#65 The Danger of ‘Should’

Should.  It’s a funny word.  I always feel that it links to some kind of obligation you’ve enforced on yourself.

Every time you find yourself using the word ‘should’, just stop and question why.  Who or what is imposing the obligation on you?  ‘Should’ is a word I find often comes connected with guilt.  “I should really go for a run.”  Why should you?  Do you want to? Or do you feel you ‘have’ to?  When we say we ‘should’ do things we are announcing some kind of failure on our part when we don’t do them.  It’s a roundabout way of saying that we don’t accept ourselves the way we are.  There’s always room for change in our lives, of course, but there’s also an importance in accepting ourselves in the moment and not believing we will be better versions of ourselves because we run more, or eat more vegetables or work harder.

Recently I’ve been replacing the word ‘should’ with ‘could’.  “I could go for a run.”  “I could eat more vegetables.”  “I could spend a bit less time on Facebook and more time on my writing.”  It opens it up to being a possibility, an invitation to yourself, no pressure.  When I know I’m giving myself the option to do something, I’m far more likely to do it, I’ve found.  And don’t berate myself if I fail to.

It’s not always a bad word, but just monitor it’s usage in you dialogue, check it’s there for the right reasons and not as a criticism on yourself.



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