Hands up if you have used the word should today? My hand is up there with you.
In my recovery from being a perfectionist polly, I am a heck of a lot better at not should-ing all over myself than I used to be. The shoulds used to be unconscious, as did most of my life… Now, I am aware of my thoughts and that all thoughts aren’t facts, I catch my shoulds and tell them to should off.
However, even with this awareness of the shoulds, I can still get wrapped up in the “I should game” a little longer than I would like to.
It can go like this…
“You should not be this emotional”
“You should have your own successful business by now”
“You should be earning more money”
“You should do more”
“You should be perfect, happy + vibrant Lauren all of the time”
It can go on and on can’t it? Sound familiar…0?
Our ego’s like to play the should game. It keeps us wrapped up in this realm of trying to be perfect, to live the perfect life and to live up to the high standards set on you by society, your family, your friends or most likely, by your self.
I see it so much in other people too. People who aren’t in a long term relationship and married by 30 think they should be. People who don’t have a normal 9-5, stable corporate job think they should do. People who aren’t buying a house in their late 20s think that they should. People who don’t have the body society deems as beautiful think that they should. People who are sensitive and emotional feel like they need to squash it down and appear perfect, put together and “fine” all of the time.
Can we please just drop the shoulds?
Why should we all follow the normal life and be married with 2.5 kids by 30? Why should we all have to buy a house by 30? Why should we all have to maintain an unattainable beauty standard for the majority of our world’s population? Why should we never show our emotions and act like put together people 24/7? We aren’t freaking robots for crying out loud.
Let’s remember one thing… We are all HUMAN. Human’s are these amazingly complex beings with a large array of feelings and emotions, different talents + gifts and different life circumstances. We are beings that live in a wonderful and beautiful, but also incredibly messy world. We live on a planet that is a part of a solar system and floats in space (da fuck!). And we all should all over ourselves and think we “should” be doing x, y + z. What even is the “right thing” we “should” be doing. No one really has a clue… I think everyone is pretty much winging it.
So as long as you are not harming anyone or any thing, then live the life YOU want to live. You are allowed to get that corporate job, house and car and be married by 30 if that is what makes you happy. You are allowed to go travelling around the world in a van with your partner whilst blogging if that is what makes you happy. You are allowed to be super vibrant and happy one day and then cry into your bagel the next day as you release one of the many human emotions that come up in this complex, human experience we call life.
We are not meant to be perfect. Life is not meant to be perfect. We are not all meant to live the same “perfect” lives.
Stop should-ing all over yourself and give yourself a bloody break. Live from love. Be kind to yourself. Follow your Bliss. Appreciate the good times. Focus on what you’re grateful for. Love and accept yourself for allllll you are right now and for all you have been and for all you will be, tears and farts and all…
When we are stuck in the land of should, we are not making room for being ourselves, being authentic and living the life we were created to live.
Next time you start to say I should… Replace it with I could. Then, evaluate if it aligns with your true life values and assess whether this is a helpful thought and motivator or a hindrance that you can release and let go of.
Some examples I might say…
“I should be thinner/more toned” —–> “I could be thinner or more toned but this does not align with my true life values and I know my worth does not come from my size and I have far more important things to do then to spend my energy and focus on losing weight and toning up”. Release and Let go…
“I should have a successful business by now” —–> “I could have a successful business and it is something that would align with my true life values if it is a heart centred business that helps people or the planet in some way. It could also help to give me purpose, job satisfaction and work/life balance and flexibility. I can use this could thought as motivation to take steps towards making this happen”.
“I should not be so emotional or sensitive” —–> “I could not be so emotional or sensitive, but this is who I am. My true life value is to be authentic and who I am, therefore I give myself permission to feel my emotions and let them go in a way that is healthy for me (i.e. journalling or talking to a therapist or friend). I also give myself permission to not be “perfect” all of the time in front of people. I do not have to be a perfect robot with no emotions. I am human and I love and accept my self for my humanness, tears and all. Release and let go…
Try it for yourself and turn your should’s into could’s that you can use as positive motivators or let that shit go!
Do you find yourself saying “I should” a lot? How could you change that into I could?