A whole lot of Should

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I’ve been pretty life-busy over the last couple of weeks and as such have been feeling guilty about my lack of blog writing. I’m not sure why, I guess I’ve promised myself I’ll start writing one now, so my brain has obviously then turned it into A Thing that I should do, and I should do regular posts because that’s what everyone does and I should be inspired all the time and so on. Well, with a lack of other inspiration right now, this is all I’ve got to work with.

Shoulds are an interesting thing. Sometimes, they completely fill our lives, from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. We should brush our hair, put on our make up, go to work, eat a healthy breakfast, enjoy the cycle in, feel grateful for our lives, look forward to seeing our children and partners, enjoy the latest TV show that has 9.5 on IMDB. Some of the Shoulds can be super secretive, you don’t even notice they’re there.

I have a fairly constant Should that comes back to visit often, which is that I Should be progressing my life all the time. Always doing something new, creating something of worth, making a difference in someone’s life doing something crazy or wild or amazing. I have lots of things in the pipeline too, but apparently it doesn’t count if I’m not actively working on them right just now. And unfortunately, my Should is pretty fickle too. I can start something and think “Yeah, I feel so good right now, this is totally what I want to be doing and it’s going to make such a difference to my life!” and then all of a sudden this then becomes the newest Should. And not just once a week or month. The Should comes out every day, in every spare 5 minutes. Yeah, I could just sit and watch the birds or watch TV or play horses with my daughter. But I should be writing my leadership course. Or writing my blog. Or booking an amazing adventure holiday. Or something else life-affirming.

And I tend to find, as soon as anything becomes a Should, it becomes a whole lot less rosy. Suddenly it’s on my mental to do list, taking up brain bandwidth and getting in the way of listening to what I really want to do. And making my brain come up with stupid stories about me in the process (I knew I shouldn’t have started a blog, I knew I would give up and lose inspiration, I knew I should have saved all those previous posts and scheduled them instead of just releasing them when I feel like it, even though I took a concious decision not to do that).

I don’t have much of an answer for these trixy Shoulds. Perhaps we need to call them out and mentally tell them to sod off (or literally I suppose, if you can handle the potentially slightly weird looks from others). In fact, perhaps we can put this into action – every time I feel like I Should do something, I’m going to specifically not do it. I can do anything else, just not the Should. I might have to make exceptions for the things that would have significant consequences (I’m guessing work aren’t going to be too happy if I stop turning up because I feel like I Should go). But this will force a whole lot of Shoulds out of my brain.

Let’s see how it goes!

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