How often do you hear yourself saying, “I should”? I should have known better. I should be able to do that. I should have aced that interview or exam. I should have done something differently.

If you do this, say – “I am shoulding on myself”. Hear what those words sound like; what other words they resemble. Then consider all the situations in which you use the “should” word.

For instance, look at the shoulds that you build into your annual goal setting. Consider some examples in the different areas of the life wheel (a common coaching tool).

  • Money / Abundance – I should cut my spending.
  • Home / Surroundings – I should clear out that closet.
  • Health / Well-Being – I should lose weight. I should skip dessert.
  • Personal Growth / Self-Care – I should take that class.
  • Spirit / Soul – I should have a different spiritual practice.
  • Fun / Leisure – I should do more things for fun.
  • Contribution / Career – I should be more successful. I should have gotten a raise.
  • Relationships / Connection – I should have ended that relationship.

Consider how those “shoulds” could lead to frustration, resistance, a sense of overwhelm, a feeling of not being enough, perpetuate comparison, create self-doubt, and undermine your efforts in achieving your goals.

While some of these “shoulds” do highlight possible goals, what if the language instead were:

  • I choose to stop spending
  • Decluttering feels good when I do it at my own pace.
  • I want to lose weight and can pass on eating dessert.
  • I am not interested in taking that class
  • My spiritual practice works for me.
  • I deserve a raise
  • I create more balance in my life when I add some fun activities.
  • I will look for a job with more opportunity for growth.
  • It is in my best interest to end this relationship

When you identify your vision, goals, and actions, are you focused on what you should do or what you want? Are the “should” and wants based on what you’ve done in the past, or are they focused on creating a new pathway forward? Future-Focused Coaching is a 6-week transformational coaching model that will step you out of the “shoulds” and into a new perspective. Sign up BY February 7th and you qualify for a bonus opportunity – find out more here. If you missed the Journey thru the Life Wheel Experiential, the goal wheel is available to download and complete on your own.

© 2023, Systems of Change, LLC