Time to let go of the ‘shoulds’. ‘Should’ is hands down one of the words I hear the most from clients, from other people’s content, friends, colleagues, everyone.I always question it and call it out nowadays.It’s totally natural to use it. We’ve been conditioned since we were tiny by parents, care givers, teachers etc, to use it and respond to it, so I have to check myself when I use it too.But it’s dangerous. When we heard it when we were young how did we feel? Wrong? Shame? Bad? Guilty? Not good enough? Obliged? Forced to do things we don’t want to?So many negative connotations to one little word and yet we haven’t quite twigged to its power in the way we use it.You’re essentially ‘should-ing’ all over yourself from a great height! (I wish I could claim that one as mine…I have no idea where I heard it first!)You’re essentially wishing for…and highlighting what you don’t have, where you think you’re ‘failing,’ who you wish you were. It has guilt and frustration written all over it.How many times per day do you think you say it, or think it?‘I should have more clients’‘I should eat better’‘I should do more’‘I should go to the gym’‘I should work harder’‘I should be positive’‘I should be further along’Should, should, should, should, should, should, should!
Does it help?
Does saying you ‘should’ ever actually help the situation and spur you into action….orrrr does it just make you beat yourself up and feel not good enough?Let’s be honest, it’s inherently a little bit negative, critical and down on yourself or other people.We say it to ourselves over and over…but we also say it to other people. Which, let’s be honest….is more than just a little bit judgey!Essentially, you’re saying if they, or you, don’t do what you’re saying they, or you, ‘should’ then they are in some way ‘less than’ or ‘not good enough’ or ‘wrong’…not nice right?!
How does it affect relationships?
How does telling people they ‘should’ do, say or be certain things affect your friendships, and any relationship for that matter when you use it?How does it FEEL when you say it to yourself!?Stressful right? Full of shame, embarrassment, anxiety…why do it to yourself?…and why on earth would you do it to someone else knowing how it feels?
Where does it tend to show up?
Work out when and where it turns up for you so you can create some awareness. It tends to show up around feelings and emotions we think we ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ feel.For example, ‘I shouldn’t be negative.’ As I’ve said before, emotions can be our biggest steer towards what we want and away from what we don’t. It’s the law of polarity. You need the light AND the dark, the good and the bad so you can experience both and understand what you’re being told by each.Or it will show up in behaviours and actions we (or people in our lives) think we ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ do. For example, ‘I should stop procrastinating’ or ‘I should be further along in my business.’It’s creating good old cognitive dissonance, usually when you consciously want something that your unconscious habits and beliefs are battling against. Our ‘shoulds’ usually refer to something we wish came naturally to us but doesn’t or something we want but don’t have. So it feels super uncomfortable.
What are you telling your subconscious mind?
When you also think about what you’re affirming about your identity to your subconscious mind you can see why it would be helpful to eliminate it from our vocabulary. You’re consistently affirming the fact you are not where you want to be, who you want to be or have what you want to have. You’re always in a state of feeling not good enough but then you affirm that as the TRUTH, so it makes sense why it then feels so hard to work towards it. The focus is all on what you don’t have yet….you’re making THAT your truth.
So how can you nip it in the bud or at least reduce it!
Questions, always asking yourself powerful questions.So….why ‘should’ you? Who said so? Where did that belief that you ‘should’ come from?Was it from you? Society? Your parents? Your social circle? What do YOU believe?Are your ‘shoulds’ actually based on truth and a realistic expectation? Usually the answer to that is a bit fat NOPE!Do you actually even WANT what your ‘shoulds’ are telling you you should want?? Is it actually true?For example, if you’re telling yourself you ‘should’ have more clients by now in your business and you’re only 1 month in…is it true?? Don’t beat yourself up when you do say ‘should’, to yourself OR someone else…just notice it and start to create the awareness so you can make a different choice next time…rewind and flip it!I do it all the time. Like I said, it’s natural for it to slip out, it’s a lifetime worth of conditioning. But when I catch it, I rewind and flip it!My easiest flip is usually to ‘could’ instead of should. To be fair this is usually towards my poor hubster…’Ooooh you know what you SHOULD do…hang on…do you know what you COULD do’? It opens up a different layer of thinking, whether it’s for myself or someone else.It’s also not TELLING them something, it becomes about sharing ideas and then they have the choice to take it or leave it without you being annoyed or offended or them feeling bad.It’s opening up potential, choice, ideas, it feels so much lighter for everyone involved. You can see how so many arguments happen right?! Think of the energy of the first type of conversation vs the second.Or even just flip ‘I should’ to ‘I want to.’
What about when you really SHOULD?
Now it ‘should’ be said that there are of course tonnes of instances where we really ‘should’ do certain things in order to avoid negative consequences. For example, feeding our kids. paying our bills and taxes, putting petrol in the car…so in these instances what I would LOVE for you to do is reframe that ‘should’ into a‘get to’. I mean how much more empowering is that?!It turns from a pain in the butt on your to do list and something negative into something that’s actually positive and full of gratitude.I mean, how grateful are you to have your kids to feed? And that you earn enough money to have to pay taxes? And that those bills are a thank you payment for a service you’ve enjoyed like being able to whatsapp all your friends and speak to your parents or that you’ve enjoyed the internet and been connected to people all over the world in different timezones.And that you have a car to take you wherever you want to go and you’ve been places and had independence so you’ve got to fill her up!Right?? Different feels occurring right there!
What does it MEAN?
Next thing to think about is what are you currently making it MEAN about yourself that you don’t do/have it currently?? What are you making it mean about who you are or where you are right now?
Why do you want or need to do it anyway?
What’s the good stuff on the other side of that ‘should’? That’s where you can find the motivation to do all these things you’re telling yourself you ‘should’!What would happen if you put your focus on WHY you want to do it rather than the fact you’re not…slightly more motivating dontcha think?The main thing is to understand how should disempowers you and anyone on the other side of it and having that awareness means you can catch yourself and flip it around.I mean, at the end of the day it all boils down to this…‘should’ you really do the thing, be the thing, have the thing you think you should?! Ask yourself better questions and get yourself better results and get back to living a life you really love because you’re the one in control!
If you got value from this and you know in your gut that now is the time to step up and start rewiring your thinking and changing things for yourself then book in a free discovery call so we can work out what needs to happen to get you from where you’re at right now, to the action taking success you know you can be!! If you want my eyes and ears on YOUR problems I work with people 1:1, through the Proactive Pants Programme and 1:1 full day intensives, stop waiting for if and when and decide to change things now!
Fran Excell, Subconscious Success Mentor – Helping Business Owners Overcome Self Sabotage & Get More Done In Less Time at www.franexcell.comRESOURCES:Check out The Positive Pants PodcasthereDownload your FREE Stressed To Success Meditation hereShop Printables & Meditations hereGrab your 365 day ‘Attitude Of Gratitude’ Journal hereGrab Your ‘Positive Pants Firmly On’ Notebook hereBook In a Free 20 Minute Discovery Call here