Stop Shoulding on Yourself
When you can't think straight, "should" is a good word to eliminate from your vocabulary. It resonates with judgment and guilt, and is often followed by a knee-jerk reaction rather than a deliberate decision. First, post this reminder on your telephone or daily calendar: "There are no shoulds." Then try this quick-lift.
- Check your to-do list for any "shoulds." If you find any, ask a few questions: Am I doing this to avoid conflict? To look good? Out of guilt? Because I want to?
- If you answer, "Because I want to," why are you perceiving it as a "should"? Reframe how you think about it, making it a choice. "I want to" energizes; "I have to" depletes.
- If you can't say, "Because I want to," don't do it! Risk displeasing someone, ignore your ego, or find another way to deal with any guilt.
More on: Dealing With Stress
A series of "quick-lifts" excerpted from Recharge in Minutes, ©2003, by Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.