How Shoulding Ourselves is Draining Our Energy + A Challenge

Because blogging on here isn’t the only thing I do online, I picked up this book the other day while browsing the bookstore: “How to Get Sh*t Done: Why Women Need to Stop Doing Everything so They Can Achieve Anything” by Erin Falconer, editor in chief and co-owner of

I didn’t know who she was or what Pick the Brain was before finding her book, btw.

It was just pure coincidence that she happened to write on the same self-improvement type material that I write here.

Or was it coincidence?

A bit of the way in, I’m struck by this section in Chapter 3 called “The Devil of All Devils: The Word Should.”

It’s something I’ve never heard anyone else talk about before.

And while the book is meant to help female entrepreneurs, I felt like this part could apply to all woman.

She writes:

“When you find yourself saying should, you’re not anticipating something great, but rather are reminding yourself of that never-ending to-do list you should (there it is again!) be chippng away at.

“Shoulding ourselves is a major energy drain, as it compels us to split focus. We’re forcing our minds to be in two places at once.”

Reflect for a minute on her words.

It wasn’t until I read this that I realized how often I say (in my head) the word should.

And I’m betting you do it a lot, too.

As women, and mothers, and wives, and employees, we have long lists of things to do each day. And then there are the lists of things that we haven’t gotten around to. You know, those lists that are waiting for when you have more “time.”

Ha. That’s a joke. More time?

But what Erin is referring to here with saying should is that when we say it, we are admitting that we don’t want to do the thing we should be doing. Because if we wanted to do it, we wouldn’t use the word should.

This has totally shifted my perspective.

And so, I’m challenging myself to recognize when I say should. And each time I catch myself doing it, I’m going to change my statement to reflect what I’m going to do instead. Not what I should do.

Because I know that my words are powerful, especially the ones bouncing around my head.

And saying should all the time isn’t helpful.

Will you join me in this challenge?

Leave a comment below, in our Facebook group, or use the hashtag #shouldnomore on Instagram to let me know that you’re with me on this.

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