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Are You "Shoulding" on Yourself?

Are you shoulding on yourself? Wait, listen to me very carefully. I didn't say what you think I said. What I actually said was, "Are you shoulding on yourself?" S H O U L D I N G. Are you shoulding on yourself? What do I mean by that?

The word often implies not being in the present, but rather concerned about a past regret or a future thought. So when we say or hear the word "should" in relation to the past, it implies guilt or blame as in, "I should have been more careful" or "I should have done this, or I should have done that."

If it's with regard to the future, then the word "should", can create a sense of obligation such as, "I should really go and do this" or "You know, my parents really wanted me to become a doctor. I should do what they want, even though it's not what I want."

There's some resistance to the word should. If you've ever had someone giving you some advice, and they say, "Well, you know, what you should do is..." If you check in with yourself, when that occurs, you could almost feel some resistance well up in your gut to the idea of some sort of obligation being put upon you. Particularly if it's about a task that you have been told you should do in the future.

And similarly, if it's about something in the past, if we're going to launch forward on our second half success plans and leave regrets behind and not turn back and just go for what's ahead, then eliminating the word should from our vocabulary in reference to things that have occurred in the past is gonna have to be part of that.

So the exercise I would have for you is do what you can to eliminate the word should in reference to your past or particularly your future. In both of those directions, there's a sense of the burden of blame or guilt or the burden of obligation or duty in the future and neither one of those is necessarily what you need. Both of those will keep you out of the present moment. On being able to focus on the here and now and the tasks that are most relevant and most present.

Cause that's the only place where you can really change is here in the present. And engaging in a battle of shoulds between things you should have done in the past and things you should do in the future won't get you where you want to go. Probably won't get you to the second half success that you desire.

So what's the encounter to that. What's the alternative to using the word "should"? If there are things you need to do in the future or you want to do in the future, simply say, "Here's my list of things to do in the future."

If there's some reference to something in the past, "These are some things I didn't take advantage of in the past. There were some options I did not pursue in the past. <affirmative> that sounds a lot more gentle and forgiving. The resistance that comes up from that does not immediately emerge and it makes it easier to slide into the activity.

Try to eliminate that in reference to yourself, and others as well. Don't should on other people. If you are giving advice to someone about something that might be advantageous for them to take up, you can simply say, "well, here are a few options." "One thing I might recommend is..." "Here's something for you to consider...." "Here's an action you can take..."

Similarly, if in reference to something that someone did in the past, simply saying "Some other options you might have been able to entertain might have been X." Or "Here's some other things that you didn't try that maybe you could have tried." It's a bit more gentle. It goes down easier that way.

So don't should on yourself and don't should on other people. I

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