Stop “Shoulding” on Yourself

Have you ever found yourself laying in bed after the alarm went off an hour earlier than normal because today was going to be the day that you were going to do it. You were going to start your workout program, start meditating, finally dust off those running shoes, or start having a little quiet time to yourself before the rest of the family was awake…today was supposed to be the day. You have read all the books, you are counting down from 5, you are clear on your why, you are fed up and fired up at the same time…and then it happens…you hit the snooze button and say to yourself, “I know I should get up. I know I should do it.” But you don’t…30 minutes later you find yourself with your head still on the pillow having a dialogue of what you should do.

What if I told you that the thing that was standing between you and your goals and the vision you have for your life; although it’s powerful is also very small…would you believe me? By making this one small shift it could truly empower you to stop hitting that snooze button and really start taking the action you know you are ready to dive into. What if it didn’t have to be complicated at all? Well my friend get ready because I am about to unlock this magic for you…STOP SHOULDING ON YOURSELF! That’s it…that is the secret. That simple, that easy and that powerful!

How many times in one day do you tell yourself, “well I should drink more water, I should do my workout, I should meditate, I should feel better than I do right now, I should be through the grief of loosing someone by now, I should, I should I should?” And let me next ask you this…how do you feel when you should on yourself? Do you feel empowered and inspired? Heck no! I know that when I should on myself I loose confidence, I start comparing, I shut down and then I almost feel like I’m in quicksand and can’t move in any direction because I’m weighed down by all the “should” I just laid on myself. And my friend…I want to help free you from the BS “shoulds” you place on yourself!

The reason why the should has so much power is because it can steal the joy from the moment we are in, the people we are with…it keeps us disconnected from being in the present moment. And my friend…if you really feel like you should be doing something different than what you currently doing then make a choice to make a change to do something different, but don’t let the should decide for you.


You know what can sometimes feel worse than “shoulding” on yourself…when you let someone else “should” on you. Now, I will say, that often times when people put their ideas of what we should be doing on us, it can come from a place of love. For example, when my husband Grant was first injured (in 2010 he sustained a life-altering spinal cord injury five months after we were married) and we were in the hospital for almost 40 days, I never left..I mean I would barely leave to run home and take a shower. Where I needed to be and where I wanted to be for both Grant and myself was right next to him. I was his advocate, his lead trainer, his teammate, his wife, his bestfriend, his True North and there was no way I was going to do anything else other than be by his side. In that time people would say to me, “Shawna you should go get a pedicure, Shawna you should go home, Shawna you should go to the spa, etc. Now I know with all certainty that people were “shoulding” on me out of love. But you know what it made me also feel sometimes…like what I was already doing wasn’t enough. Have you ever felt that…like you are giving all you got and someone says, “Oh, you should…xyz?” And again…most of the time it’s out of love…and sometimes it’s not (and you know the difference.)


How do we move on from stepping in the “should?” I will say this friend…If you have been wanting to go for a goal or make a change in your life I bet that one of the biggest things that is holding you back is this…stop shoulding on yourself! Now shoulds are tricky little guys because they present themselves like they are trying to be encouraging and motivating but don’t be fooled..they come with a lot of weight, bring on indecision and just make you feel crappy.

So what do we do from here? We replace our “should” with “get to” and we remember that we have a choice! You always have a choice…Try this for me right now…say to yourself, “I should go workout” or one of your personal favorite shoulds. Now check-in. Do you feel ready, fired up and motivated to go workout? Are you jumping off the couch right now with a rhino level of charging ahead focus? Ummmmm…be honest… it didn’t shift your motivation and it didn’t inspire you to take action. Now try this, “ I get to go workout.” Now how do you feel? Feel a little empowered? Feel like you just owned your life and your choices? Feel like you just tapped on your inner badass and said, Let’s go?

And as far as stepping in other people’s “should”…the best way is to communicate with the people around you. Let them know that you understand they are wanting to encourage from a place of love; however, let them know how it makes you feel when they should on you and ask them to find another way to support you. For Grant and I we choose to make it fun and will say to each other with a smile, “did you just should on me” or “did I just hear you should on yourself?” It reminds us to choose get to, it gives us s sense of empowerment and ownership over our choices and actions. We choose to hold up the mirror for each other so that we can continue the quest to being our best selves.

So the next time you are scrolling through social media and you hear that voice inside start to creep up that says you should be anything other than the glorious being that you already are in this exact moment I want you to first remember this, (after of course you have told that should, “oh heck no…not today should, not today!”) You are perfect and wonderful just as you are. If you are wanting to go for goals, improve your fitness, be a better parent, co-worker, or friend remember that the only way to get there is to choose. To choose in each moment what you actually want, not what you think you should want or do. Own your choices and take strength and power in the “get to” of life. Use your core values, your ETHOS to be a guide to support and keep you in alignment with your purpose.

In love & gratitude,


p.s. and remember…don’t should on other people