“I should really workout.”
“I should finish the laundry first…”
“I should do that thing I should do before that fun thing, for sure.”
Are you ‘should-ing’ all over yourself? In today’s episode I talk about how we limit ourselves, cause stress, guilt and shame by the words we use to describe our life. Yes! The very words we use help shape our lives and the world we see.
Listen in to learn more.
Thanks for listening and sharing! (and if you haven’t shared the show… you really should.? )
Welcome to the art of living day. I’m your host, Betsy Pake. And this podcast is designed to share interviews and new ideas to help you redefine what could be possible for your life. Now, let’s go live big. Hey, everyone, welcome to the show. Today, we’re going to talk about shoulding all over ourselves. Now, I’ve had a very profound experience with that this week. And so I want to talk to you about that. And I want to talk to you about some ways that you can start to feel a little bit more in flow with your life. Now, I typically like to get right into the show, and I don’t do a lot of that see chit chat. Because really, who cares, we’re here to learn something, right. But I just have to describe this to you. Because this is sort of how the topic for the show came up. So the past couple weeks have been really stressful, like a lot of stuff has been going on, my father in law’s been sick. So there’s like sort of this, he lives in a different state, but like, you know, my husband’s stressed and we’re checking in, and my daughter has been sick. And so that’s been top of my mind, and really my top priority. And so a lot of other things have sort of like, you know, kind of wavered to the side. And you probably have things like that to where all of a sudden something else takes priority. Or even if you had a goal or an idea of something that you wanted to do, and then all of a sudden you find you’re not doing it. And so what is it that you say? You go, I should do that? Right? So that’s why it’s Friday, and you’re just now getting the podcast, because earlier this week, I thought, Oh, I should do the podcast. But I made a commitment when I when I changed things around Episode 50 ish, with this show, that it was going to be whatever was happening around me and I was learning I was going to share with you, right, so or whatever thoughts were on my mind. I was gonna, you know, find the lesson in that and share it with you kind of in real time. And so all week, I just have not been at the place where I could create this podcast. But this morning, I woke up and I had some clarity. And suddenly it didn’t feel like a should it felt like a fun. And so I’m hoping that you will agree that the product is much better when it’s a fun and not a should. And maybe you’ll notice that in your life too. But why does any of that matter? Why does it matter? If I say like, I should do the podcast, or I want to do the podcast, or I love doing the podcast like what’s the difference? Who cares? But here’s the thing, our language is so important. Not only is our language important in identifying how we’re really feeling about something, but it’s also helpful in creating how we’re feeling moving forward. There is a really great book by vision laconic called the code of the extraordinary mind. And in that book, he talks about ancient times that there was no word for the color blue, and like lots and lots of languages, no word for the color blue. And even in Homer’s Odyssey, they didn’t mention blue for the sky, they actually called it wine dark. And the word blue didn’t appear in any other ancient writings. There was no visual detail about the color blue. So it brings up the question and visually Connie talks about this, that if there isn’t a word for it, can you actually see it, which to me makes me say, this is how important language is and the words we’re using. Now, there’s a researcher named Jules Davidoff. And he studied this question around a tribe in nambia. And what he found was that they had lots of different words for the color green, but no word for the color blue. And so as part of the research, the tribe members were shown like this circular pattern of squares, so if you could think of like a clock almost with squares all the way around, and all of the squares were green, except for one that was obviously blue. So all these green squares, and then one super blue square. So when the tribe members were shown that image, and they were asked to point to which one was different, they couldn’t select, the blue square is different, or they were really slow to go, that one looks a little bit different. Or they totally chose the wrong square all together. But when they were shown a similar pattern of green squares with one’s green square, that was really subtly a different color green, then they really quickly found it. So whereas for us, it would be super easy to look at that and go, that’s the blue square. But when we saw all the shuttle subtle shades of green, you and I might not be able to discern between those. Well, what’s the difference is that that tribe had no word for the color blue, and so they couldn’t easily identify it as a blue square from this collection of green squares. So a task that would be really easy for you, and I was really difficult for them, because they didn’t have the language for it. Language helps create and shape what we see. All right, so if that’s true, if what we’re saying is creating what we see, then what are the words that you’re using every day to define your life? What are the words that you’re using every day to help describe what you’re doing with your time all day?
Earlier in the week, when I was thinking, I really should do the podcast the moment that I heard the word should, and I have become quite good at this. And I would ask you to try this. Anytime you hear the word should for me, it is a red flag. It’s a red flag to go, Wait a minute, why should I? Why am I saying that? Because if I’m saying should it means it’s not really something I want to do? And so what is it that I really want to do? And why does this feel so wrong? So I’ve got a couple of ways that you can start to harness the power of your language, and start to think a little bit differently about the things you’re doing and why you’re doing them. So for me, the word should means that it’s something that is a task that I need to complete for some other reason. So I should, I should work out, I should do the podcast, I should,
I should do the laundry, like whatever that is, I should do this project at work, I need to finish this i. So any of those words should need to have to, I want you to just become aware when you’re doing that. And I always like to say that everything is a choice. And I know you might be thinking, well doing the podcast, Betsy might be a choice. But me finishing this, this project at work is not a choice, I really should do it today. But I’m just going to ask you to step back and suspend that belief for one minute. And, and follow me here because this is going to help make doing those tasks easier. So if you can step back and go, every single thing I do is a choice. Yes, even that project that you think you have to do is actually really a choice because you could not do it, you’d also be making a choice maybe to fall behind at work or to get you know in trouble from your boss or maybe even lose your job. But the choice, you’re making a choice. And so it’s very powerful to know that I don’t have to do that, I’m making a choice to do that. And when I’m making a choice to do it, now the project is much more, it’s much more in my control, it’s much more powerful. It’s because I’m commanding the attention, and they’ll want to do it. So I would like you to just start to think a little bit differently when you say those words. And if you can back up just a little bit. So that’s my first one, just to back up a little bit and say wait a second, if this is truly a choice, what would be my other choices. And when you understand your other choices, and you put words to those, then you can say, ah, actually, it feels better to do this project. And so I’m going to do it. And now when you go to do the project, you’ve lowered your resistance, you could find more joy and it you could see the benefit to it. And it feels differently. Now, the other thing is, the second one is, if you could keep going the word should, like the word should in itself is nothing. But when I add context to it is when it becomes alive. And so earlier this week, I thought I should really work out. So let me keep going with that. What is the reason that I should really work out? Now it may be I should really work out because then I’ll feel better. And I’ll have more energy to do the things I want to do. Well, that all the sudden feels like a good choice. And so it gives me the power back. But maybe I say I should really work out. Because if I don’t work out, then I’m going to never gonna lose this weight. And I’m always going to be fat. And that, I don’t want that. Why don’t I want that? Well, because I want acceptance from the world. And if I’m not, then I don’t feel like I’ll get acceptance. So now that’s a totally different thing. And now you have way more context, and you have way more insight to what you’re really thinking. Because if you are continuing to push, I got to work out because I want acceptance. It’s not going to be something that’s profound. It’s not going to be something that sticks. It’s not going to be something that you can do in your life with any kind of joy. And I believe we’re here to have joy. So what’s the meaning of that? And if you can identify that, well now you have something different to tackle. Now you can get dive into that a little bit deeper and see how do I really feel about that. Maybe you can relieve that and lift that burden. And then the working out wouldn’t feel like such a should, it would feel more like a choice. Now, the final one is when you have an opposite kind of feeling. So you’re like, I really, I should get up tomorrow morning, and meditate. But I also feel like I really need this sleep. So now you have two shoulds that are sort of opposing each other. And so that really comes down to a priority of importance. And when you can change the wording on that, then you can start to see which one is really better for me today. So many times when I’m working with people, they’ll think like, if they make a decision, like tomorrow, I want to get up and meditate. I also feel overtired, and I need the sleep, they feel like if they make the decision to sleep tomorrow, that then they are making the decision forever. It is now written in ink that can never be replaced. But I want you to think of your life as more of in pencil and flow, you’re allowed to change, you’re allowed to grow, you’re allowed to shift your mind. So if you have a I should get up in the morning, but I also should sleep in because I need the the I need the sleep, I’m going to ask you to make your decision before the moment that it needs to be made. So in the morning, when the alarm goes off, I don’t want you to decide I’m going to get up or I’m going to stay sleeping, I want you to decide the night before. I’m making the choice. because everything’s about choices. I’m making the choice to sleep in tomorrow, because I feel like that’s what my body needs. And then I’ll reevaluate and choose another day that I could get up earlier to meditate. Now, what happens when we don’t do that? What happens when the alarm goes off? And then we make the choice then is that we’re burdened with guilt. And we’re burdened with this shame that we maybe did the wrong thing, because we didn’t make the decision beforehand. So anytime you hear a should or in there is a question of I should do this, or I should do that way the importance before the moment the decision has to be made, if that’s possible, so that then you can go Okay, I’ve made this decision, I feel good about it. I’ve made a choice. It’s no longer a should it is a choice I’m making, and then I can make a different choice for another day. So all that to say to listen to your language, listen for the words should I have to and then start wondering what is the opposite of that. The other day, I thought to just yesterday, I thought I really should get out and walk my dogs in the morning. But I didn’t really feel like it. and ended up having an opportunity to walk with one of my girlfriends in the afternoon. And that felt much better. So many times when we have a should it doesn’t mean I never want to walk. It doesn’t mean I never want to get up and meditate. It just means at that moment, I’m choosing something else of importance. And when you can relieve yourself and start to use other words like my choice is it relieves you of the shame and guilt and it allows you to make new choices. And when you do that. That’s how you start to live a big life. Have a great week. See you next time. Thanks so much for listening. Remember you can find me all over social media at Betsy Pake and, as always, here’s a little message from my husband.