Stop “Shoulding” on Yourself

Are you feeling drained? Burnt out? Overwhelmed by the little things or the big things for the matter when normally you feel like you have it all under control? There are many reasons why this could be happening and I’m guilty of many of these reasons but one of the biggest reasons is “shoulding” on myself. I also see this happen a lot for coaching clients especially people who are high achievers or identify has highly driven but not great at setting boundaries.

The overuse of the word “should” is huge problem. The word “should” just brings us down. I’m not saying there aren’t going to be things in your life that you have to do (because let’s face it there are! Taxes and laundry anyone?!). I’m not saying throw all your responsibilities out the window because you don’t want to do them, what I’m saying is stop doing things just because you think you “should” or someone else expects you to when really you don’t want to and you have the power to say no.

“Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do.”

~ Paulo Coelho

For example:

  • Stop meeting that friend that brings you down but you feel like you “should” see them because they reached out and you cancelled last time.
  • Stop volunteering to do things that you feel like you “should” do because everyone else seems like they are volunteering for these things.
  • Stop telling yourself you “should” do a certain type of workout when what you really want to do is a workout you enjoy not a popular one.
  • Stop staying in a career that you hate because you feel like you “should” stick it out because it’s what you went to school for or because other people would “love” to have your job.

“The only way to do good work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet keep looking. Don’t settle.”

~ Steve Jobs

You are the only person who has the power to change your narrative around the “shoulds” in your life. So what are some helpful ways to break free of some of your “shoulds?” I ask myself (and my clients) some of these questions to help break up some of these thought patterns:

  • If you say NO to this “should” what do you get to say Yes too?
  • What is the impact of not doing this “should”?
  • Who is impacted by you not doing this “should”?
  • Is there another way to frame this “should” so it doesn’t feel like a burden? So it feels like a “could” or an “I get to…”

Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are doing this to ourselves. Coaching can help us gain clarity around what we want to be doing versus what we are telling ourselves we “should” be doing. Coaching can help us to see the bigger picture the impact that our simple word choices and actions are having on our overall wellbeing and life. Coaching can help you to move forward from a place of “I should” to a place of “I get to” or “I can” or “I would like to but not right now” Reach out via email, LinkedIn, or Instagram to learn more. I’m always happy to have a conversation about what you could be doing and how to get there.