The first person to bring my attention to this word ‘should’ was Louise Hay. Some of you reading this will know who she is and her fabulous company. Hay House produces books, audio books and seminars and runs events all over the world on self empowerment. I remember listening to an audio book 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 also sounds like another obscene word with very similar letters.
What do these words mean to me?
When you say the word ‘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 favourites of course, is when people say to others “you should…..” Think about it, what does it really 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 is always saying – “I should go to the gym” I think to myself, “well, why don’t you?”. When you actually ask that question, the ‘should’ is quickly followed by a “but” and then often a “I can’t”.
The point I am trying to make is, perhaps we need to consider being a little more easier on ourselves. If there is something that we ‘should’ be doing, perhaps we really don’t want to do it. ‘Should’ is a guilt loaded word and it does not feel good when we say it to ourselves or hear it from others. What can we substitute this word with I hear you question? Well, perhaps words that empowers us more.
‘I would like to’
‘It would be nice to’
Life is too valuable and too short to make each minute thinking about what we ‘should’ be doing instead of enjoying what we are doing right now. We are also not the authority on other’s lives to be telling them what they ‘should’ be doing too. 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 really hear what you say to yourself and others and catch yourself before you say the word ‘should’.