the “should” effect

woman sitting in front of macbook

You ever tell yourself-“I should…..” or “I shouldn’t…..”

We all should all over ourselves all the time.

But when was the last time you found either one of those statements motivating? Empowering?

When was the last time you said one of these statements and then jumped into action to do whatever you “should” or “shouldn’t” do?

I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that probably hasn’t ever happened.

Because telling yourself you “should” or “shouldn’t” do something is just giving yourself a guilt trip.

No one was ever motivated by a guilt trip.

Because our actions are driven by our emotions and our emotions are driven by our thoughts.

If you want to get something done, I would argue that not even motivation is the feeling you need.

I would argue that instead of “should-ing” all over yourself, you figure out what emotion it is that DOES motivate you to do what you want.

Once you decide that, figure out what the thoughts are that you need to have to feel that emotion.

For example, if you have a task on your list that you are not particularly looking forward to doing, maybe it’s doing the dishes for example. Instead of saying-“I should really do the dishes, but I’m going to binge my favorite show on Netflix instead.”

What you are doing is delaying the chore, creating guilt for yourself, and then trying to cover it up by distracting your brain from thinking about it. And you still have dishes that need done.

Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t ever binge watch your favorite shows on Netflix. I’m saying to do it when you can actually enjoy it instead of thinking about the things you are avoiding.

So, when you’ve got a pile of dishes that need done and you don’t want to do them, here’s a few little tips:

-First of all, acknowledge that you don’t want to do them, and that is ok!

-Second, acknowledge that you don’t HAVE to want to do them. We all do things we don’t want to do everyday.

-Third, remind yourself that you are the boss of your brain–not the other way around.

-Fourth, give yourself a reward for doing the dishes–like binging your favorite show on Netflix.

Unlike “should-ing” all over yourself, reminding yourself that you are making intentional choices because you do what you say…

or because you are going to take care of your responsibilities…

or just because YOU are in charge of your brain and not the other way around….

Knowing that you are the boss of your life and that often times, your brain is going to give you A LOT of reasons why you should or shouldn’t do the things you don’t want to….

But you are going to do them anyway.

And when you get them done from that space instead of the “should” space…

That, my friends, is truly empowering.

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