“Shoulding Yourself”?

“Shoulding Yourself”?

Do you have the “tyranny of the should”: dividing your personality into an ideal self and a real / able self. The concept of “Shoulding Yourself”, which refers to a perceived obligation or expectation imposed on oneself or others. Our human tendency is to tell ourselves what “what we should do” as opposed to what we “are able “to do.

The Shoulds: Telling yourself that you have an obligation to do something.

  • Are you stuck in what you should feel or do versus what you want to do, what makes you happy, what you’re good at, and where your passions lie?
  • “Shoulding yourself” typically involves thoughts and statements that revolve around what one believes they should be doing, feeling, or achieving.
  • Negative self-talk can lead us to perceive the world as an unsafe and punitive place with scarce resource.
  • Are your “shoulds” a personal distraction, or a procrastination technique?
  • Shoulding reduces the “DOSE” hormones: dopamine for reward, oxytocin for bonding, serotonin for mood, and endorphins for our feel-good factor!

The Solution: Self Compassion

  1. Three essential elements of self-compassion: loving, (self-kindness), being connected (humanity) being present (mindfulness).
  2. Mindfulness is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
  3. Common humanity vs. isolation is treating yourself as you would a friend.
  4. Be self-kindness instead of self-judgmental. Approaching any experience with non-judgmental curiosity and emotional warmth.

 Practice Self Compassion to SQUELCH your “Shoulds” whenever they arrive and, repeat consistently!

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