Shoulding Yourself?

Shoulding Yourself?

Psychotherapist, Karen Horney identified the “tyranny of the should”: as dividing our personalities into an ideal self and a real self being, the human tendency to tell ourselves what “what we have to do” even if it doesn’t fit into our values or goals.

The Shoulds:

  • Are your “shoulds” a personal distraction, or a procrastination technique?
  • Telling yourself that you have an obligation to do something different from what you are doing?
  • 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?
  • Negative self-talk will lead us to perceive the world as an unsafe and punitive place with scarce resource.
  • 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 daily!

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