\ Should you? Really? | Christina Brandt

Should you? Really?

I worked with a client this morning on her “Shoulds List.”  As a homework assignment, I asked her to write a list of every “I should…” that came into her mind between our sessions.  She came up with 37.

We started plowing through them.  Should she really clean up the basement?  Should she already have a job by now?  Should she know more about what her right life looks like?  Nope.

How do I know that?  Because she hasn’t cleaned the basement, she doesn’t have a job, and she doesn’t know more than what she knows about her right life at this given moment.

We’ve all got a list of “shoulds,” likely even longer than my client’s.  The time we spend on “shoulds” is just tilting at windmills (to borrow a reference from Don Quixote);  it’s a useless exercise to be upset about what isn’t happening in our lives, simply because reality “is what it is,” to use that oft-repeated phrase.

The freedom we experience when we can let go of the notion that life should be any other way than exactly as it is in this very moment is nothing short of exhilarating.  That doesn’t mean that if we don’t like the way life is at this moment, we can’t work on changing it.  Doing so is a choice, as is believing that we can, as is deciding what story we tell ourselves about the facts at hand.

Want to experience more freedom?  Spend one day noticing all the shoulds that creep into your thinking.  And then, just let ’em go.

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