We unintentionally do harm to ourselves whenever we begin speaking,
“I have to... I need to… I should… or I must… I ought to…” and so forth.
Listening to ourselves carefully, we may will also hear what we are not saying.
I invite you to notice the unstated, “Or else…”
“I have to lose weight, or else I will die” “I need to exercise, or else I will gain weight.” “I must learn to listen, or else my marriage will suffer.” “I have to learn discipline, or else I will never succeed.” I need to listen if I want friends.” And so forth.
All these statements arise out of a sense of danger. We feel afraid or anxious.
We sense some manner of a threat if we do not (lose weight, listen, exercise, pay attention, watch what we eat, are doing, have discipline) we will suffer.
Feeling that our very survival is at stake somehow, we attempt to force ourselves to behave in a way (lose weight, listen, exercise, pay attention &, etc.) to avoid our inevitable fate.
Also, we are often motivated by a history of past failure to (lose weight, exercise, listen, make friends) and based upon past experience, expect to fail again - unless we somehow make ourselves, force ourselves to (lose weight, exercise, listen, make friends, etc.)
Why “should” we “should” on ourselves?
Why use fear and anxiety when we can speak to ourselves in a way that is empowering?
It is as simple as changing one word. In place of “need to, have to, should, or ought,” we “get to, can, intend to, plan to, and will.”
I can lose weight; I will listen when others speak; I plan to exercise; We intend to watch our diet and measure the foods we eat.
The fear is gone. The future is open to us without anxiety or threat.
We do not need to “Should” on ourselves or anybody else, ever again.
Note for parents, managers, teachers: we no longer have to say, “You, _______
“Have to do your homework, need to run faster, should pay attention, ought to be happier, must come in earlier, stay later,” etc.
Now we get to say, “You can,” or, “You get to,”
“Do your homework, run faster, practice, pay attention, be satisfied, plan, be careful…”