The Dirty "S" Word

 The three levels of “should”


“Walking around these walls, I thought by now they’d fall” - these song lyrics have been bouncing around my head lately, reminding me how I’m just not “there” yet.

Ever feel that way?

The dirty “s” word tends to creep into my head, my mind’s dirty way of reminding me that I don’t measure up all the time. If we’re honest with ourselves, there’s few words more dampening to the psyche than “should.”

Things like… “I should be there by now,” or “I should have accomplished this by now,” or “I should be over this by now,” and so forth. It’s a pitchfork we keep stabbing ourselves with, and then wonder why we don’t feel well.

I’ve boiled down 3 broad times when the word “should” comes to mind, so I thought I’d share the ways I’ve been working through it to give myself grace and love, because I deserve it.. And, so do you!

It’s only when we’re strong and confident, loving ourselves for who we are right now at this moment, that we can pursue our limitless potential. I hope you’ll practice these with me this week and truly thrive!

Reasons for “should” -

Because someone else is doing it - When you realize this as the root of your expectations, it’s imperative to your sanity and well-being to toss it right out the window. You’re a unique individual with your own set of circumstances, needs, opportunities and obstacles, and it’s unrealistic to be able to do something based on what another has or hasn’t achieved. Sorry to state the obvious, but you’re not them, and they’re not you.

The only one you can accurately compare to is the one staring back at you in the mirror. And she’s pretty fantastic. Instead of focusing on what another has, exercise the habit of gratitude for the set you’ve been given. It’ll make the grass greener on your side of the fence.

Because you’ve been trying, but inconsistent - This is a tough one, because our mind fools us into believing that we’ve been at it for a long time (whatever “it” is), and we should have accomplished something because of the timeline. This is one of the hardest to overcome because there’s so much guilt and shame that we often put on ourselves as a result of seemingly failed attempts, but the truth is that the only failure is no longer trying.

Even if it feels like you’re at the same place you started, I can all but guarantee that there’s some degree of change and growth that’s occurred, but you’ll never notice or appreciate it if you’re looking over your shoulder. If you’re finding it too hard to stay consistent toward what you’re pursuing, spend time finding the root so you can address it. Reach out and grab some accountability.. You’re worth it!

Because you’re trying, consistent, but stuck - This is a tough one because not all of our actions produce the results we want. If you’re not getting the results you want, then it’s important to change what you’re doing. We as humans do a poor job of being objective toward our own initiatives, and oftentimes an expert pair of outside eyes can advise you on some simple changes to make lasting results. Again, you’re worth it!

Here’s the thing - no one has it all together. We’re all waking up each morning and doing the best we can, putting our pants on one leg at a time. At least, that’s all I’m doing and if you’ve got it all together, please don’t burst my bubble.

Imagine what life would be like if we could just give ourselves a break, take a deep breath and accept ourselves just as we are? It starts by tossing out thought patterns that don’t work for us! I hope these tools give you a great place to start.

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