Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Features: Are You Shoulding Yourself?

Yesterday, on my Organizing by STYLE blog, I wrote about habits that can kill our motivation. At the top of the list?

The Shoulds.

You know how it goes. I should do this, I should do that....

Sometimes we do. Sometimes we don't. But those shoulds almost always make us feel bad.

The shoulds tell us we're not good enough. Motivated enough.


Enough with the shoulds. In addition to making us feel bad, they chip away at our time and energy -- the very resources we need to do the things we actually want to do.

The funny thing is, our shoulds might not even align with who we are, but rather with some expectation that lies outside of us. In an article in Psychology Today, psychotherapist and interfaith minister Nancy Colier says that, "[b]ecause so much of our behavior is driven by 'should,' we are losing our ability to distinguish what we really 'want'."

Truthfully, the shoulds often do more harm than good so this weekend, I'm packing them away. No shoulds. If I must "should" myself, I'm going to try changing the language -- "it might be a good idea if..."

Semantics? Maybe. But if it might be a good idea, it also might not be a good idea. Not only does that loophole pack less of a wallop than a should, it also gives me the opportunity to determine whether the should is something I want or some random standard I'm holding myself to.

How about you? Are you tired of shoulding yourself?

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