Replace "Should" with "Could"

“Your obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a fake Messiah.” ~Richard Bach

“Don’t expect things to happen for you when you won’t break away from the things that are hindering you.” ~Unknown

“Never let your sense of duty, loyalty, or obligation get in the way of doing what’s right.” ~Senora Ray

“With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you having nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.” ~Zig Ziglar

“No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” ~Alan Watts

“The price that one pays for refusing to act on the truth as one sees it is to be led to believe untruth to avoid guilt.” ~Kenneth L. Pike

I find that one of the most disempowering words people frequently use without really understanding the negative impact is the word ‘should’.

  • I should do this or that.
  • I should be more like them.
  • I should go to visit.
  • I should be thinner, taller, prettier, smarter, and funnier.
  • I should exercise more.
  • I should eat better.
  • I should read more.
  • I should have known better.

Get the picture?

All of these statements instill guilt, inadequacy, obligation, and low self-esteem. They also lack integrity because they are not our truth. Anything derived from our minds versus our hearts is not true for us. Yes, we may feel some emotions at a heart level but they are brought on by our own sense of guilt which is an ego construct.

How about looking at things differently? Such as:

  • I could do this or that but I really don’t feel like it right now and it is not going to bring me joy.
  • I could be more like them, so what is stopping me?
  • I could go to visit, but I never really feel good when I leave. They are so negative.
  • I am perfect just the way I am; however, I could work on some areas and I think I will do just that.
  • I could exercise more. I need to find something I enjoy and make it a priority. (Or, I really don’t like to exercise.)
  • I could eat better; I will get some help with that… maybe a health coach.
  • I could read more. What kinds of books really interest me?
  • I could not have known better, because if I did I would have done something differently. I will make amends and forgive myself. I will work on that issue and grow.

These new reframed statements encourage self-reflection, choice, self-love and personal empowerment. Which, in turn, encourage change and growth.

Next time you find yourself doing something out of obligation with a should attached, stop and revisit it from a place of personal power.

Next time you find yourself burdened with guilt from a should replace it with could and see what your higher self really wants to do.

Next time you start beating yourself up with should replace it with could, and empower yourself and do something about it.

Should is an excuse to do nothing. Could is an invitation to become all that you can be.

The Power of Choice: Replace "Should" with "Could"
The Power of Choice: tastygoldfish / Simon Greening

You don’t have to try this but you could! While the truth is that you could, choosing not to–from a place of integrity–is also a powerful choice. Choosing not to from fear is not.

This week, take one thing that you have been shoulding yourself about (diet, exercise, forgiving, work, relationships–anything at all big or small) and see if you can turn it into a could and do something positive with it.

This is a recipe for inner success! Enjoy the journey to a place of changing, and have an empowering week.

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