Do You Suffer From SHOULD Syndrome?
The 'should' word is a killer of joy and I cringe when I hear people using it on themselves. Of course saying it should rain later today is not the 'should' that I'm referring to. The destroyer of dreams sounds like, "I should be doing xyz," and I want to answer with "why", but I don't because I get it, sometimes I suffer from should syndrome too.
What is should syndrome?
As women we become so ingrained to do what we should do. We are taught early on to be nice, to be polite, not to put other people out or make them feel uncomfortable. These can be important socially acceptable behaviours but when we are constantly putting others needs before our own, we can find we lose ourselves in the process. If we are living our lives according to what we think we should do and what others' expectations are, we become disconnected to who we really are and what we really want.
Some questions to ask ourselves when we are suffering from should syndrome:
1. What do I REALLY want to do?
2. What will happen if I don't do what I think I should?
3. Does doing what I think I 'should' bring me happiness, now or later on?
4. Does doing what I think I 'should' bring someone else happiness at my own expense?
4. How important is it to follow through with someone else's expectations of me?
Being told what I should do, doesn't happen much these days but when I was a teenager and a young adult, nothing got my back up more than hearing someone trying to push their values onto me. For this reason, I don't use this word when speaking to my own children. As a mother I might have in mind some ideas what I think my children should do but I keep it to myself. These thoughts are my own values and judgements based on my opinions and experiences, they might not be in-line with what my children need or are meant to learn in each given moment.
Some questions or re-framing ideas when giving our opinion to our children. (Sometimes I wait to be asked and other times it feels necessary to ask a question to get them thinking):
~ Have you considered this idea...
~ I am wondering if you've thought about...
~ What do you think you want to do?
~ What would you like to do?
~ Are you happy with that decision?
~ What else do you think you could have done or might do next time?
~ Are there any other options you have explored?
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In light and love