Eliminate the “Shoulds”

I just read a really great post called “If You Could Improve Your Life by Replacing One Word Would You?”  It reminded me of some things I had recently learned about why eliminating the word “should” from my vocabulary is something I now work on regularly.  When I tell myself I should be doing more or being more, I am l actually telling myself that I’m not good enough and I am reinforcing the idea that I am not doing that thing I am wanting to do or thinking about doing. So when you say “I really should exercise more often”, the unspoken followup sentence is “but I don’t.”  Doing this reinforces the negative because we are talking about things we wish we were doing, but aren’t.  Instead, I could say “I would like to ______!”  When I tell other people they should or shouldn’t do something, I’m not respecting their ability to make the best decisions for themselves.  Instead, I could say “Would you maybe consider doing _____?” To learn more about this and how to change your internal dialogue, check out the blog post called “Why the Word “Should” Can be Harmful and 3 Empowering Alternatives.”

 

Posted by:  Angela Whiting, North Hampton, NH.

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