The Tyranny of “Should”

Have you ever been told what you “should” be doing, thinking, feeling, saying or how you “should” behave, respond or look?

Maybe you find yourself telling others what they “should” do, feel or think. You may be aware of your own “should’s”, those times you tell yourself how you “should” feel, act or behave in any given situation.

Should’s are all about values, the only problem is, they usually belong to someone else! These “should’s” or values are the product of parents, school teachers, church and authority figures, and do not necessarily align with our own values.

A “should” will have a level of anxiety attached, an uncomfortable feeling akin to “doing something wrong”, if you feel some discomfort about what you “should’ be doing, thinking, feeling or saying, then it’s time to check-in with your own values.

Our values are aligned with our authentic self, and when we are true to our values, we have clarity of purpose, our life has meaning, and they allow us to preserve through adversity. Our values steer us to be our best self and inspire us to keep going when the going gets tough.

Next time someone tells you what you should be doing, ask yourself, is this about me? Or is this about their values and beliefs.

Counselling will help you identify your values, allow you to be your best self and improve your resilience.