I started with the shoulds in my life. I became aware of everything I was doing because I should do it, rather than because I truly wanted to do it. OK, I know we all have a few shoulds in our life to meet family obligations, etc. The problems begin when you find yourself doing most things, or even many things, in your life because you should. Even with family – a lot of the shoulds can be negotiated away.
How many times have you committed to doing something – then later dreaded the whole thing? At this point, you can either fulfill the commitment you made, lie and say there is some reason why you can’t fulfill the commitment or step up and say, “I’ve changed my mind.” The whole process can be avoided by simple checking in before you commit.
You can always spot people who are caught up in this. They always say “yes” to everything, usually without much forethought – then they oftentimes, maybe most times, let others down – don’t show – show up late – or, if their body shows up, “they” aren’t really there. They usually have way too much to do, are overwhelmed, and stressed. Or, they turn to alcohol or drugs or some other means to escape a situation where they feel trapped – and, they are the ones who did the trapping.
Back to my story – after some time I pretty much got most of the shoulds out of my life – only to replace them with coulds. When I finally realized what I was doing, I thought it was hilarious how my mind works. I went from “I should do this” to “I could do this.” Amazing. I guess that was progress, but not much. That’s all been a few years back. Now, I check in – am I “trying” here?
The big question is: “What do I want – right here – right now.” Do that.