Recently, I’ve become hyper-aware of the words that people say, especially words with a not-so-great energy. The word at the top of my radar at the moment is “should”. Do you ever notice how you react when someone tells you that you “should” do something? I’ve noticed that for most people, their immediate response is resistance. They automatically push back against the thing they are told to do.
I side with Louise Hay (author of You Can Heal Your Life) when she says she would like to remove the word should from the vocabulary forever! It’s one of the most damaging words in the English language and here’s why…
Louise says, “Every time we use should, we are basically saying “wrong”. Either we are wrong, or we were wrong, or we are going to be wrong. I don’t think we need more wrongs in our life.”
In You Can Heal Your Life, Hay provides a wonderful exercise to bring more of your awareness to the dangers of using the word “should”.
“Take out a piece of paper and at the top write, I SHOULD. Then make a list of five or six ways to finish that sentence. You may find it hard or you might have so many things on your list that it’s hard for you to stop writing.
Your answers will show you where your beliefs and mindsets are limiting you.
Now try this. Go through the list again, one item at a time, except this time, start each sentence by saying, “If I really wanted to, I could …”
Then ask yourself, “Why haven’t I?”
You might come up with answers like I don’t know how, or I’m scared.
You may find that you have been beating yourself up for a long time for something you never wanted to do in the first place or criticizing yourself for not doing something at all when it was never your idea to begin with.
I can bet you know at least a few people who are plodding through a career that they hate only because their parents said they “should” become an accountant or a lawyer, for example.
When they can see this, they can finally drop it from their “should list” and start the process of releasing the feelings of being “wrong” because they are not fitting someone else’s standards.”
I’d also like to advise you to drop the word “should” when you are asking yourself a question as in, “should I do this or should I do that?” Instead, ask yourself “is it optimal for me to…..” This totally changes the dynamic of the question and allows you to come at it from a more neutral place without casting judgement on your decision.
So this week, I challenge you to be more mindful of your words and please stop shoulding all over yourself!