“I should _________________________.”
How do you fill in the blank? Got a long list of stuff that you “should” do? Yeah, me too, but I am ever so careful to keep my awareness of that word on high! When you hear (or think), “You should (blah, blah, blah, blah, blah),” don’t you get the sense that someone’s index finger is pointing at you, like you’re being accused of something?
“Guilty as charged!”
The same kind of feeling happens when you do that to yourself. Sometimes it’s referred to as “shoulding” on yourself. You’ve taken over where those authorities in your life left off! You’ve internalized those authority figures.
Now, not all of that internalizing is necessarily a bad thing. You need your conscience to guide your decisions. But you don’t need “shoulds”!
Look at the difference in these two statements.
“I should ________________.”
“I want _________________.”
Small difference in words but HUGE difference not only in outcome, but in how you feel about yourself! “I should _______________” implies that you haven’t done whatever it is and don’t really want to. Right?
“I want _________________” puts you back in charge, raises your awareness of what’s really going on with you and is more empowering and choiceful! With “I should _______________”, there is only one correct answer, right? And that answer is not something that you want to do!
Turn it around for yourself!
Instead of “I should _____________________”,
USE “I want ________________________.”
Make it a game. See how many times you can catch yourself saying, “I should ________________.” You’ll be amazed at the frequency when you first start noticing your “should” thinking! And, whenever you can, turn it around for yourself by changing it to, “I want _______________.” It is so different. It truly is like night and day both in how you’ll feel and in the increase in clarity and focus, which can help you get more done! It’s an excellent way of reminding yourself that you really are responsible for your life after all!
If you’d like the support of a coach who intimately understands this issue and can give you the support and structure you need to be more effective in this area, contact me. It is such a joy to be a part of you creating a lighter spirit for yourself!