Do you struggle with the s-word?
Nope, not that one…I’m talking about the word should.
Should as in obligation or duty or expectation.
If you’re anything like me, you probably struggle with “should” quite often. In fact, your whole life may be centered on what you should be doing versus what you want to be doing.
But is a life full of “should” really the life you’d choose for yourself?
Overcoming the S-Word: Should
Growing up, I lived by should.
I made good grades at school…because of should.
I went to church and youth group and extracurricular activities every week…because of should.
I never broke curfew, except that one time…because of should.
I stayed out of trouble, avoided questionable parties, and followed all the rules…because of should.
Are you sensing a pattern?
I’ve recently come to realize that I am total and unequivocal validation seeker.
If I do what I’m supposed to do—what’s expected of me—and somebody notices or praises me, I get all warm and fuzzy inside.
I crave that sense of accomplishment and the act of bringing should full circle.
And while my driven personality and accomplishments have served me well throughout the years, I’ve also let those things hold me back.
For most of my life, should has held me in a vice grip—and only now, at age 33, do I want to be freed from its hold.
So How Do I Let Go of Should?
Well, I’m still learning.
I’m still battling with the “this is what my life should be” versus “this is how to be present in my life and soak up all the little moments.”
You all know by now that I loved reading Shauna Niequist’s Present Over Perfect. Her stories and wisdom were so inspiring, and I can’t stop thinking about that book.
I think my biggest takeaway was this: I have nothing to prove.
A life of should is a life of constant proving. Of hustling, sucking it up, powering through, and sacrificing our values and pleasures to prove our worth.
Life is purposeless without love, and the people who deeply love us—imperfections and all—don’t need us to prove our worth.
They love us simply because of who we are, and they expect us just to be exactly who we were born to be.
Life Isn’t About Should
Life isn’t about should. It’s about recognizing your unique qualities, unapologetically being yourself, and soaking up as much of the here and now as humanly possible.
I’m just at the beginning of this journey, but I’m open to possibility and beginning to understand some of the changes I must make.
I’m sharing these thoughts and seeking professional advice. I’m repeating positive affirmations and exercising my body and mind when I wish. I’m tapping into my intuition and trying to see the world through the eyes of my child (because, as evidenced daily when he hits the dog or throws his toys, he doesn’t fully understand should).
I’m enjoying the stillness much more than the rush or the hustle. I’m looking inward instead of outward. And I’m removing the s-word from my everyday vocabulary. So far, so good…Do you live by should? Let go of the s-word! #selflove #presentoverperfect #TOL Click To Tweet
[linking up with Amanda for thinking out loud]
So tell me…
- Do you think you’re a validation seeker?
- What variation of “should” do you struggle with most?