Some days being a therapist can feel hypocritical. One session I’m asking someone what keeps them stuck in their safe-zone and the next session I’m asking someone what it might look like to create more safety. One lady wants to talk about spending more time with her kids and another wants to talk about getting more distance from her role as a mother.
How can this weight loss system work so well for Pam and completely bust on Jasmine? How can Edgar need a support group and Jim need a quiet walk in the woods? Why does Jill need to learn to not say so much and Peggy needs to speak up. Why did my doctor give me a z-pack but she gave the lady before me iron supplements?!
I’m saying a lot of obvious things. Is it getting annoying yet? Of course there are different things going wrong for different people. This is not revolutionary. So in the interest of interest, let’s take it one step further…
There are millions of different ways to live a fulfilling life. My definition of a fulfilling life is likely vastly different from yours. And thank goodness, can you imagine how congested the trails would be if everyone joined you for your Saturday morning hike?
This is why I take such offense with the word “should” (or “ought” if you’re fancy). Day in and day out we spend so much time and energy shoulding on ourselves in an attempt to conform to whatever newly developed idea of normal we have recently been sold. Many of us work from dawn till dusk hopping from one steaming pile of “should” to another.
Here comes a MASSIVE SECRET!! There is a great deal of power in eradicating that word and sentiment and replacing it with the philosophy of want or will.
“I should mow the grass before the homeowners association chair sends me a letter.”
“I want to mow the grass to avoid conflict with Mr Homeowners association.”
“I should call mom more often.”
“I will call mom more often.”
“I should clean out these closets.”
“I want to clean out these closets.”
Man that difference is so subtle. SO SUBTLE!! To feel the real intense power of that trick you need to do two favors for me: 1. replace the content with something you should on yourself about and then 2. use it for like a week. The change is so subtle, but the power is compounding and enormous. You’re not even going to believe it! Go ahead and try it, I’ll wait.
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