Every day, you may catch telling yourself the “I should have done…” I would have done better to do …”, or “I could have …” Do these common self talk thoughts sound familiar to you? Is this how you talk to yourself often? We are all guilty of this behavior. We shoulda, woulda, and coulda all over ourselves. We can get in our own way and give away our personal power and strength.
To begin, we would be best served to improve our lives by focusing in greater detail what these messages truly mean to you. To attempt to reach our goals, dreams and intentions these do serve a very valuable purpose. These can be clear indicators of what is important to us to achieve and when to do so. Often by analyzing what it is we don’t want we can learn the opposite - what we do want and like to see happen. These phrases of shoulda, woulda and coulda are created by your own thought processes. In reality, there is nothing you should be doing or have to be doing. It’s a choice you make whether to listen to these self defeating messages or act upon them. Become aware of your personal vernacular. Listen to what you tell yourself daily. Are you scolding yourself too many times, or do you make a choice to decide what to do or not do based on your beliefs? Once you become aware of the self chatter in your mind – stop and ask yourself these three paramount questions that will help you navigate through the situation with a solid strategy.
On a scale from 1-10 (with a 1 being the lowest score and a 10 the highest score), rank your answers accordingly.
1. How important is this goal, dream or intention to me right now?
If you respond with a score of less than 5 then be honest with yourself and decide whether you feel moved to act on your shoulda, woulda or coulda. If you have realistically assessed the ranking of importance with a low score then make the decision to place that project on the shelf for awhile to be reviewed at a later date or until you determine it is a priority to handle the matter. If you assess that it is not a good “fit” for you then you can abandon the idea and choose not to proceed.
2. Is this something that I wish to do or is this something someone else said I should do right now?
If you respond with a score of less than 5 then it appears obvious you are not following your own agenda and that it feels right for you. If you are trying to accomplish a desire or need of someone else’s and not your own, then you will not be as likely to see it come to fruition. Instead of making a clear decision or choice based upon what you want, you will then most likely experience feelings of resentment or rebellion afterwards. To try to meet others expectations of you (which may be unrealistic or unattainable), you have lost your personal power. Essentially, you gave it away perhaps without knowing it. Therefore, be mindful of your words like “want” and “choose” (empowering words) and then you’ll know if you are being authentic with yourself or just trying to please or appease others in the process. Bottom line, when we are truly aligned with our core values and who we really are we tend to make better choices for ourselves and meet our own needs on our own terms honestly.
3. How will doing X serve me in being my best right now?
If you respond with a score of less than 5 that means that doing X will not serve your best interests. This is the time to reevaluate your reasoning for acting upon a decision to do something that you really have determined is not right for you
A simple mantra to help you remember these concepts is:
“I will not should on myself today.”
I invite your comments.