Is SHOULD a valid reason for doing anything?

How often do we beat ourselves up because we’re not where we SHOULD be – in life, in our business, with our fitness, with home projects and on it goes? I should have finished this assignment by now. I should have had my new course online months ago.

Is SHOULD a valid reason for doing anything?

Instead of celebrating our achievements and the progress we’ve made, it’s all too easy to admonish ourselves for not being at that elusive point at which we’d like to be.

It may be that we set lofty and unrealistic goals, that we let less important tasks intrude into our workday, that we goofed off and strayed from our path towards the finish line.

Whatever the reason, ​rather than coming down hard on ourselves all the time, perhaps we could begin to analyse why we want to achieve a particular goal, assess whether it aligns with our aims and values and look at what we need to do to realistically achieve that goal.

When we’re doing something that we Should do it’s to keep someone else happy.

As small children we often only toe the line because we Should do the right thing to keep our parents happy, not realising that niggling a sibling is not the best way to go about it.

At school we Should stay in line because it’s expected of us in class. It’s a time to learn that there are some ideals to follow in life for the betterment of society and one of those is respect for others.

Often we feel that we Should accept an invitation so we don’t hurt someone’s feelings. Before we know it we can drift into becoming a people pleaser, handing over our time and our desires to the whims of others.

  • You should join the Board
  • You should come camping with us this weekend
  • You should ……..

I have to question whether Should is a good reason to do anything. As I get older, I’ve learned that I don’t have to say Yes to everything and discovered that saying No comes with a sense of control and an associated lightness.

Over the next few weeks, raise your awareness so that you observe how often you comply with something just because you think you Should.

If you feel a sense of heaviness, that’s your gut saying that perhaps you might politely decline, with no explanation.

You can then welcome the lightness of curing yourself of The Should’ve Syndrome.


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