It seems so innocent. Do NOT be fooled by its trickster-ish ways.
Every time we use ‘should’, whether with ourselves or with someone else, we’re effectively saying “Uh-uh….wrong…not quite good enough”.
There’s a heaviness to it. A limited-ness. And a distinct lack of choice.
Recently I was out running when my watch indicated my pace was slower than usual. Generously, I figured it was because of the hill I was cresting.
But because I’m a coach, and I know that the ancestor to every action is thought, I figured I’d enquire as to what was circulating in my head.
Here’s what I discovered…I was should-ing all over myself.
“C’mon Avril, you should get a wriggle on and get up this hill …. hurry up, you have to file your tax return…..you should collect the washing, there’s rain on the horizon…you SHOULD……..you HAVE TO ……”
You get the picture. Heavy and uninspiring.
Little wonder my pace was laboured and slugglish.
Through the sweaty ache of my quads, I had a blinding flash of lucidity.
It was a real perception shifter.
It was this…
A dear friend of mine recently lost her husband to cancer. He was 35.
I thought about how much he’d love to have the opportunity to tackle this monster hill.
I imagined how delighted he’d be to have the liberty to calculate his tax return.
I figured he’d relish the chance to race the rain, and bring in the washing, one more time.
Instead of chugging through his To Do list in a moan-y fashion, he’d likely say, “Tremendous… today I feel well enough to get to tackle this hill…bring it on!”
The fact is, you and I are here, right now, and the 154,138 people who have died today, are not.
What would they give to have just one more moment here with healthy legs, with beating heart, with hills to climb?
I have no magic wand. I cannot bring him back. But I can learn from him.
By changing one word.
There I was midway up the hill, panting on the pavement, and I replaced ” should” with “get to”.
“I get to run up this hill.”
It made ALL the difference in the world.
Compare and contrast, “I really should lose weight” with “I get to lose weight”. Or even better, “I choose to lose weight.”
Feel the difference?
See how much lighter, more inviting and infinitely more do-able “I get to” is?
At first it might feel forced and a bit silly. After a few days it will feel natural. You’ll feel freer, more thoughtful and more aware of why you do what you do.
Sometimes we become so encumbered by our To Do List or our Should List we forget to be thankful for the opportunity to be here to complete them.
It’s the smallest thing, but it has the power of something big. It’s a shift in perspective that can open your head and your heart and help you lose weight.
And if you choose to, you get to try it on ; )
Share and inspire us. What are you going to change on your Should List? What are you going to get to do or choose to do instead?
Love etc, Avril