It’s not in my nature to use dirty words….but there is one that I have to write about.

According to the website englishpage.com, “Should” is most commonly used to make recommendations or give advice. It can also be used to express obligation as well as expectation.”

Wow…to express obligations. To me that says, conditions which leads to plenty of guilty feelings when you don’t do what you “should” do. “Should” sure sounds like a dirty word to me.

Overachievers, perfectionists, people pleasers, guilt ridden workers all share one commonality–they spend their energy and time running around doing all the things that they’ve been told they “should” do.

So who’s “shoulding” on you?

It starts out innocently. Someone gives you helpful advice. A mentor or colleague offers guidance meant to motivate you. Sometimes, it goes back to childhood when we have parents that set really high expectations. There’s nothing wrong with that except if we internalize it the wrong way we chase the expectation and often fall short instead of focusing on our own goals.

Are you the one putting unreasonable pressure on yourself, worried about how others will perceive you?

I’ve worked with many clients who are driven by feelings of guilt and burden. They are demotivated, have trouble prioritizing and struggle with feeling that they don’t measure up. They “should” on themselves.

Battling “I should”with “I want”

Operating from a place of guilt is counterproductive.  My suggestion is to move away from what you feel you should do and focus on what you want to do. Don’t worry about what others think. If you’re driven by your passion instead of guilt, you’ll become motivated, productive and actually reach your goals. Don’t over commit or obligate yourself to things that won’t make you happy.

Are you “shoulding” on yourself?

If so, the next time you tell yourself “I should do….” change it to “I want to do…” If it doesn’t feel right or if you don’t want to do it, ask yourself “What do I want to do instead?

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Nicole Chamblin
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Nicole Chamblin

I’m Nicole Chamblin, a productivity “coachsultant”, the Chief Visionary and owner of Visions Productivity Solutions. Through onsite consulting, virtual coaching and live training sessions, I love teaching ways to more effectively manage the 3 Ts™- time, team, and tasks. If you’re a small business owner or a department head of an established business that has never taken the time to put in place back end administrative processes to improve productivity, efficiency, communication and collaboration– I can help.
Nicole Chamblin
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