With regular coaching practice, my coaching ear becomes more and more sensitive and is able to pick up seemingly innocent phrases and declarations better and better. Today let's spend a moment on our sense of agency and see how it manifests through various expressions.
I wonder how is your sense of agency. And would you believe that you don't really MUST do anything?
Please, note how often the innocent but destructive word "must" appears in our wording (and therefore also in our thinking).
I have to finish this ...
I have to do it or else ...
I just have to ... and then it's already ...
I have to go now because I'm running to the next call ...
I have to try harder ...
I need to reply to this e-mail quickly ...
Well, you don't really have to do anything. For example, you don't have to:
agree with anyone
be understanding to people who break your boundaries,
to rush (this is a terrible disease of our time),
work on weekends (even if you have irregular working hours, dear manager/leader),
put pressure on yourself (to feel that you are valuable through your achievements),
always give 120%,
do something all the time,
agree to actions/ideas that are not compatible with you,
take part in useless meetings,
worry about what others will think of you,
prove to everyone that you are right,
be constantly on the alert for combat or service,
pull yourself together (imagine that fist squeezing you)
always be strong.
How often do you say (and therefore think) I WANT?
Please watch yourself for one day. Notice how often you will catch yourself with "MUST" and how often with the openly and maturely communicated "I WOULD LIKE TO"
This one seemingly innocent switch can make a huge difference in your life.
Also ask yourself: how often do I consciously choose?
You can choose even when you don't have much choice and something needs to be done (e.g. your child is seriously ill). Many things in life are beyond our control. Many times the outside world confronts us with unexpected events.
But even then, you can choose your attitude towards the situation.
So how often can you stop in your head and make an informed decision:
I choose THIS and not this.
As you consciously choose, a sense of agency (causality) will arise or strengthen. It is PRICELESS.
So please take these two questions with you:
What do I choose?
What would I like?