To quote a well-known person and television series, which will go nameless for various reasons…..”Why are we shoulding all over ourselves?”
I personally believe that we all need to remove the word “should” from our vocabulary, particularly when we are speaking to ourselves. I’ve found it difficult. I didn’t realize how much I used this word. I am being self-aware, deliberate, and conscience about recognizing when I start to use this word and then stopping and changing the word or phrase to remove the word should. It takes constant practice.
The online Dictionary defines the word Should like this: “used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions” (thank you Google). Typically that someone mentioned in the definition is us. I find that it isn’t helpful nor productive to criticize one’s self.
I’ve found that removing this word from my vocabulary as had positive effects on my life. This practice has elevated the connection of any possible self-inflicted guilt associated with something.
For example, a statement someone says to themselves: “I should go to the gym today.” Then the person for whatever reason doesn’t go to the gym that day. Because they already think they “should” have gone to the gym, then they feel guilty for not going. If you do not say or think you “should go to the gym today” to start with, then you won’t feel guilty for not going if you don’t make it that day.
Instead, say to yourself….”I would enjoy going to the gym today, but if I don’t make it today, it’s no big deal, tomorrow’s a new day.” Trust me when I say, you are more likely to actually go to the gym that day, with the thought of “I’d enjoy going to the gym today” rather than “I should go to the gym today”.
How we speak to ourselves and frame our thoughts really does matter. The words we choose to use and how we use them will determine how our days go, both physically (going to the gym) and how we feel throughout the day.
For me, just saying the word “should” to myself makes me want to do the opposite! “I should go to the gym today” or “I shouldn’t go home and drink wine after work”…..guess what I’m doing after work today??
As we are now 10 days into the New Year of 2018….there is no time like the present to stop shoulding yourself. Make 2018 the year you rid yourself of “should”.
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Solid post. I got told to remove and replace the word with “could” as in choice by a counselor I was seeing for my anxiety. Once I started actively trying to replace “Should” I realized how much I used it and how much it affected the way I saw/lived my life.
Thank you! And thank you for taking the time to share with me. The word “could” is a much better option. I’m happy to hear that this change is making a positive influence for you. Best wishes.
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