The word should seems innocent enough, but is it?
Because if you’ve ever noticed how you feel when you say should, you won’t find what I’m about to share a surprise.
But should, is a commonly used word!
Yes, you’re right, it is. It’s a word that a lot of people use every day, in fact, many times a day.
Think about how you use it...
I should get that job done
I should visit (insert the name of the person)
I should ring (insert the name of the person)
I should be married by now
I should have a house with a white picket fence by now
I should have $xxx amount of money in my bank account
I should have 2 children by now
I should do more in the community
I should have a senior management job by now
I should be earning more money
I should exercise more often
I should meditate more
I should eat better
I should get my taxes done
I should have my life all figured out
And often what follows a should statement is a spiral of negative thoughts. The harsh, critical thoughts are usually along the lines of you not being good enough, that you’re letting people down and you might also get angry because you feel forced to do something. Sound familiar?
Should is loaded with judgement and criticism - it implies you’re doing or not doing something that you’re obligated to do.
How should makes you feel
Notice how you feel when you repeat the sentences below. Now if finishing an assignment isn’t relevant to you, swap it for something else.
1. I should finish the assignment today.
2. I would like to finish the assignment today.
3. I could finish the assignment today.
Would and could imply you have a choice. It’s up to YOU whether you do the assignment today or not, you can use your own free will to choose. They’re also encouraging words that your brain perceives as being positive (and therefore not a threat that it needs to launch a stress response too!).
Compare that with what happens when you say should. As soon as you think or say it, you’ll trigger a stress response in your body.
We “should” all over ourselves! And in doing so, we give away our power to choose and it causes dis-ease within us that can, over time, show up as illness.
Here’s what you could do (if you choose to)
Each time you notice yourself thinking or saying you should do something, stop and swap “should” for another word. You might choose to use “would”, “will”, “could” or “can”.
And remember, it takes time to embed a new habit - be kind and patient with yourself as you reset your thinking.
About Tracey, your personal coach
Hey there, I'm Tracey and I work with business owners, leaders and self-motivated people who want to achieve real success. Because life is to be lived well now - not spent trying to be and do what you think you *should* and feel constantly stressed!
As a once-upon-a-time chronic people pleaser, I know firsthand what it’s like to doubt yourself and your own dreams for life and business. I also know what it’s like to align your life with your own truth and it’s a game-changing (well, life-changing really!).
Using a good dose of ‘keeping-it-real’ soulfulness, I’ll guide you to reconnect with what matters to you, help you understand the power of your own mind and ensure you have a roadmap for success.