“Should” is a pretty common word. Six letters that appear pretty harmless really. But when it comes to wellness (and true happiness), I argue that it could be one of the most damaging letter combinations out there.
“I should really go to the gym.”
“I should order the salad.”
“I probably should not have ordered that dessert.”
“I should really start meditating.”
“I should stop eating sugar/dairy/soy/nightshades/bananas/carrots/etc.” (<– I’ve heard ’em all.)
If it does, you might be “should-ing” your way through life…and away from your own true health and happiness.
Today’s post is dedicated to a business coach I spoke with earlier this week, who pointed out that I was actually very much “should-ing” my way through entrepreneurship.
It began when she asked me about the last time that I did something for my own personal growth.
I fumbled through something like, “Well, I like to travel…”
Silence. (I felt like one of my coaching clients…”I love salads. I eat salads everyday. I swear. Nothing but salads.”)
What I really wanted to say was that I experience personal growth every single day through my business and career. I learn something new every single day and feel like a better, stronger, more fulfilled person because of it.
But that’s the wrong answer, right?
I’m supposed to say something that shows I have other interests, that I’m a well-rounded, balanced young woman. Right?
I ‘fessed up. “Well, I really feel the most personal growth from my career…but I feel like I should have another answer.”
She stopped me. “You’re should-ing again.”
I know I do this. I already wrote a post about how I used to feel like I should offer meal plans. I also used to feel like I should work long hours to prove to myself (and friends, family, every other living being) just how dedicated I am.
The problem is, my “shoulds” have never helped me reach my goals. Never.
Turn your “shoulds” into “wants”
What has worked for me? Wants.
“I want to move my body.”
“I want to eat a salad today.”
“I don’t want dessert today.”
“I want to try meditating.”
“I want to eat the foods that make me feel my best.”
Doesn’t that just sound better already?
Here’s the deal:
A “should” is externally-focused. When you’re should-ing, you’re probably worried about what others are thinking and not really paying attention to what you actually want and need.
A “want” is internally-focused. It means you are looking inward and thinking about what is going to help you as an individual feel more fulfilled.
And you’re much, much, much more likely to stick with a goal when it is internally-focused.
So next time you find yourself should-ing, take a moment to swap out that word for a “want.” Does it still make sense? Is it still true? If not, let it go.
Trust yourself. You know what you want. Don’t be afraid to go after it!
Have you noticed yourself using “shoulds” when it comes to your health and/or nutrition goals? What goals do you actually want to focus on? How does that simple change in verbage affect the way you feel about your goals?