You Need To Stop Saying “Should”
Written by: Kat Gal
How often do you use “should” during your day?
No, I mean seriously, how often do you use this word? How often do you say it out loud? How often do you tell it to yourself quietly?
You would be surprised if you seriously counted.
We are trained from childhood that we “should be someone” or “should do something” or “should act somehow” and so on. I am not saying that you should count the number of times “should” crosses your mind, but perhaps you want to be aware of it. Even the awareness of all the “shoulds” can change your life.
“Should” is a powerful word. More often than not, “should” has a negative effect on our lives. We “should be” someone and something, but we are not. We feel like failures. We are not good enough.
More often than not, these “shoulds” are simply unrealistic expectations from society, from people around us… and from ourselves. Maybe you will get there, but you need more time, more support, a different situation, or a reminder. Maybe you will never get there, because maybe you don’t need to get there.
Does your heart and soul and deep inner-being truly want to measure up to all of these “shoulds?” Maybe it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, then you probably should not even be what your “shoulds” are telling you to be.
I live a rather alternative lifestyle, full of travel and untraditional life choices. As a result, I experience a lot of “shoulds.” Some of the “shoulds” are coming from pressure and criticism from people around me. Many of the “shoulds” are coming from me: I tell myself that people think I “should be” something or I simply think that my situation and behavior “should be” different to be good enough. All this leads to disappointment, the feeling of being not good enough, dissatisfaction and sadness.
Such feelings have followed me throughout my life.
Now I know better.
This doesn’t mean that negative feelings don’t come up. But I am more aware and it is easier to change them to positive feelings.
For example, when living in Mexico last year, “I should pay more attention to turning off the boiler” quickly changed to “It is okay that I missed to turn the boiler off twice in the past 4 weeks. I am still adjusting. I am being more and more aware. Life didn’t end because I made a mistake twice.”
“I should get up at 6 am to go running with others and be social” is now “It is okay that I actually value and need my sleep. It is okay that I actually enjoy running alone. There are plenty of opportunities to run with people here. It is completely okay to not participate at all times. In fact, it is awesome that I am following my heart and seeking running more rested and more in solitude – because my soul is craving this. I celebrate my introvert nature and honor my sleep.”
And so on.
Changing your mindset in a similar way will help you to get rid of all the “shoulds” in your life and to start living an empowered life.
It is okay that “shoulds” pop up. But I am being mindful of them and trying to change my “shoulds” and negative self-talk to be more positive, empowering and uplifting.
Wherever I am right now is okay. Whoever I am is enough. I am enough.
And you know what?
You are enough too! Perfect just the way you are!
How do “shoulds” appear in your life? How do you change your mindset and take away the control of the “shoulds” and the inner-chatter? Share your answers in the comments below, as always, we’d love to learn from you.
Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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