Disempowerment of the word ‘should.’
Louise Hay was the first person to bring my attention to the word ‘should’. Some of you will know who she is and her excellent company. Hay House produces books, audiobooks and seminars and runs events worldwide on self-empowerment. I remember listening to an audiobook by Louise in which she talked about the magnitude of the disempowerment that the word ‘should’ had on an individual. Since then, I have been quite sensitive to it and another word, ‘can’t’, which sounds like another obscene word with very similar letters.
What do these words mean to me?
When you say ‘should’, it suggests that you are supposed to do, think, act, perform and be something other than what you are. You are not, but you are supposed to be. Here are some classics:
“I should sleep more.”
“I should eat better.”
“I should exercise more often.”
“I should give up…smoking, drinking, coffee etc.”
“I should see my family more often.”
“I should get my finances under control.”
And on and on it goes. My favourite, of course, is when people say to others, “you should…..” Think about it. What does it say? To me, it says that there is an obligation that I am not fulfilling and that it is something that I have, must or ought to do. It is a requirement, a duty and essential, and for what and who? If someone always says, “I should go to the gym,” I think, “well, why don’t you?”. When you ask that question, the ‘should’ is quickly followed by a “but” and often an “I can’t”.
We need to consider being a little easier on ourselves. If there is something that we ‘should’ be doing, perhaps we don’t want to do it. ‘Should’ is a guilt-loaded word. It does not feel good when we say it to ourselves or hear it from others. So what can we use to substitute this word? Well, words that empower us more.
‘I would like to.’
‘It would be nice too.’
Just do it – or let it go
Life is too valuable and short to make each minute think about what we ‘should’ be doing instead of enjoying what we are doing now. We are also not the authority on other’s lives to be telling them what they ‘should’ be doing. Nike, my favourite shoe brand, says it beautifully, ‘Just Do It,’ and if you are not going to, then make peace with it and let it go. Make this the first day you hear what you say to yourself and others, and catch yourself before you say ‘should’.