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You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.

Elizabeth Gilbert

My very first coach always said, with sincere regret in her eyes, that there are no quick-fixes, fast solutions to change stuff that we’d been struggling with for a while. No quick-fixes, I mean it.

However, there are some seemingly small tricks that can bring about fast and real change, if we implement them more than once.

As you know, it’s been GDPR madness in the past weeks, and I’m sure you’ve also received hundreds of emails, asking you to reconfirm your subscription. I too was one of those, who made some serious decisions about whose list I will stay on, and whose I won’t reconfirm.

So, during the process, I realized, that if people on my list don’t get back to me after 3 emails, and tick the boxes that need to be ticked, I will lose a small or even large part of my list.

Just thinking about this made me panic.

Am I really going to lose a big percentage of my list, after years of hard work trying to grow it?

Will I really have to delete the ones, who don’t reconfirm, If I want to respect the law?

And yes, I lost a big part of my list, not wanting to wait longer for people to reconfirm. I wanted my database to be up-to-date, and so I deleted a lot of addresses.

First, I was really sad, that so many did not choose to stay. People these days are flooded by emails, and constant noise from social media, so I do understand, when someone decides to leave.

And then I had this crazy thought - how could this loss be a good thing?

I started to think about the people who decided to stay. First of all, I’m really grateful, that they chose me, possibly from hundreds of others They actually took the time to read my email, and did what they needed to do, to stay on my list.

Perhaps for them, these posts and tips are useful, and they’re definitely ready to receive more from me. They might be more motivated in changing something right now in their lives or work, and are ready to put some effort into doing things differently.

This means, that the people on my list are the ones, who are engaged, and are active readers.

What more do I want, then to write to these people?

The moment I realised this, my energy level skyrocketed. If I’m able to help anyone, who’s in need of some new inspiration, or idea, or some useful tips about changing perspective, then that raises my motivation too.

So instead of being sad, I decided to be happy about this loss.

And actually, most of this was my choice. I could have kept the full list, going against the law, and perhaps delete it after a year. I could have begged those readers 5-10-50 more times, to reconfirm.

But I made another choice.

Often, we don’t actually see how many choices we have. I know we don’t have a choice in everything, but we do have a lot more choice in our daily lives, than we think.

They say we have about 70.000 thoughts each day, and a lot of them are like these:

  • I have to go to work, and I hate this job.
  • I must pick up the client’s call even at 8 pm, or he will find someone else.
  • I should write this blog post, even though I’m tired.
  • I must make enough money to pay my mortgage, so I take on clients, that are difficult to work with.
  • I have to live up to my boss’ expectations, even if I don’t agree with his decisions.
  • I just have so much to do, I can’t even go to the gym.

How often do you feel overwhelmed by all the stuff on your to-do list? Have to, should, must. And just thinking about these make you feel you’re carrying an even bigger load on your shoulders.
The truth is that you don’t have to.

You see, you could choose not to go to work, but staying at home, and not being able to pay your mortgage is a lot scarier than work. You could choose not to pick up the phone, but not having steady income would mean not being able to pay your bills, and that’s frightening.

I remember, when I first had a coach as a CEO and owner of my business, I was dealing with overwhelm bigtime! I hadn’t been sleeping well for months at the time, and things were falling apart around me.

I told her that I’m just can’t do so many things. So, trying to downsize, I told her, that “All I’m able to do right now, is this….” So, she asked me, what would happen, if I changed my words, and would say “All I choose to do right now, is this….”

That felt like a ton of weight coming off my shoulders.

You see, every day millions of people choose not to go to work, not to pay their bills, not to answer the phone etc. And they’ve learnt to live with the consequences of these decisions. Most of them are not forced to do stuff, and nobody actually forces you.

So, if you’re not one of them, there’s something you need to know: every time, you think you have to, you must, you should, you can’t, means you’re giving away your own power. You give up your power of choice.

You are putting yourself into a victim role, when you think someone’s making you do all those things.

Feeling you’re a victim will take your energy and will rob you of any joy in doing stuff you set out to do. You will feel powerless.

However, you can stop being in the victim role, if you do these 3 simple things. Call it a quick-fix, if you want. 😊

  1. NOTICE IT – When you hear yourself saying things like these to yourself, or to someone else: Oh no, I must take that call during dinner, or I have to follow my manager’s stupid orders, then just notice the words „I must” and „I have to”.

Every change starts with becoming conscious of what we’re actually doing.

What does it feel like, hearing yourself say “I must”? Just acknowledge and make a note of the feeling behind it. Don’t judge it.

  1. CHANGE YOUR WORDS – Once you’ve started noticing your words, start to experiment with them. Try and see what would happen, if you changed your words to more empowering ones:
  • Instead of I HAVE TO, try I CHOOSE TO.
  • Instead of I MUST, try I WILL.
  • Instead of I CAN’T, try I WON’T.
  • Instead of I SHOULD, try I WANT TO.
  • Instead of I HAVE TO, try I’M GOING TO.

Has anything changed? Have you noticed any difference in your feelings?


  1. ADD A GOOD REASON – this will put the control back in your hands.
    • I choose to go to work, even if I hate this job, because it helps me pay my bills, until I find something I enjoy.
    • I will pick up my client’s call at 8 pm, because this makes my service special, compared to services that close at 5 pm.
    • I’m going to write this blog post even if it’s in the evening, because doing what I want, when I want is what makes freelance life attractive for me.
    • I won’t work with people that I find it hard to work with, and instead I choose to do some other work to bring in some extra cash.
    • I’m going to live up to my boss’ expectations, so that I can support my family.
    • I won’t deal with all the stuff on my to-do list, instead I will make a priority list, to deal first with the most important things.

And now make a note of what it feels like. Has anything changed?

I imagine, that you will feel more energized, and ready to do the things that matter. Perhaps you will now have the energy to finally look for a new job, or create a new product for your business, or find that one thing you can do every day to move towards your goal.

Now, there are some other things you can do for yourself. If you are stuck in a place, where you feel drained and are not sure which is the best direction for you, have a look at my free guide, with 7 STEPS TO FIND CLARITY IN WHAT YOU REALLY WANT.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it, and I will also be happy to read your comments, about how you take back control.

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And write to me, if you have any questions about how I work:

I will be happy to answer!

Photo by Snowing – Freepik.

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