Okay, shoulding on yourself has gotten out of control.

How many times a day do you find yourself thinking, I should {fill in the blank}.

Chances are, it’s like a constant murmur in your mind telling you all the ways you’re falling short and how you need to be better.


We have this false belief that telling ourselves all the things we should be doing will help us step closer to who we are. But it doesn’t. We just stay stuck where we are, feeling less and less good about ourselves.

When you should yourself, you’re beating yourself up.

It’s unnecessary pressure that you’re placing on yourself. Usually, you feel like you “should” because of some false belief you have about yourself or something Joe’s mom said.

Stop Shoulding On Yourself

In today’s quick vlog, I explain how shoulding on yourself can actually be rather damaging. Then, I provide an easy exercise to help you cut back on your use of the word “should.”

Ready for the exercise?

How to Stop Shoulding Yourself

Okay, grab a pen and paper and let’s go this. Don’t over-complicate things. Let’s just dive in.

Step One: Write Down Your Shoulds

Write down the statement, “I should _____” and fill in the blank. Do this as many times as possible. You may even decide to do it over the course of a day or two and see what pops up.

Step Two: Cross Sh** Out!

Take your time with this one.

Sit down with your list and go through each one. Does the “should statement” resonate with you? Does it connect? If not, cross it off.

If it makes you feel yuck, cross it off. If it reminds you of something your Aunt Betty always said, cross it off.

Step Three: Rewrite Your Shoulds

We want to completely remove “should” from our vocabulary. Instead, let’s figure out what the benefit or value is from each should statements.

We’ll make a list of those reminders.

Benefit: Why do you think you should do that? What’s the point? For example, “I should wake up early” becomes the reminder of, “Waking up early gives me more time for meditation.”

Value: Often, our “shoulds” hit a core value that we may be ignoring. Focus the reminder on what’s important to you. Instead of saying, “I should invite my friends over more often,” try this, “I value the time I spend connecting with friends.”

Go through your original list and make a new one of all these reminders, continuing to cross off the old shoulds.

Feels good, eh?

Stop Shoulding on Others

Bonus tip! If you find yourself shoulding on others a lot, knock it off. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Replace the “should” with “if it were me.”

Let’s say your co-worker asks you for advice in her upcoming meeting. Instead of saying, “you should rehearse the morning before,” you can say, “If it were me, I’d go through my notes the morning of the meeting.”

Offering advice doesn’t mean pushing your expectations down other people’s throats. Cool?

Release a Should

What should are you letting go of today? Let me know in the comments below!

You’re a badass human. Own it.