The human mind is a wonderment of the human being.
What other species has evolved with the gift of complex thought and imagination for introspection? We can use our thoughts and imagination for positive planning and dreaming, yet all too often negative and unhelpful thoughts are the prominent instigators of the merry go round inside the mind.
Backed strongly by perceptions and beliefs formed through life experiences, memories and observations and fused with identity, the unhelpful thoughts create a person's reality.
And can lead to low self worth, illness and addiction.
One the unhelpful thought patterns uttered frequently is the use of "I should" or "You should".
Shoulding is shrouded with blame and guilt and is a delay tactic. Whether you are shoulding yourself or someone else is doing the shoulding, it is a verification that you are not taking action. It is also a pointing of the finger of an opinion. After all, who says you should? If it's yourself, before you go away and crawl into the foetus position, be honest. What reasons, excuses or lack of motivation lies behind the shoulds? If you really wanted to, you would!
If it's another, who's to say that person's opinion is more valuable or warranted then your own?
It may be given as a form of guidance and possibly have merit which you could consider, however the delivery of the message could also create a negative feeling and withdrawal and have the opposite effect of any good intention that preceded it.
Substitute "could" for "should and immediately it's a game-changer. Could implies choice. And being able to choose is empowering and can lead to multiple pathways enabling an individual flexibility, power and expansion.
This simple choice of words reinforces a person's self esteem and locus of control.
So next time you feel the words "I should" or "you should" forming in you thoughts, substitute "I could" or "you could" and see the positive behaviour, action or reaction that results from choice.
Unhelpful Thought Pattern Series/130518(1)