Love Letter #20: Are You Shoulding On Yourself?

Day 20 of this year of love letters. You’re still here. Welcome back.

This morning, I led a masterclass with some amazing, strong, and beautiful women. There’s nothing I love more than providing a platform for women to come together in community to support and empower one another. 

 Our class  focused on exercises that brought awareness to our thoughts and patterns of belief that can limit us from truly loving and approving of ourselves. Our thinking is often on autopilot, driven by our unconscious.

 We say things to and about ourselves and our lives over and over again and they seem true, real…but when we get really curious about our self-talk, we begin to see that much of this is a story and not truth. 

Our ability to create more of what we desire in life lies in the power of choice. Choice we often give over to others and to those old beliefs. By paying attention to the words we use we can begin to shift our perceptions of ourselves and start telling a new, more empowering story. 

Here are some words to pay attention to in your self-talk:

  • “Have to” – When we think we “have to,” we give our power over to someone or something else. We are telling ourselves we have no choice. There are outcomes to every choice we make, but there is nothing we “have to” do. 
  • “Need to” – Another abdication of our inner power to choose. Imagine you are invited to a family gathering you’d rather not attend. You go because you think you “need to” because Aunt Lizzy will be upset if you don’t. Aunt Lizzy has all the power here…you gave it to her. You have no control over what she thinks and feels. You don’t “need to” go – but you might choose to. 
  • “Should/Shouldn’t” – In my opinion, this is shitting  on yourself. When we “should” ourselves, we’re making ourselves wrong or inadequate as we are. For instance, saying “I should eat better” implies that you’re wrong for eating as you do. Saying “I shouldn’t relax when there are dishes in the sink” implies that you’re wrong for leaving dishes in the sink. 
  • “I can’t” – This is a weak statement that implies lack of control. Sure, there are things you’re unable to do (most of us are unable to do brain 🧠surgery) but often we use it because it’s easier than actually saying, “I choose not to.”

In each of these scenarios, you have the power to choose. 

You can choose to do something or not do something. 

Women especially love to keep the peace. We’ve been taught to be perfect, to not rock the boat, to be nice, to not upset anyone, and to choose weaker words so we don’t seem too bold or assertive. 

But that hasn’t worked out so well for many of us. We’re frustrated, angry, resentful, overwhelmed and exhausted from always trying to keep everyone else comfortable and happy…and leaving breadcrumbs (if anything) for ourselves.

Remember, you are just as important as anyone else. Isn’t it time to speak to start telling yourself THAT story…and choosing the life you want for yourself?

With love,

Don’t let stress or negative thoughts run the show. It’s time to pen a new chapter in your life story, one where you rule the world, confident and fierce! Let’s get you signed up for Women Writing Their Lives, where you’ll get the tools to craft your destiny. Next session starts next week, so don’t let this opportunity slip by!

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