A concept that I learned very early on in my training as a practitioner was: Our emotional response is dictated by how we describe the world, and not the way the world actually is.
That’s why I am constantly asking my clients for more details about how they understand what is going on in their lives. In many cases, when we are able to change the way they describe their situation, their emotions shift, even before we have started tapping.
One of the words that always gets my attention, is when a client uses the word “should”. Should, by its very nature, implies an expectation which may or may not be true. (In practice, it almost always implies an expectation that isn’t true.)
There are three parts to this week’s podcast:
We explore where our sense of “should” comes from and why it can cause emotional problems, which in turn lead us to not taking action, or taking actions that aren’t right for us.
I share a simple process that you can use to interrogate the actions that you feel you “should” be taking. This process will help you to pin down the origin of a specific should, and whether or not it serves you.
A simple tap-along to do once you realize you can let go of something you believe you should be doing. (I have included a written out script of the tap-along below the audio player.)
I recognize the fact that I feel like I should do this…Should is a powerful word…When I use the word should…It feels like I must…When I use the word should…It feels like I have to…When I use the word should…It feels as if I am out of control…But it makes sense that I feel like I am obliged to something that others say I should do…There is an ancient and primitive part of me that recognizes that if I was pushed outside of the tribe, I would die…Because staying connected to the community was a matter of life or death…Staying connected to the community was a necessity…And going against the grain was dangerous…Going against the grain was perilous…Therefore I have learned to do what the community wants and expects…Because at one point in history it was a matter of life and death…But that is no longer the case…And I can go my own way and survive…I can make the choices that are best for me and thrive…And because of this, the word should doesn’t have to hold so much power over me…Recognizing that can be difficult…Because most of the shoulds in our lives have been passed on by people close to us…We all want to belong and be connected…Especially to those closest to us…But I give myself permission to know that I can stay connected to my loved ones…Without having to do what they think I should be doing…I’m allowed to do what I want…I am safe choosing what I want…I can remain connected to others while choosing what I want…When anyone says I should do something…I can take that as input…I can take that as something to consider…But it is nothing more than someone else’s opinion…And I am allowed to take it for as much or as little as I want…I get to choose what is right for me…Not because of the cultural norm…Not because someone else said I should do it…But simply because I want to do it…I give myself permission to let go of the word should…There’s nothing I should do…There are only things that I choose to do…And things I choose not to do…I am responsible for those choices…I am responsible for the consequences of those choices…But they are my choices…Because I choose to do them…Not because I should do them…I give myself permission to have control over my own life and my own choices…I give myself permission to let go of should.