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A Simple Language Shift to Empower Yourself

Try saying this phrase, “I need to get groceries, do my laundry, and finish research for my project by Friday.”

How do you feel saying that? Dreadful? Anxious? Already tired just thinking of doing those things? Same.

Now, try saying this instead, “I want to get groceries, do my laundry, and finish research for my project by Friday.”

How does that make you feel? If you’re like me, you feel much better than saying the former sentence.

We say that we absolutely need to do a lot of things when we actually don’t. (Yes, this excludes the essentials like things we do for safety, security, financial stability, etc.)


  • I need to get better at my job

  • I need to stop eating junk food

  • I need to find a partner

When we use the word need, we often put ourselves in the backseat of life. We feel forced to do those things and be the ideal version that we have of ourselves. In reality, we don’t need to get better at our job. We don’t need to stop eating junk food. We don’t need to find a partner. Most of us can get by without doing the things we think we need to do. By thinking that we are forced by our life circumstances to act and accomplish something, we actually feel more resigned.

Reframing “I need” to “I want”

When you reframe statements from “I need to ___” to “I want to ___”, it gives you power. It changes your position of power. You are no longer forced to do anything by life. You are choosing to do it out of free will, love, and belief. You are partaking in the experiences that nurture you and allow you to grow. However, be mindful also of when this reframing doesn’t feel right. If your “I want to work on this project” feels just like an outright lie, it probably is an alarm for you to re-think whether you really want to work on this project or not, and if not, how might you shift your way.

I recognize that there will always be things we don’t want to do. For me, doing laundry, filing taxes, washing dishes, cleaning the house, aren’t the most exciting and inspiring errands ever. But simply rephrasing it, even if it doesn’t feel the truest, does make me more excited about getting those things on the to-do list.

So, what do you want to do tomorrow?

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