What if you stopped „should” yourself and others?
Without any hesitation I can admit that I’ve been using this phrase: „I should …” that was followed by many different ideas through my whole life. And I had never questioned it because I always thought they we all „should be doing” certain things. Until this year.
I started noticing that every time I was saying this „should” I was giving myself anxiety. And I had to finally ask myself – Has it been working for me? And the answer was – Not really. So I asked myself again – So why the heck I’ve been doing this to myself?
I’m probably not by myself in this. We all have been taught that „we should do things.” But have you ever asked yourself – Who the hell says so? Who told you that you have to do it? Why you have to do it? Are sure it would be good for you? Have you asked yourself those questions? I never did.
I just finished reading book „Loving what is” by Byron Katie who talks a lot about it and she helped me understood a few things.
The most important one – I have no right to say „you should do something” to anyone. How can I know that it would work for you? I’m not God (if you believe in one) or anything like that so why do I act like one? Even now, when I work with people and help them change their mindset, I would never say: „You should do that.” Only that person knows what’s good for them. I give suggestions, share my observations, ask to do tasks, but only they decide what to do with that. And it goes for me too. How can I be sure that my „should” would really work for me? Where this certainty comes from?
Every time I say: “You should,” I am in someone’s else business. And as I said in my videos and my posts before – someone else business is not my business. I will always encourage you to focus on yourself. Always on yourself. Don’t be so concerned about other’s people lives, because you have no idea what’s good for them. Even when you have the best intension in the world you can’t (you simply can’t!) know what’s the best for your partner, friends, parents or even kids. I know you think you know what’s best, but you truly don’t. Stop acting like God.
I know it might be difficult to grasp this concept at the beginning. It was difficult for me because it was carved in my brain so deeply that I couldn’t comprehend that I can let it go and just live as it is. But this is what I’ve been doing and my life became almost stress-free. Don’t get me wrong – I still set up goals and have a plan, but with things I WANT TO DO, not SHOULD DO. I stopped using „I should” and let life decide a bit more for me.
I’ll give you an example of what I do – I wanted to write three pieces this week and I planned it for Tuesday. I wake up on Tuesday, sit down, but it just isn’t working. I write one sentence and am starring at my computer and have no ideas at all. So instead of getting more anxious about it (as I used to), I shut my computer down, made myself a coffee and sat on my bed thinking what can I do instead. And when I was starring outside of my window, I suddenly grab my notes that I had hesitated doing it and did something I was postponing for the last four months! It just came to me. It took me only an hour to have it done and I was so inspired that I accomplished another thing afterward that I had had in mind recently. And it felt amazing! And then I heard familiar voice in my head: „I should work out,” but the reality was that my back hurt (I was before period) and I couldn’t imagine doing anything, so I went „for a short walk” that turned into almost 2h walk because it was beautiful in Brooklyn that day and everyone was out. I felt really peaceful and accomplished when I got back home.
And I started believing that everything can be done without stressing about it. Forcing things will not speed up the process. I know that you’re afraid that you’ll be sitting on this bed forever, but trust me – you won’t. You might sit for a while, maybe even longer than you’ve planned, but then it will come to you. You’re sitting exactly as long as you’re supposed to be sitting. And you might start working on something different than the initial project that you’re rushing into, and that’s fine. That usually means that this new thing will serve you better now.
Believe me, I know it’s diffcult to trust the process (it took me only 37 years!). And if you still don’t believe me, ask yourself a few questions. Does „I should be skinnier”, „I should learn English”; „I should take this exam”; „I should go to gym regularly”; „I should quit this job” sound familiar? Does the fact that you’ve been talking about it for years, changed anything in your life except for giving you the anxiety? I’m not saying that it wouldn’t improve your life (but we can’t know it for sure), but does talking about it helping you? The reality is that you haven’t been doing it, so maybe stop also talking about it and giving yourself extra stress? Maybe there will be a day when you wake up and go to the gym; that you sign up for English classes; that you quit your job. But until then – instead of waiting for „what’s to come” do what’s in front of your eyes today.