I work with people who come in covered head to toe in should. How can anyone have any quality of life when they’re covered in should?
I should do this, I should do that… There’s should over here, should over there. How can you get anything done when you’re so full of should?
Nothing good ever came from should.
Take a good look at your should, what do you see? A big, ol’ pile of should that is at the very least unsettling to examine if not totally disgusting.
Should is rooted in negative, guilt-ridden angst and needs to be eliminated from your life; otherwise it festers and piles up inside of you making you feel worse about yourself, doubt your ability to be productive, lose faith in yourself and can lead to self-loathing.
Should Elimination Cleanse
It’s time to take a big should elimination cleanse.
What’s on your Should List?
Get out a sheet of paper and write down all the things that you tell yourself that you should do on your should list. I should lose weight. I should write Aunt Emma. I should get a better insurance company. I should clean out the garage. I should get a better job. I should start working out. I should spend more time with my kids. Also include those things you feel you shouldn’t do, like I shouldn’t spend so much time with technology, I shouldn’t watch bad news, I shouldn’t drink alone, I shouldn’t show up late, I shouldn’t scream at the kids, I shouldn’t put others needs before my own, and the list goes on and on…
Look at the size of your should list. It’s overwhelming when you realize that you’re so full of should. We’re getting rid of your should list, although you get a chance to cull some of the things from the list and move them to another list.
To clean up your shoulds, get another sheet of paper, this is a list of goals. If you feel compelled to keep some of the shoulds, you may convert them to a goal only if you are willing to take action on it.
That’s the difference between a big pile of should that bogs you down and drains your enthusiasm and goals that inspire you to take action. Shoulds are the things that you don’t do and goals are the things that you do do. Shoulds feel bad because how long have they haunted you? They bombard you and overwhelm you with guilt and make you feel unworthy, that you’re not good enough or like a loser. If something’s been on your should list for more than a year: Really? That’s a lot of unnecessary self-abuse. But, if you’re willing to transfer it to your goal list, you’re only allowed to if you’re committed to taking an action on it within the next seven days. Otherwise, it’s gotta go.
You can revisit the eliminated should at a later date. If it is something you really would like to accomplish at some point, you can re-evaluate it when it’s more likely that you will take action on it and make a goal of it. In the meantime, there’s no more should about it.
Burn your should list. You’re done with that should. No should.
If you’ve transferred it to your goal list and not taken action on it in the seven days, take that should and burn it. Burn that should.
No more should.
You’re not taking any should any more. You’re shouldless.
And that’s just you shoulding on yourself. How often do you should on others?
You know what it’s like to be shoulded on. You don’t like to be should on, so stop shoulding on others.
And if people are shoulding on you, then put them on notice. They are not allowed to should on you again. You’re not taking any more should; not from you, not from anyone.