Stop Should-ing on People

“I should do yoga.”

“I should go for a run.”

“You should do this.”

“You should do that.”

Since the word ‘should’ and it’s negative implications have been brought to my attention, I realize how easy this word slips out of my mouth. The word just seems to always find a way to be used, from shoulding myself, to shoulding others. I have actively been working to eliminate ‘should’ from my everyday vocabulary and it has been harder than I thought, but I have seen significant improvement of productivity and positivity in my life.

‘Should’ implies a person is not good enough how they are and needs to change. This effects how we see ourselves and carry ourselves. And when you ‘should’ on someone else, you are implying they are not good enough as they are.

When a person says ‘should’ it is typically followed by a ‘but….’ Whether the ‘but’ that follows is an excuse or a negative view of one’s self, the ‘but’ opens the door to not doing whatever you ‘should’ be doing. In our mind, it justifies not doing whatever the task may be.

When a person ‘should’ do something, the motivation to do that something is pretty low. It automatically adds a negative stigma to the task. Doing something because you ‘should’ is not nearly as motivating as doing something because you want to.

To be honest, no person ‘SHOULD’ do anything. There are things people want to do, but not things people should do. Nobody likes being told they ‘should’ do something, so why are we telling ourselves that?

By replacing should with ‘want’ or ‘will’ based on the situation, the sentence automatically feels more positive and productive. Better than ‘want’ or ‘will’ is telling yourself or another person why doing the task is beneficial. This adds even more positivity and is even more effective.

Instead of telling myself, “I should go for a run in the morning” I tell myself, “My body feels best when I run in the morning so I want to run in the morning.” This immediately changes how I view the task of running and when the time comes to go for my run, I have a more positive attitude. I am not doing it because I ‘should’ but because I want to and my body benefits from the run.

It’s been hard to eliminate the word from my vocabulary but I find the more I focus on it, the easier it becomes and I have more enthusiasm to do tasks such as running and yoga. I’m not telling anyone they should work to rid their vocabulary of the word, but ridding vocabulary of the word could potentially improve your life.

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