Earlier this week, a client whose goal is to lose weight said to me, “I know I should cut out the white bread and refined sugar. It’s just so hard.” Another client said, “The thing that makes me mad is that I don’t care what happens… but I know I should.” I said to both of these women, “I don’t know about this ‘should,’ tell me what it means to ‘should’ something.” This is what one of my best friends calls a “Christy-love her, hate her” moment.
To the first client I say, “You told me your goal is to lose 15 pounds. When I asked you what it would take to lose 15 pounds, you told me the biggest thing would be to stop eating bread and refined sugar. Today, you say that you know you “should” stop eating these two things. Does “should” mean you decided to eliminate those items from your meal plan? Or does “should” mean you decided it feels too overwhelming to eliminate both of those items this week, so you want my help to create a new strategy to reach your goal?”
The second client is even more simple. “I don’t know about this ‘should’… give me more information. You either care or you don’t. You either value the outcome or not. Do you want my help deciding if you care or do you already know, and you want my help figuring out what to do about it?”
A fragile ego is the hazard of fancying yourself fairly evolved. When I inadvertently wrote “should” twice in one paragraph yesterday, I stumbled up against my ego. I tell them and tell them about the “should” and why it sucks. Worse yet, the forbidden “should” appeared not on my blog, or in my monthly e-newsletter or some other outlet where the world could hold me to the fire. “Should,” the sneaky saboteur, flowed from my very fingertips onto the sacred pages of my journal. The one place where I can write with complete anonymity, where no one can find my dark side and help me expose it. The place where I MUST find the red flags and hold myself accountable. Candidly examining our most uncensored thoughts for holes, signs that an old message still plays in our heads, that creates authentic transformation.
Today, I’m putting this “should” on notice that it is evicted. It is not welcome here, in the space between my purpose and my actions, where confusion casts dangerous shadows.
The righteous eviction of should. That is one simple thing… we can all do.