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.