I asked this question to a client of mine. She answered: “I’ve lived my whole life in fear of being rejected or shamed. I thought if someone didn’t like me, it meant I did something wrong and was unlovable. Therefore, I put my focus and energy into controlling the future to prevent any shaming experiences. I did a lot of what I thought I ‘should’ do to avoid rejection instead of what I actually wanted to be doing with my time.”
Whether you relate or not to her experience, we all have some blind spots that make us operate from ‘I should’ rather than ‘I want’. Often, we are not aware of this happening, especially if we have been unconsciously doing it for years.
My invitation is to slow down for a moment and ask yourself this question, answering it with complete honesty. Even if painful, there is so much power in becoming aware of the unhelpful behaviours of our mind by bringing them to light. There is even more power in investigating, questioning and transforming them.
Here is how she goes on in her reflection: “Thanks to mindful awareness, I now realise that I am safe and that I don’t need to constantly live from future-based fear. I can do what I want now because Now is all there is. And right now, I am worthy, regardless of what anyone thinks of me. ‘Should’ is fear’s language.”
Where in your life are you making choices based on ‘I should’ as opposed to ‘I want’? Are you ready to change it?