How often are you using the S word?

The naughty S word for me is ‘should’. 

  • I should go to my friend’s party.
  • I should wash up.
  • I should cook dinner tonight.
  • I shouldn’t watch trashy TV all day long.
  • I should work on my essay instead of enjoying the sunshine.
  • I should meditate.
  • I should blog weekly.
  • I shouldn’t nap.
  • I should try _____ treatment or medication
  • I should save my money for something I need, and not just want.

The list goes on and on.

Sometimes it feels like everyone has an opinion on how we should live our lives, and we forget to pause to listen to the most important decision-maker, us.

Do you keep an endless to-do list? Or feel overwhelmed about all the things you should do? Then today’s blog post is for you.

How to free yourself from the dreaded S word in 4 easy steps:

  1. Write a list of everything you should do. Make sure you write ‘I should….’ before each thing.
  2. Rewrite the list, but this time put ‘I want to…..’ before each thing.
  3. Notice how you feel in your body for each new ‘I want to….’ statement.
  4. If the statement you’ve written isn’t true (because you don’t actually want to do the thing), cross it off.

It’s quite surprising really how few of our ‘shoulds’ can be eliminated when we acknowledge we don’t actually want to do them, and more importantly, give ourselves permission not to do them.

I know for a fact that The Pillow Fort is ignoring lots of industry ‘shoulds’ because my business coach, Rebecca Tracey, actually had me do this exercise as part of her Uncage Your Business course! A couple of my crossed out ‘shoulds’ I later decided I actually wanted to do, but many remain happily crossed off.

Like me, you’re probably lacking in time and energy.

There just isn’t space in my life for things I should do because everyone else tells me so.

Thriving with chronic illness is all about discernment, and making decisions that work best for you.

[Disclaimer: Some shoulds are actually musts. If your should is something like ‘I should take my medicine’, then that’s actually a must, and I strongly advise you keep things like that off your lists!]

I’d love to hear in the comments if you found this exercise useful and what you’ve managed to remove from your to-do lists!