Lately, I’ve been channeling my inner teenager, messing around WAY too much with a hair color app on my phone. Why? Because I’m curious about what I’d look like with the bright hair colors so many young women are sporting these days. I flippin’ love the “suicide girl” look, and if I could hack 20 years off myself, I would go full Cosplay Mamita in the blink of a Katie Perry strip-lashed eye.
But as a woman of 48 – a mother, no less! – I am told by society that I should not use silly hair color apps, or wish for bright blue hair and sexy tattoos. But the truth is, I love both these things, even if I “shouldn’t”…and I’m having a blast with it all. So, seriously, just stfu.
This brings me to the point of today’s post: The word SHOULD sucks, and it’s ruining your life.
The world SHOULD has far too much power over us, in the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and others, and in the stories others tell about us that we accept. No other word brings about more needless shame and suffering than SHOULD, which is only invoked for these purposes.
Most women I know are SHOULD ADDICTS. They walk around should-ing all over themselves, all the time. You can see their shoulders droop a little with each utterance of the blasted word, until they’re as wilted as Charlie Rose on a bender.
How about you, my love? How often do you should yourself? I really shouldn’t eat that. I should call my (abusive) dad just to see how he’s doing. I should just be quiet. I shouldn’t say what I really think, they might not like me. I should be thinner. I shouldn’t wear that. I hate my boss but I should just stay in this job because I probably can’t find anything better. I shouldn’t love him. I should clean my bathroom instead of reading this blog post…
Dios mio. Women use “should” when we want something, but don’t feel entitled to have it. Usually, the thing we want is perfectly reasonable, but we are worried about how other people will judge us for thinking we deserve it.
My challenge for all of you today is this: I want you to think about how you THINK and what you SAY, and right now, right this second, weed your personal narrative of the word SHOULD. Pull it out. Throw it into the linguistic compost pile. Get effing rid of it, like a used tampon. Quit worrying about the judgements of others, and, most of all, quit judging yourself. Let it go. Embrace who you are, what you want and what you enjoy, with no apologies.
Cut that should out, girl.
Throw that SHOULD away. Replace it with empowering language instead. Let “I shouldn’t eat these glazed donuts” become, instead, “I’m eating donuts, and they’re delicious,” or “I’d like to eat these glazed donuts, but I won’t because I am making myself healthy” or “I don’t eat anymore.”
I’m not telling you WHAT choice to make. Okay? I’m not saying eat donuts or don’t. Eat what you want.
I’m saying stop judging yourself through the words you choose to tell your story, no matter what choices you make.
Make the choices that feel right to you, and own them. Don’t change who you are; change the vocabulary you use to describe your choices – and that will AUTOMATICALLY change who you are, for the better. You’ll feel lighter, better, happier and more empowered, and, really, what’s more wonderful than that?
Did you find this post helpful? Would you like to learn more about how changing your own narrative can change your life for the better? Click here to learn about my SUCIA Empowerment Weekends, coming to a city near you! I’ve helped thousands of women change their lives for the better by learning how to tell better stories about themselves, to themselves, and I can’t wait to help you! Already know you want to attend? Click here to request your application!