The “I Have To” Perspective Shift


For women this is by far the busiest time of the year and a special shout out to all of you working moms who I know just don’t have enough hours in the day to get it all done between work and kids plus holidays.


About a week ago I found myself knee-deep in the Have To’s. “I have to see 11 patients tomorrow, have to clean up this kitchen after my kids, have to stay up until 1 AM writing 200 Christmas cards, ect..” and they went on and on and left me feeling tired and empty.


But then that little voice that will speak loudly if only we can be still for a moment got my attention and I heard pretty clearly “Oh no, girl- not Have To but Get To.” And it just made sense- so I started rephrasing my Have To’s with Get To’s and they stared to sound like this:


“I get to help 11 people who trust me enough to share the most difficult details of their lives. I get to send 200 Christmas cards to people who have touched my life in some way. I get to clean up my kitchen after my four kids who were all with me for dinner-kids who got off the bus after school and are healthy enough to make this huge f-ing mess”…and so on.


The impact of the switch was almost instant as I realized clearly that someone, maybe even in my world, would do anything for my stressors- because my incredible blessings lie within them. This is the season where families still can’t buy, mom’s still lose children, kids split holidays and chemo treatments still go on. This is in no way to say repress your feelings when you are down or stressed- feel them, accept that you have a right to feel that way, work them out and then get on with it. This simple “get to” perspective shift may help.


If this is still tough for you- try a strategy from DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) called opposite action- smile or laugh when that’s the last thing you feel like doing- the act of doing something positive that is opposite to the negative emotion we feel can be just enough to shake you out of it. Try it and lmk if it works for you!

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© NIRO FELICIANO 2020