Do you should all over yourself? Most people don’t have the guts to do/say/think what they really want, or what they think is right. Instead, they do what everyone expects them to do. What they think they’re supposed to do. But it’s YOUR life. Your wants and needs count. Start living the life that is right for you, not for everyone else. I’m not saying to be totally selfish all the time, I’m just saying you want to seriously consider YOUR wants and needs IN ADDITION to those other people in your life. Think about who your shoulds come from the most. Your family? Spouse? Friends? Colleagues?

So, here it is, Billy’s…

Top 10 Reasons You Should Stop Saying Should

Stop Saying Should_NoFun

1. Shoulds stop you from having FUN!

Adults seem to forget the importance of having fun. We get all serious and “grown up.” We allow other responsibilities, rules and stereotypes to get in the way.  We feel we should be working more, we should go to the gym, we should save more money, we should be more productive.  But you’re just a big kid.  So relax and have some fricking fun! In fact, here is a list of 102 free fun things to do.

Stop Saying Should_Disempowered

2. Shoulds are disempowering

We always feel better when we do what we want to do or what we feel is the right thing to do. As soon as we feel like we’re doing things just because other people expect it, we feel disempowered. And that doesn’t feel good!

Stop Saying Should_Silenced

3. Should stops us from speaking up

We’ve all been there.  We know we should speak up about something, but we convince ourselves we should not rock the boat, stand out, or maybe upset someone….. But that keeps us from speaking out against things that are wrong.

Stop Saying Should_DeathBedRegret

4. Shoulds are a 1-way ticket to death-bed regrets

The #1 regret of people on their death-bed is “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”  The more you live your life by shoulds and other people’s expectations, the less you’ll be yourself, and the more regrets you’ll have.

Stop Saying Should_NeglectedNeeds

5. Shoulds make us forget our own needs

We can get so caught up in being the person we think we should be, that we lose our own identity.  As a coach, I see this all the time.  People lose track of their own dreams and desires. They’re living like a robot which has been programmed by other people’s shoulds.

Stop Saying Should_AvoidingConflict

6. Shoulds don’t let us deal with conflict

Our fears are REALLY good at drowning us in shoulds in order to get us to avoid scary conversations. You know those conversations that would make life much better after you’ve had them? But the thought of having the conversation is scary? Our fears say, “You should not upset them, you should cause less problems, you should think of their needs first instead of yours, you should not upset the status quo.” But then the conflict doesn’t get fixed!

Stop Saying Should_PersonalGifts

7. Shoulds don’t care about our true gifts

We all have unique talents and gifts to share with the world. But in order to figure out what they are and then use them, we may have to stand out from the pack. We may have to go against the grain. Doing that is filled with shoulds! Or more accurately, should-nots. We’re taught that we should not cause a scene, should not upset anyone, should not stand out or draw attention. Bulls!t! You have gifts to share, so I want you to stand the f$%# out!

Stop Saying Should_RiskTaking

8. Shoulds keep you from taking risks

We come up with so many shoulds and should-nots to stop us from facing our fears and taking risks. But if we never take risks we won’t accomplish much with our life. We convince ourselves that there are valid reasons (shoulds) for not taking risks, but that’s actually just your ego trying to keep you in your comfort zone so you don’t fail or look silly. That’s bad though, because big and amazing things can happen outside your comfort zone.

Stop Saying Should_Intuition

9. Shoulds diminish your intuition

Your intuition is a powerful tool to help you be your authentic self. Shoulds are the opposite of intuition. Shoulds convince us our intuition is wrong and unreliable.

Stop Saying Should_StopShoulding

10. To be honest…

To be honest, I can’t think of a 10th reason!  Ah!  But I should have 10 because I always have 10 in my list. I should be consistent, I should be reliable, I should be smart enough to come up with 10. Should should should. Screw that, this month’s list only has 9. Deal with it :)


Learn more on this and other courage-related topics in Billy’s book “Your Comfort Zone is Killing You” (available here). Or get in touch with Billy at sayhi@couragecrusade.com.

Have a courageous day!