Why I’m Done Using The Word “Should”

No good comes from the word “should.”

It’s a word rooted in negativity, guilt, and pressure. More often than not, it leads us down paths that won’t take us where we want to go.

I’ve made a conscious effort stop using the word and believe the less we use it or allow ourselves to be influenced by it, the better off we’ll be.

Here’s why…

Should is based on the expectations of others.

The belief we “should” do or be something is rooted in other people’s expectations — not our own.

When we think we should do something it’s because our family, friends, or society has convinced us it’s the right thing to do.

But it’s often not something we actually want to do.

If it was, we’d refer to it as something we want to do instead of as something we should do.

Should comes from guilt.

When we say we should do something, it’s another way of expressing that whatever we’ve chosen to do isn’t enough. It belittles our choices.

Should is critical. It creates pressure. And breeds insecurity.

Should is judgmental.

While should is a bad word to use with regard to our own actions, it’s equally dangerous to use when directed at others.

When we tell others what they should do, we extend our judgment on to them.

Just like others have no business telling us what to do, the opposite is also true.

We don’t know what others should do so there’s no reason to use words that suggest otherwise.

Should is an illusion.

There are plenty of reasons to be wary of the word should, but this might be the most important one — should doesn’t exist.

There’s no such thing as a single way we should live our life or do our job.

There are results we hope to achieve and goals we want to attain, but there are infinite ways to do so.

There’s no one path we “should” follow, so we can stop speaking and acting as if there is.

Or at least we can try.

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