Are You “Shoulding” All Over Yourself?

How many times a day are you saying that you “should” be doing something? “I should call my brother back,” “I should go to the gym,” “I should visit my parents.”

The word, “Should,” insinuates that the power lives outside of you; that the Should is forcing you to do things instead of you deciding for yourself. When that happens, your Little One naturally rebels.Stressing

He or she doesn’t like being told what to do, and because there’s a real powerlessness in the “Should,” she knows your resolve is shaky, that you’re likely to give in to resistance, and that you’ll probably let her off the hook.

By becoming a slave to the Should, you teach yourself to not trust your own inner guidance; that outside forces know what’s right for you better than you do.

One small change can quickly shift the power from external to internal. See if you can “hear” the difference in these two statements. Say them out loud, if you need to:

  1. I should go to the gym.
  2. I could go to the gym.

Do you see how saying “could” instead of “should” puts the power back in your hands? It makes the task, event, or trip something you get to decide versus something you’re being told to do, and when that happens, you’re much more likely to take action on something you want to do and say no to something you’d rather not do. It’s a subtle, yet powerful, difference.

The other side of the Should coin is the perceived safety it provides. “Should I look for a new job?” “Should I take that trip?” or “Should I relocate?” By staying in the Should spiral, you keep your options open and avoid the possibility of having made a wrong choice.

But what if there is no “wrong” choice? What if every choice you make is a stepping stone leading you right to where you need to be? How will you ever know if you don’t take a step?

When you find yourself going down the Should rabbit hole, sometimes the best way to find your answer is to go for it. No more debating. Just make a move. After all, you can stand on the shore debating the temperature of the water, but you’ll never know until you get in. (click to tweet).

Here’s your challenge for the week:

  1. Identify the area in your life where you’re riding the Should seesaw.
  2. Come up with one small action you can take.
  3. Take. That. Action. You’re not committing to anything at this point. You’re simply testing the waters.
  4. If, after taking the action, you feel inspired, plugged in, or intrigued, take the next step, and so on.

Pay attention to how you’re using Should as a crutch, and challenge yourself to hang it up.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this. Chat with me in the comments below.

Until next week, keep taking those small steps to Live Out Loud.

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