Creating a Life Free From Chaos

What You Say Can Change Your Life

Every day, we each have things to do we don’t necessarily want to do. We use what I like to call “obligation language” to talk about these things. We’ll say things like:

  • I have to clean the bathroom.
  • I should write a blog post.
  • I need to write those thank you notes.

We make it sound like we don’t have a choice — we’re obligated to do these things when in reality, we don’t. We get mired down in a victim mindset, believing we have to do these things we don’t want to do.

But is that true? Do you really HAVE to do those things? You’re an adult. You really don’t have to do most of the things you think you must do.

  • You don’t have to clean the bathroom, but it sure is a lot nicer when you do.
  • You don’t have to write a blog post, but if you want to grow your audience and someday be a full-time writer, then you probably want to write to increase your blog traffic.
  • You don’t have to write those thank you notes, but if you were the recipient of a gift or kindness, then showing gratitude is healthy and joyful for both you and the gift-giver.

We have a choice each day how we spend our time. If we want the results, we want to do what it takes to get those results. Own those choices, so you can own the results too.

  • I want to do laundry today, so my favorite jeans will be clean.
  • I want to pay bills, so I don’t get stuck with a late fee.
  • I want to cook dinner tonight, so I can save money and eat healthier.
  • I want to go to bed early, so I’ll feel rested tomorrow.
Be a creator, not a victim, and own the choices you make each day. Click To Tweet

When you find yourself using obligation language — should, have to, need — remind yourself that you have a choice. Be a creator, not a victim, and own the choices you make each day. Changing your language can change your worldview, which can change your life.

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5 Replies

  1. I discovered this language choice about a dozen years ago. At first it felt silly (and downright hard to break a habit). But after awhile the creator-chooser language became natural. It’s a better way to get through your day for sure!

    1. Definitely helps! Thanks Priscilla!

  2. Nice post. I have a toddler so I know that how you phrase something can mean everything! I work hard on considering my language when I speak with him, but slack off when it comes to my own thinking. I like your wonderful advice: Be a creator!

    1. Thanks Erica! Agreed — it’s so important how you phrase how you speak to small children, but you’ve got to apply that to yourself as well! Think of your subconscious as a small child needing the correct words!

  3. Calling it obligation languages really hits the nail on the head. When framed that way, thinking about “needing” to scrub the bathroom floor takes on a new light when you instead think about it being nicer for everyone to have a clean floor in there. And I will be happier too, especially when it’s done.

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