology, I was interested to hear how she accomplished this. So she shared an incredibly valuable tip:

Change your “I haves” to “I gets”!

She explained that the last few years had been a struggle for her, with her health issues, full-time teaching job, three children, and just the demands of life in general. But the “I get” concept made everything so much better.

She explained, “It’s not that I have to go the doctor. I get to go to the doctor and receive answers.”

WOW! This was a huge epiphany for me. And from that moment on I began to consciously monitor my “I haves” and embrace a positive mindset.

“I have to make the trip to a school tomorrow to present a training” became “I get to visit a school and empower a group of dedicated teachers.”

“I have to pick my son up from practice” became “I get the chance to spend some quality one-on-one time with my son on our drive home.”

“I have to pay the bills” became “I get to have a home to live in with comforts like electricity and running water—when so many others don’t.”

“I have to fix supper” became “I get to provide a hot meal for my family because we are blessed with a well-stocked kitchen.” (OK … this one is still a bit painful for me because I’m sooo not into domestic chores!)

Recently I found myself dreading my weekly long run. I caught myself bemoaning the fact to my husband: “Ugh … I have to run 20 miles this weekend.”

And I stopped myself right there and dug deep into my positive mindset.

I GET to run 20 miles this weekend! I get to feel the wind on my face. I get to spend time with my canine running companions, George and Sophie. I get to use my two strong legs. I get to feel my blood pumping. I get to build my stamina.

It’s amazing how changing one simple word can make such an impact! You can change your entire mindset.

(And even though my recent marathon experience didn’t go my way, I still have a pretty positive attitude when it comes to running!)

Remember: Words are powerful. They carry a vibration that can set off a ripple effect and can change bad to good. And good to awesome!

So here’s your challenge: Monitor yourself, feel and hear your next “I have” when it happens. And then make the one little adjustment that can change EVERYTHING!

P.S. Need a little help adjusting your mindset toward positive? Maybe some happy music will do the trick! Follow my “Happy Music” playlist on Spotify to see what puts me in a positive mood.