As women, so much of our identities are told to us. From an early age, we learn to be pretty. To talk, walk, act like a lady which includes not being bossy, overbearing or throwing tantrums. From the time that we start walking, we are told what we “should” be doing and if you’re a good little girl you’ll follow along.
Then you get to adulthood. In a world where women are no longer just house makers but CEOs, Founders, and just all-around badasses, we are still trapped by the lesson we learned as little girls. Afraid to speak up for our wants and needs because we don’t want to be overbearing. Fearing that by leading we are being bossy or that by making clear what is not working for us we are nagging. I can honestly admit that the thoughts “I don’t want to be a nag” or “I just want seem like a team player” has come across my mind way too many times as an adult and especially during a time in the world where I need to be clear on my wants and needs.
The biggest propionate of the identities that are bestowed on us is the ever-present curse word, “should”.
The biggest propionate of the identities that are bestowed on us is the ever-present curse word, “should”. Oh, how this word has ruined lives. You should dress like this. You should act like that. You should lead in this manner. You should be doing this. You should take that job and not the other. You should be a better (insert pronoun here) – mother, daughter, boss, sister, friend, on and on.
Just as I’ve been learning to save the phrase “I’m sorry” for very special occasions, I’m working on deleting the word “should” from my personal dictionary. It has no place in my life as it no longer has power here.
The beauty of life is that you get to make of it what you want. That’s the American dream.
Instead of living in guilt around the things you “should” be doing, you need to decide what you need to do based on what you want in life. I “should” be working out is a guilt trip in the making. I “should” be eating better doesn’t actually make you eat better and in my opinion, ends up leading to more Dr. Peppers (or is that just me?)
Leave the guilt trip behind you along with that newfound curse word “should”.
Scott Erickson, artist and public speaker, mentioned in his Say Yes talk that when interviewing people at the end of their life the number 1 thing people regretted what, not all the things they “should” have done but the fact that they cared so much of what others thought. If they could live their lives over again, they would have lived them for themselves and not the people around them. They would have done less of what they thought they should and done more of what brought them joy.
It’s not an easy task.
But you are a born leader, a powerful woman and have the capability to be anything you want to be or do anything you’ve ever dreamt of. So instead of giving yourself a guilt trip over what you think you “should” be doing, why don’t you ask yourself what you want to be doing? And then start taking the steps to get you there. Leave the guilt trip behind you along with that newfound curse word “should”.