There are several words in the English language that I am less than fond of, but there’s one in particular that I truly despise. *Insert drum roll please*
Should. Yes, that’s it. Are you surprised? Seems like an innocent enough word, but keep reading. Eliminate the word should from your vocabulary and you will see a difference. You will feel a difference. Nothing good ever comes from this word. Think of all the time you spend or have spent ‘shoulding’ yourself. I should do this. I should do that. I should’ve done this. I should’ve done that.
Let’s start with the present tense. “I should” is not a definitive action plan. It’s most likely a reflection on something you know might benefit you, but you most likely lack the intention of actually doing it. Where does that leave you? Inactive and probably feeling guilty. You’re either going to or you’re not. It’s really that simple.
Now let’s move on to the past tense. “I should have” or “I shouldn’t have”. Talk about guilt and regret central. This past tense ‘shoulding’ mentality is dangerous for various reasons. Ruminating about something you cannot change will cause you to become stuck in a negative feedback loop. Learn from your experience and move on. More importantly, trust that in any given situation you made the best decision possible at that moment. Hindsight is always 20/20, right? The information and knowledge available to you after the fact doesn’t count. Stop beating yourself up.
So repeat after me. I either want to or I don’t want to. I’m either going to or I’m not going to. And when all was said and done, I did the best I could.