You met Eve last week in “Eve” a REAL client! Eve had come a long way in her quest for happiness and value in her first coaching session. Her next session began with thoughts about feeling guilty. Eve felt guilty about so many things. Guilt about not being the best mom, not doing enough of ‘this’ and even doing too much of ‘that’ at times…I know that you get what I am talking about. Some of you have been there, I know I have!
Women feel inherently guilty. I don’t mean men don’t feel guilt, but not to the same extent as women, and I realize this is a sweeping generalization. I apologize, guys. Eve did not actually say she felt guilty about all of those things, some of them came out in “should’s”. Like- “I should get home and do dinner.” or “I should’ve cleaned the house before I went out to lunch.” The third time I asked her to stop it. She didn’t know what I meant at first. I said, “STOP ‘shoulding’ all over you!” She hadn’t heard herself use the word. In the next few moments she did it again and she heard herself. I asked her why she believed she “should” do anything I am not entirely sure she understood the question clearly at first. She said it needed to be done so she should do it.
Do you have a choice? Hmmm…after some thought she realized that she actually did have a choice. I asked if it was possible to restate it in a way that gave choice. So a new statement was “The laundry needs to be done and I will do it later.” I asked her to think of other times she used ‘should’ that could be different. There was “I don’t want to do this as it’s not actually my job!” or “I am enjoying doing what I am doing right now so maybe I will get to it later.” Or “I want a piece of chocolate but I will save it for later.”
I listened to her empowered self shine from within. When you act on your choices and decisions you feel strong and confident. When you act from guilt or the “should’s” you are coming from a heavy place where value and self-esteem are hiding in the shadows. Over the next week she caught herself numerous times and most every time she thought about it then rephrased it from a place of choice. Today she hardly ever says “should” not even to other people. If you wouldn’t “should” on yourself, why would you “should” on others?
Try it for awhile; rephrase all the “shoulds” in you world and give yourself a choice. From a small word exchange you can have a great feeling empowerment!
Sneak peak: Next week Eve talks of the difficulty accepting lots of things about herself.