Have “I should” Statements become a Habit?
“I should be more….”
“They should be more….”
“You should have……”
Stop “shoulding” all over yourself. And others.
Is there some thing you feel you “should” have done or “should have not done”? Someone you feel you ‘’should” be? Somewhere you feel you “should be”?
Here are 3 go-t0 statements I tell myself when I find myself in the “should show”:
- If there is something you should have done and still feel this way, then do it.
- If you are not where you feel you ‘’should” be, where do YOU feel you should be, change the “should” into “I am going to be” and create an action plan to get there.
- If there is something you did that you feel you ‘should not” have done, don’t do it again.
But before following the above 3 steps or in conjunction with them, it is important to do some tracking.
Here’s a fun exercise you can try out to help evoke some self awareness and see if you are living your life in “shoulds”:
Pick a week and simply start logging how many times you say “should”, to others and to yourself. You can tally these up and then take a look at how often you use this, and in what context.
Has this perhaps become a habit? Were you even aware that you were using this word so often?
Questions for thought: What patterns can you identify? Is there a particular time of place that you use this word more often? Who are you around? Nor around? What are you doing? What emotional state are you in?
Once you start noticing your use of this word, and bringing your repetitive use of it to a level of consciousness you are now clearly aware of, you can then start replacing it with more constructive, action-oriented words and break the habit, such as:
“Next time, I will…”
“From now on I am going to….”
“I am going to work towards”
I know…its challenging. And no, I am not going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. Ever! But reducing this word and exploring its use and place in your daily thoughts and language can make a huge difference in how you see your life, live your life, FEEL your life and carry out your life!