Are you living a “should” life instead of YOUR life?
Sneaky should thinking can easily take over your life if you’re not aware! Those “shoulds” leave discontentment, frustration, guilt and anger in its path. It can lead to just surviving as a mom rather than thriving because we’re comparing and trying to please others, or put an expectation on others that they should be pleasing us. And before you know it, you’re living a “should” life rather than the life God has for you.
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I remember looking at the sink overflowing with dishes, spilling over onto the counters and the stove.
“Seriously, can’t anyone else in my family step up and help? They should be able to see that I can’t do it all. If they really cared about me, they’d recognize that I have too many other things to juggle and they should see that I need help.”
I was angry, frustrated and overwhelmed and I didn’t enjoy being with my family at that moment. You see, I was operating in the “shoulds” and it stole my joy and peace that day. I gave away my peace because I was looking at other people to fix it for me by doing what I thought they should be doing for me. But if I were totally honest with myself at the time, I knew I had dropped the ball with the dishes and was telling myself “I should have been able to handle all of this, but instead I failed to be a good homemaker.” I was giving myself an inner guilt trip because of an expectation I put on myself that I could not live up to.
My kids “should” behave this way
My circumstances “should” look like this
My spouse “should” do this.
My life “shouldn’t” be this hard
I “should” be further along.
I “shouldn’t” be feeling this way.
I “should” be able to handle all of this.
I “should” do that.
What other “shoulds” would you add to this list? Usually it’s an inner dialogue going on and we might not even notice it at first. When any of my friends hears the word “should” slip out of my mouth, they immediate reply back with “quit shoulding yourself!” And they are right.
Use Those “Shoulds” as a Check-Engine Light
Many times “should” thoughts will pop up either blatantly with the words “should” or “shouldn’t”, but sometimes can be implied shoulds. These thoughts often come with some sort of judgement, obligation or unrealistic expectation. So when you find yourself saying those words, use it as a check-engine light to really pay attention to your thinking and counter the shoulds by asking yourself a few of these questions:
“Why should I?”
“Why should they? “
“What (or who) am I trying to make responsible for my feelings or circumstances other than myself?”
“Am I trying to live up to the ideal expectation I have for myself?”
“Am I placing expectations on others? Why?”
How am I feeling when I think of this “should?”
If I switched the “should” to “could” would I still choose to do that?
My Should Life Interview
Recently I had a chance to talk with America’s #1 Mom Coach, Hannah Keeley on her Crazy Blessed Show. Hannah is also the founder of Mom Mastery University. Listen in on our conversation below to hear how I ditched the “shoulds” and stepped into my own crazy blessed life!
Have you been living a “should” life? Are you ready to ditch it and really live?
If you’re ready to move forward and could use some support, let’s chat!
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