Are you shoulding?
The two biggest most significant shoulds I have followed in my life were --
Going on my first diet at 17.
Not doing a yoga teacher training at 21.
At 17, after getting some comments about my body, I decided “I should lose weight” and went on my first diet, which quickly became a full blown eating disorder. It was one of the most painful times in my life, I was at my lowest point in my relationship with myself.
At 21, I told my mom I wanted to become a yoga teacher. With the best of her intentions she explained to me why it's a bad idea and like a good people pleaser, I let go of my dreams and moved on.
For many years I didn’t know what I wanted for my life - how do I want to live my life and what do I want to do for a living. Or actually, deep inside I knew what I wanted but it was blocked and hidden behind fears. Fears of not being accepted or approved, fears of not being successful, fears of not being able to make a living, etc.
So I followed the path paved for me by others… I followed SHOULDS.
With what I ate and how I exercised. What I chose to wear and who I dated. With choosing jobs and exploring possible career paths.
For years I believed that everyone, but me, knows what’s good for me.
I was SHOULDING everything. Big and small.
I’d be lying if I said that shoulds never cross my mind or that I’m 100% free from shoulds, but I’m so much more resilient to them. They no longer control my life.
I believe, and know that it's 100% possible to develop the practices, tools, self-trust, connection, and resilience to honor your heart in a world that throws a million 'shoulds' at you every single day.
I've experienced this growth myself and it's a joy to watch my clients experience it, too.
I’ve created a short video for you about shoulds, explaining what they are, how they don’t serve you and how you can start working through them. You can watch it here.
Here’s something you need to know about shoulds --
SHOULDS ARE FEAR IN DISGUISE.
And the great thing about letting them go, is that it reveals what we were so longing to protect - our deepest truest desires.
What are your biggest fears behind letting go of your shoulds?
What has following shoulds cost you?
What does following shoulds mean about your life?
How has following shoulds been holding you back?
What might open up for you when you let go of your shoulds?