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.
- 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
- Three essential elements of self-compassion: loving, (self-kindness), being connected (humanity) being present (mindfulness). “
- Mindfulness is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
- Common humanity vs. isolation is treating yourself as you would a friend.
- 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!