Welcome to the team, Merrisha Gordon! We hope you enjoy the first of Merrisha’s blogs as she joins the SBS team this year as our life coaching advisor.
To enquire into Merrisha’s life coaching services, just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, enjoy these top tips!
It’s a new year! Intention setting for a lot of people. And alongside the declarations of ‘New Year New Me’, it seems there is already a theme that is doing the rounds.
The skilful art of ‘should-ing’ on yourself. Telling ourselves we ‘should’, often knowing full well that we probably won’t. I include myself within the royal ‘we’, knowing full well I am just as guilty of this.
I should be exercising more
I should be more present with my daughter
I should spend more time cleaning the house (or is that just me?)
I should feel happier
Should, along with its close relation ‘must’, fall into what are known as cognitive distortions, based on rules that we have imposed that we usually cannot live up to. Should, also occurs when we are in ‘Negative Thinking Styles’, which are more likely to occur when we’re stressed, tired or have been neglecting self-care. What is important to remember, is that ‘should isn’t good’. We say ‘should’ thinking it will motivate. But infact, it tends to do the complete opposite. At best, we feel pretty awful as we now face the pressure of having to “be” and “do” better. At worst, feelings of self-worth, anxiety and depression occur, because we are reinforcing to our brains that we are just not good enough.
So how do we do stop ‘should-ing on ourselves’? I want you to get familiar with a simple acronym, STOP.
- S stands for ‘Stopping’ and catching yourself when you are ‘should-ing’ on yourself. Whether you start noticing, or get your partner or friends to hold you to account, notice when you are using ‘shoulds’. Take the pressure out of it. Put a £1 in a jar if it will help. But try and increase your awareness of ‘should-ing’ on yourself.
- T stands for’ Take a Moment’. Pause. Get present. Do some deep breathing. Allow yourself to feel some self-compassion, and to gain some clarity on what you want to do next. If you are noticing that you are stressed, or tired, or just overwhelmed in that moment, allow yourself some time to do something about it.
- O stands for ‘Observe’. Observe your shoulds. What rules and beliefs are behind these? And whose voice are you really hearing? Begin to get curious on what is really going on, and tune into how these ‘shoulds’ make you feel. If you wouldn’t say the ‘should’ to a child or a loved one, it is unlikely to be helpful to you. It is only when we do this, that we can rationalise that this is really just a thought, and we can begin to separate from our thoughts.
- P stands for ‘Pick something different’. Instead of telling yourself that you ‘should’, tell yourself that you ‘could’. The word ‘could’ gives us options, which really enables us to choose what serves us best.
Going through this process allows you to let go of what you ‘should’ do and move towards ‘what you will do’, which will feel so much more empowering and set you up for the best start to the year.
So if you remember nothing else, just remember for 2022, it is the time to stop the ‘should’ing’ and embrace the ‘could-ing’.
Let me know how this works for you.