- I should be thinner.
- I should forgive and forget.
- I should just get over it.
- I should be grateful for the things I have.
- I should be more productive.
- I should eat less and exercise more.
- I should be happier.
I should. I should. I should. BLECH!!!
Should-ing all over ourselves seems to be pandemic and it stinks! So why do we do it? What drives us to do something that applies pressure, creates crappy feelings, and is a total energy drain?
I have a few ideas based on my own experience with â€œshoulding.â€
While there are many reasons we â€œshouldâ€ all over ourselves, here are my top reasons:
- Fear of what others will think.
- Fear that we may disappoint or piss someone off.
- We feel guilty if we say â€œnoâ€ instead of â€œyesâ€ to some elseâ€™s wants or needs.
- Feelings of not being good enough.
- We feel the need to prove our value so we resort to doing the â€œshouldsâ€.
- We donâ€™t trust in our own abilities to get things done OR to make the right decisions so we listen to what others think we â€œshouldâ€ do.
- We adopt them from someone else.
- â€œShouldsâ€ serve as a great 2×4 to beat the shit out of ourselves with. (As if covering ourselves in â€œshouldsâ€ isnâ€™t enough?)
- We feel our wants are selfish so a â€œshouldâ€ must be self-less, right?
- We need to be seen as busy.
- We compare ourselves to what others do or what they have.
Do any of these sound familiar? Whatâ€™s your biggest should?
If you arenâ€™t sure, I want to invite you to pay close attention to your language over the next week or so. If you find yourself saying â€œshouldâ€, check in as to why the â€œshouldsâ€ are showing up.
What Happens When We STINK of â€œShouldsâ€
The stark reality is this, when we â€œshouldâ€ all over ourselvesâ€¦
Our needs get squished, trampled on, or moved to the bottom of the list. And sometimes they go unmet.
- We subconsciously tell ourselves that what we want is not important.
- We run the risk of creating resentment.
- We miss out on fun.
- We run out of energy. Not only are we covered in â€œshouldâ€, but we are fried and crispy.
- We become explosive, reactionary, â€œshouldâ€-covered people.
- We perpetuate the feelings of â€œnot good enoughâ€.
- We arenâ€™t doing things that fit who we are.
- We run the risk of not being our most authentic selves.
So what can we do to avoid â€œshould-ingâ€ all over ourselves?
How To Flush the â€œShouldsâ€ Once and For All
1.Â Â Â As mentioned previously, itâ€™s important to create awareness by paying attention to what we say. When we hear ourselves â€œshould-ingâ€ make it a point to do Number 2 and that isâ€¦
2.Â Â Â Start asking ourselves questions, for example, â€œIs this something I want to do?â€ and if the answer is â€œNo!â€ then ask something along the lines of â€œWhatâ€™s driving me to do this?â€ and then â€œWhat do I choose/want to do?â€ When we create awareness, we not only create options to choose from, we take back our personal power from the â€œshoulds.â€
3.Â Â Â Practice the art of self-care. It truly helps us to come from a more powerful place and less from a place of not enough. Not to mention, we have more energy to ward off the â€œshouldâ€ when weâ€™re not feeling fried and crispy.
4.Â Â Â Work with someone who can help us to overcome those feelings of not good enough. (A coach or therapist.) Someone that can support us in recognizing that â€œshouldsâ€ are not self-less. They are self-destructive
5.Â Â Â Try not to compare ourselves with what others are doing or what they have.
6.Â Â Â Remember that we have no control over what others think so we canâ€™t allow something we have no control over to throw us into a pile of â€œshouldâ€.
7.Â Â Â Check in with the guilt. Dr. BrenÃ© Brown saysâ€¦â€The difference between shame and guilt is the difference between â€˜I am badâ€™ and â€˜I did something badâ€™â€.Â The only â€œbadâ€ is allowing ourselves to get covered in â€œshouldâ€ in the first place. Besides, how would we feel if we found out that someone said â€œyesâ€ to us out of guilt?
We can stop this pandemic of â€œshouldingâ€ and not because we should, but because we want to! Until next time hereâ€™s to stopping the â€œshould-ingâ€ and standing in our power of â€œI want/willâ€.