4 Ways To Stop Shoulding 

 February 22, 2016

You may have heard the expression “stop shoulding all over yourself” but how do you do that?


When you learn to change your “shoulds” into “coulds” you shift away from being a victim to your beliefs. It is the first step in training your brain to make empowered decisions.

How often do you use the word should

Most of my clients use it a lot when they first start to work with me.

• I should be earning more
• We should have a better website
• I should call that client back
• The kids should go to bed earlier
• We should eat better
• I should do more exercise

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Stop Shoulding Start Coulding

When you use the word should it is a warning sign that you are trying to meet somebody elses expectations.
Shoulding sucks the joy out of life and makes you a victim and if you choose to you can do something about it.

1 | Everything starts with awareness

When you notice that you use the S word do not beat yourself up because you “shouldn’t use it”, Simply stop shoulding and celebrate the fact that you noticed it… most people don’t so give yourself a pat on the back.
Once you have “caught that thought…”

2 | Be curious

When you first start to retrain your brain to think more empowered thoughts it may not be easy, that’s why most people fall back into default thinking patterns. The secret to success is KEEP IT SIMPLE and start by remembering one word… “could”
For example:
“I should be earning more” is a statement, a very disempowered one
“I could be earning more” opens the brain up to thinking differently about the situation and naturally leads into…
“How could I be earning more?”

3 | Brainstorm the options

Now write the question that you have at the top of the paper. Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down as many answers as you can in that time. Don’t censor the answers, they can be as silly as you like. Write everything down even if it is something you would never do. The goal at this point is to be creative with your thinking. Once the 5 minutes is up come up with 3 more answers.
Do not tell yourself “I can’t think of 3 more” you can if you STOP censoring your thoughts.

4 | What you do next depends on how you feel. You may be charged up, full of ideas and raring to go if you are great, get on to it.

OR you may be overwhelmed with what you could be doing but aren’t. In that case put the ideas somewhere safe and deal with the overwhelm by switching off. I deal with overwhelm by walking along the beach. For you it might be doing something creative like painting, writing, taking a bath, anything that allows you to switch off. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY that you “should” be working on your business. While you are having downtime your brain is unravelling and making sense of your thoughts.

Rinse and repeat

When you are feeling refreshed go back to the list and choose 1 thing to do

Julia Harris

About the author

Julia Harris is The Upgrade Coach. She works with smart women who understand that the only thing holding them back from fulfilling their potential is the unhelpful thinking patterns keeping them trapped and the habits that they keep falling back into.

If you want to upgrade your life or business you start by upgrading your thoughts.

Julia Harris

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