Stop Shoulding on Yourself
Why are we constantly trying to “Keep up with the Jones?” Why do we fall into the trap of looking at others and wondering why we aren’t more like them. I don’t care how perfect peoples lives look on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or a blog, the truth is no one has it all together all the time. No one has the perfect spouse, or the perfect children, or a life free of challenges from time to time. Everyone struggles with something, and trying to keep up with everyone else is just a waste of precious time, and time is something that can’t be taken back.
There’s an epidemic in our society, and we have all fallen prey to it, myself included. I call this trap the “Shoulding on yourself trap,” or the “Shoulding on others trap.” Some of the “Shouldings on yourself” may sound something like this: I should be way more successful than the Jones are. I should have a nicer car like the Jones. I should have a cleaner house like the Jones. I should be skinnier than some of the Jones. I should never be weak, I bet the Jones aren’t weak. I should be making as much money as the Jones. I should travel more like the Jones. The list is endless. Why “should” you do these things? Do you really want to do these things, or do you feel like you have to do them because you aren’t good enough? There is a difference. If you have a list of goals that you want to achieve, and you want to on your own merit, then you are on the right track. But trying to achieve things because you feel like you have to keep up with others, shows that you may be struggling with insecurities, and your own self worth. Instead of “Shoulding on yourself,” a better way to accomplish your goals would be to say things like, I want to buy a new car because I have worked hard and it’s something I would really like. I want to lose weight to be healthier and feel better. I want to work on having a cleaner house so that I can feel less stressed and more relaxed in my home. When you phrase your desires like this, it sounds way more positive and uplifting, and it takes the pressure off you. It’s time to start doing things for you, and not because you feel like you have to because everyone else is. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. Stop bullying yourself. It’s time to start seeing the value in you.
“Shoulding on others,” is also an epidemic that we all have been guilty of. My kids should never misbehave. My spouse should stop doing this, or start doing that. My friends should call me more. My parents should babysit my kids more. My boss should see what a good employee I am. Again the list is endless. When we “should” on those around us, we are adding fuel to the fire. Of course we need to be honest and to give attention to things that really need to be addressed, but it needs to be done in a more constructive and positive way. A lot of times we ourselves are the ones who need to change, more so than those around us. When we start focusing on how we can be better and really try to improve upon ourselves, suddenly those things that bothered us before don’t seem to be that big of a deal anymore.
Let’s take an honest look at ourselves. This society that we live in has become too overly concerned with what those around us are doing. The important thing to focus on is ourselves. Honestly look at the things that you are doing in your life that you are proud of, and acknowledge them. Give yourself credit for all the great things you do. Acknowledge those things that you want to improve upon and change about yourself, and develop a plan of action to start making those changes. Take one specific area each week to focus on. Write down 5 ways that you can start to improve that situation. Write down a positive affirmation concerning that specific area, and put it up on your mirror, or in your car, anywhere that you will see it and repeat it over and over again. Start to see yourself in your mind achieving this goal. Believe with all that you are that things will change. I love this quote by Lao Tzu, “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
This coming week use this affirmation each day and night by Louise Hay, “I accept myself and create peace of mind and heart. I now choose to free myself from all destructive fears and doubts. I am loved and I am safe.” Let us start believing more in our magnificent selves. Stop comparing yourself to others, and be the best you that you can be. When you finally let go of the need to have everyones approval, then you will feel a release of pressure upon your soul, and your spirit will be free. May we celebrate others triumphs and love those around us, and likewise do the same thing for our own selves.
Hope On. Journey On.