How To Stop “Should-ing” All Over Yourself
Are you “should-ing” yourself to death? Do you find yourself saying things like:
- I should be able to get more done.
- I should do what he or she said.
- I shouldn’t say that.
- I should spend more time with my family.
- I shouldn’t take that course or take that trip, or buy that dress…it’s too expensive.
- I should be thankful for (fill in the blank)…my job, my life, my husband, etc.
- I should wake up early.
- I shouldn’t eat that cookie.
And the list goes on….
The word “should” is part of everyone’s vocabulary, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.
“Should” is the reason you feel guilty and why you don’t follow your dreams, make new choices, or allow yourself to speak up and say “yes” to what brings you joy.
When you “should” yourself, you put a lot of pressure on yourself to do or be something based on what you think you’re SUPPOSED to do rather than doing something because YOU truly want to be doing it.
When you tell yourself whether you SHOULD or SHOULDN’T do or say something that “should” was told to you by someone else. Whenever you hear yourself using the word “should” it’s a sign that you’re thinking someone else’s thoughts or believing someone else’s beliefs.
You know who you’re SUPPOSED to be, but not who YOU are.
Because it’s been ingrained in you for so long to do or say things because you “should”, you lose your ability to distinguish what it is YOU actually want or believe. And, because you often confuse the two, you wind up being held captive by that internalized voice of what you think you’re suppose to do which is the reason why you feel guilty, don’t follow your dreams, make new choices, or allow yourself to speak up and say “yes” to things that make you happy.
Here’s the thing, when you should yourself, that’s not being honest and true to who you really are. In fact, it’s a fake or false you and it actually keeps you from making changing and doing things that are right for YOU….the real you.
And not taking action toward the things that you really want to do or say only makes you feel worse about yourself adding to your feeling of guilt which then brings about more “shoulds”. Can you see why this is such a destructive habit?
What can you do about it?
When you hear the voice in your head pushing you to do something because you think you “should”, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I think people will view me as a “nice” or a “good” person (or a better worker, friend, etc.) if I say yes?
- Am I worried that saying no may disappoint someone or make them angry?
- Am I worried that someone may not like me if I said no?
- Does the thought of saying yes make me feel tired, resentful, anxious or stressed?
- Does it make me feel happy, excited, alive and satisfied?
- Do I truly want to do it and why?
These questions will help you understand the real reason or motive behind your need to do something. Sometimes, it may be something you agree 100% you want to do or say. In that case, do it.
However, if you have tendency to please others….like I did, in most cases you’ll recognize that you DON’T REALLY believe you should do it or want to do it, and you’re only trying to convince yourself into doing it because there’s someone else’s voice in your head telling you that you should. Even if that voice is not a specific person (the infamous “they”), you’re choosing to do what you should do based on that voice in order to please them.
Should-ing yourself is a not beneficial habit, so be on the lookout for the word SHOULD and question any belief that you may have that is attached to it by asking yourself if it’s yours. Then, you’ll be able to make your decision based on what YOU truly want and believe.
If you’re reading this and have realized that you have been “should-ing” yourself for so long that it’s automatic and you’ve lost sight of and are afraid to say what you really want, I’d love to help you with that for free.
Book in for a free 30 minute assessment where I’ll help you to get to the bottom of why you’re “should-ing” yourself and give you some additional strategies to break that cycle so you can begin to do and say things that are right for you.