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I have come to dislike the word should but sometimes find it creeping its way back into my vocabulary, especially when it comes to my self-talk. Ugh!

This word is a disease that we are introduced to early on in our lives. Everyone around us seems to have an opinion on what we should be when we grow up. We are told how we should behave. Institutions teach us what we should believe in. We hear that we should go to college if we want to be successful. Loved ones tell us when we should settle down and get married. And the list goes on and on and on.

The disease continues to grow as we inject it into our self-talk with all the things we tell ourselves we should be doing. I should lose 10 pounds. I should read more, work out more. I should try that new thing. I should be more realistic. I should try what he suggested. I should give it another chance.

But why? Why should you really do it?

Should is such a disempowering word. Try saying it out loud. Tell yourself something that you think you should be doing. How does it feel? What thoughts enter your mind?

For me, it feels heavy. When I hear it spewed from the mouths of others, it feels like an imposition. I feel like I’m being scolded or being told what to do. It feels very judgmental.

When it comes to my self-talk, should feels like added weight, an extra burden. When I catch myself saying it, there’s a sigh followed by a sense of guilt. It’s as if I am confirming that I am not enough in some way because I’m not doing what I should be doing. Yuck!

So, what should you do? Nothing. Who wants to do anything that is connected to a feeling of disempowerment. Better questions to ask yourself to counteract this are:

  • What do I really want to do?
  • How do I want to feel?
  • What decision feels right for me?
  • What could I do to take action?

There questions create unlimited, empowering possibilities. They allow you to be in control of your choices, reconnect with your true self, and reengage with your desires and dreams.

So the next time you find that you or someone else is shoulding on you, take a moment to check in with yourself. See what feels right and true for you, and then take action.