Sunday, 16 May 2021

When we 'SHOULD' all over ourselves...

 How often do you 'should' all over yourself? There are many reasons why we say should... "I really SHOULD do the housework" or "I really SHOULD get around to learning a new language" or even "I really SHOULD stop smoking"...

Are you even aware you are saying this? And do you know why you are saying this to yourself? In reality we say "should" far more often than we realise.

So what is the point of saying we "should" do something? Well it implies we know there are things we could do differently in our lives and also that these things are probably for our own benefit (for example, it gets stuff done or it stops us doing things which are bad for us, like smoking or overeating).

So when we say SHOULD to ourselves, we are basically telling ourselves we acknowledge there is something we could do differently. The trouble with the word SHOULD is that it makes it feel like a chore, hardship or even as though someone else is telling us to do this thing. Have you ever noticed how someone looks when they say "should..." to themselves? They usually shrug their shoulders in resignation, roll their eyes or even back away. This is the body language of someone who is not very committed to what they are saying!

My opinion is that this word should be permanently removed from our vocabulary and banished forever! It provides us no purpose whatsoever as it hardly ever leads to action. All is does is make a person feel even worse about not doing the thing they "should" do!

My advice is simple... whenever you notice yourself saying the word 'should' about yourself, STOP. Remove the word 'should' and replace it firstly with 'WANT'. 

So for example, if you are saying "I SHOULD learn a new language", instead say to yourself "I WANT to learn a new language". If you feel at all uncomfortable with this then chances are you don't actually want to! If that is the case, DON'T. If you don't want to do something, chances are you won't be committed to it and you won't actually do very well. Sometimes we realise there is a NEED to do something, like learn a new language for a job or to move to another country, but if there is no actual need, don't waste your time and energy! Likewise, if you try saying, "I WANT to stop smoking" but in actual fact this isn't true (perhaps someone else is telling you to stop but you really don't), then you are not likely to be successful in your attempts. 

If however your answer is that you do want to do this, then move to adding the word 'CAN'. In our previous example, you would then say "I CAN learn a new language". Any human being has the potential to learn a new skill, so this is always yes. Interestingly the same would be true of the question of CAN you stop smoking or CAN you lose weight. The answer is always yes.

Finally, we move onto the word "WILL". Once you have established that you WANT to do something and that you CAN do it, the "I WILL" comes as a natural progression. Once you get to the point of being able to say "I WILL..." there are actually no more obstacles to action. 

Think how much for positive it is to say "I WILL learn a new language, or I WILL stop smoking" rather than "I SHOULD..." do these things. It not only makes the thing sound like it is definitely going to happen, it also puts you in a far greater position of personal power.

So, stop "SHOULD-ing" all over yourself!