A reflection on freedom of choice: have to vs. want to

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    • #11867
      Marta
      Participant

      This conversation about freedom of choice around food reminded me of a piece of advice a psychologist once gave me regarding all the “I have to” in my life that kept me trapped and disempowered.

      She told me that all my “I have to” were actually “I want to”, and encouraged me to rephrase these thoughts whenever they came to my mind. For example, I “don’t have to” go to work. If I don’t go to work, the police won’t come looking for me and drag me to the office. I want to go to work because I want to earn money / develop my career, or whatever the reason. I may not like my work, but every morning it is my decision to go, either because I want to, or because I don’t want to pay the price of not going, although I COULD. It’s my decision.

      Another example: I don’t “have to” go to that family reunion that I don’t feel like going to. I want to go because I don’t want my mother to be mad at me. But I can also choose to stay home and suffer my mother’s anger.

      This way of thinking was incredibly helpful and liberating for me, and it actually changed my life a lot. For example, when I realized that “I can’t quit my job” was actually “I don’t want to quit my job because I don’t want to face fear and uncertainty”, I gave myself the option of leaving my job facing fear and uncertainty. And that is what I did, and it’s going well so far!

      So Gillian, do you think this “rephrasing” trick could be useful in the context of this course? Maybe changing “I can’t overeat” with “I don’t want to overeat because I have to work afterwards and I don’t want to feel bloated and uncomfortable”?

      • This topic was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Marta.
    • #11869
      Marta
      Participant

      Note to myself: “I don’t want to overeat because I WANT TO work afterwards…” yes, it’s tricky! haha

    • #11875
      Gillian
      Moderator

      Marta

      I don’t think it’s a trick at all; I see it as a powerful and effective connection with the liberating truth of freedom of choice.

      You’ll see the potential problem with changing “I can’t overeat” to “I don’t want to overeat because I have to work afterwards and I don’t want to feel bloated and uncomfortable” when you take a look at the material in Week 3.

      There are conflicting desires here, and it will be helpful for you to tell the truth about wanting to overeat – while at the same time wanting to work afterwards and not feel bloated and uncomfortable. More on this later!

    • #11878
      Marta
      Participant

      How interesting! I’ll revisit this topic next week when I’ve learnt more about desire 🙂

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