|Let the Guilt Go (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
"Should" - this is one of the most damaging words in our language!
Every time we use the word "should", we are, in effect, saying "wrong." Usually when you think about the things you think you "should" have done or "should" do - you are only trying to please other people.
Sometimes you use this word as a result of living up to your (or someone else's) unrealistic expectations. This usually occurs because you are afraid or feel you are not good enough.
Don't live up to someone else's standards - what do you want?!? Set your goals and expectations at a reasonable and attainable height. Listen to the words you speak and to your self talk. Be conscious of how many times and in what circumstances you say or think the word "should". When you notice a "should" replace it with "If I really wanted to I could/would ...".
"Here's an example: Instead of saying, "I should exercise more."... replace it with, "if I really wanted to, I would exercise more." This slight change in wording and attitude turns guilt into freedom. And if you're really honest with yourself, and you really did want to exercise more, you would! You would make it a priority and make time in your schedule to do so!
If you are happy with not exercising, then erase that "should" statement from your vocabulary and be happy and guilt-free with not exercising.
Here's another example: Instead of saying, "I should have gone to college!"... replace it with, "if I really wanted to, I could have gone to college." Again, this turns guilt into freedom.
You may easily use excuses as to why this second statement is not true: I couldn't afford college, I didn't have good enough grades to go to college, etc. But these are just excuses. If you really wanted to go to college, you would have found a way!
In this example, as with many "shoulds" in your life ... it's not too late! If you still feel you "should" have and could have gone to college ... GO! If something is important to you ... do it!
On the flip side, if you think you "should" have gone to college because your parents wanted you to go ... release that thought! You can say, "If I really wanted to, I could have gone to college, but I didn't want to go" and leave it at that ... because you didn't want to go to college, your parents wanted you to go!
These are just two examples, but you can apply it to anything you think you "should" do or have done. Try it out! Let me know how this subtle change in wording affects the way you feel!
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