The word ‘should’ is such a little bitch, amIright?
It’s a dirty word I’m trying to consciously eradicate from my vocabulary. And there-in lies a funny ol’ thing – I only ever say it to myself:
You should be doing this.
You should be doing that.
I’d never dream of piling the pressure on or enforcing my unwanted, critical opinion on someone else, yet I constantly do it to ME. My internal monologue plays it on repeat, in fact.
My current favourite ‘should-isms’ include:
- I should be doing the housework.
- I should be blogging more often.
- I should be going out more.
- I should be working harder.
- I should be more successful.
- I should be doing more yoga.
- I should be healthier.
- I should visit my parents more.
- I should travel more often.
It’s enough to drive anyone mad – and you know what? Lately it has started to send me slightly potty. It’s belittling and demoralising – and yet I treat myself like this alllll the fucking time.
I’m not sure what’s brought this recent shit stream of ‘shoulds’ on.
Much of it, I suspect has to do with my sexy ol’ anxiety rearing its ugly head, plus being a perfectionist. It’s definitely ramped up a notch ever since I went freelance and my time is mostly my own.
When I tell myself I ‘should’ be doing something, it highlights the fact I’m not doing it.
I feel mega guilt because I think other people think I ‘should’ do certain things, to fulfil imagined expectations, rather than what I want to do.
When I do the things I think ‘should’ be doing, I feel like I’m being sensible and winning at adulting. However, living like this is actually a one-way ticket to Martyr Town.
It’s easier to do what we feel is expected of us than to take the time to sit down and figure out what the faaaaack we actually want out of life.
Focusing on the ‘shoulds’ means you’re going through the motions rather than living mindfully.
You start thinking about what you did or didn’t do in the past and what you should or shouldn’t do in the future.
All this should-based living makes us a human ‘doing’ instead of a human being.
I’M EXHAUSTED JUST THINKING ABOUT IT ALL, TBH.
And of course, social blaaady media has a big part to play in all this, as it’s so easy to compare yourself to others.
Constantly seeing what everyone else is doing and achieving on their timelines or Insta-posts creates guilt, anxiety and inadequacy because it highlights what you’re not doing instead of all the things you actually are doing!
So yeah. I’m trying to stop saying that dirty little would ‘should’.
I’m going to start by catching myself whenever I succumb to ‘should’ thinking. I’m gonna ask myself WHY I think I should be doing said thing and whether I actually want to do it? I’m also going to get to the bottom of who I’m doing it for – me or someone else?
I guess it’s all part of that journey I seem to find myself on lately, about being a little kinder to myself, and being more self accepting, y’know?
I’ve come to the conclusion that my body is slowly giving me no choice but to learn some of these big life lessons the hard way; often my constant ill health MEANS I have to sit back and reflect quite a lot lately and be content with just BEING.
I guess I SHOULD listen to it, then. Lol.