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The Righteous Eviction of ‘Should’

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.

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Christy Diane Farr

Christy Diane Farr is a catalyst. If that sounds like something you want more of in your life, visit 'The Greenhouse' at SeedsAndWeedsCoaching.com and join the Wildflower Evolution on Facebook.

36 comments

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3:53PM PST on Dec 12, 2011

Great article! Thanks for sharing!

6:53AM PDT on Sep 16, 2011

You are so right, the power of a word.

8:17PM PDT on May 26, 2011

Great article. When raising my children, foul language was rare around our household. But only one word was totally banned from usage. And that word was the most vile, useless word in the English language. Under no circumstances was anyone ever allowed to say SHOULD.

10:47AM PDT on May 26, 2011

Don't "should" on yourself! It only brings guilt. Try "could" that gives you a choice and gives you an option. If you want, use "will" if that is your choice.

7:21PM PDT on May 25, 2011

Yes - "SHould" is all about an absence of choice and the imposition of an outside will. Well said - thank you :-)

2:22PM PDT on May 25, 2011

My mother was a 'should' person towards me. It was most unpleasant and I swore that I would not be that person with my daughter.

5:12AM PDT on May 25, 2011

thanks!

3:10AM PDT on May 25, 2011

thanks for sharing

1:19AM PDT on May 25, 2011

Great lesson, thankyou!

11:44PM PDT on May 24, 2011

Hi Christy! Thank you so much for this article. :-) This should "not" be easy guideline to remember, this will be easy guideline to remember. :-)

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Food for thought quite literally.

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