“Stop Shoulding on Yourself” – Albert Ellis, Psychologist


Just as it sounds, “shoulding” is telling yourself you have an obligation to do something different from what you are doing.

The problem with “shoulds”, aside from the obvious discomfort they cause, is they eclipse our “wants”.

There’s no room for dreams or desires when you march to the beat of a should.

When I turned 30, I had an epiphany.  I no longer wanted to limit myself by dating only Jewish women.  I had been raised to date, and indeed marry, Jewish women.  But it no longer worked for me.

I wanted to expand my choices and when it comes to dating, that’s a good thing.

So what are your “shoulds”?

Realize they are not yours.

They’re someone else’s.

Want to feel more empowered in your life?

Ask yourself, “Am I doing this because I want to or because I should?”

If it’s the latter, ask yourself “Why do I believe I should?”

Your behavior might not change right away but you’ll start to distinguish “shoulds” from “wants” and that awareness will eventually lead to a shift.

Want to really find your “wants”?

Establish a “should-free zone”.  No “shoulds” for an hour each day.

Remember, your “want” muscle is under-developed.

It needs space to get stronger so you can stop “shoulding” on yourself.



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