There will always be reasons why we should do things.
And right now, the world of ‘should’ has gone into overdrive.
Because in times of crisis, we can lose our sense of self. And we may look to others to guide us.
But everyone else is doing the same.
And this time, there is no 'right' way that we 'should' follow.
We are merely taking cues from people to tell us how to be - based on their view of their world. As it currently stands.
Through their lens. Depending on how they are feeling that day.
Based on their values. Not ours.
And here's why that's a problem.
A lot of this rhetoric is coming from the position of someone else's anger. And it is not a place from which to inform our own agenda.
Anger is a defence mechanism that protects us as we work through change, fear and grief. And to an extent, it is a way of trying to control what others are doing.
It's also a great avoidance strategy that stops us from taking an inward look.
Anger and blame are very vocal right now.
Indeed, you will most likely have experienced anger alongside other emotions over the past few weeks too. It is part of the grieving process.
And it may be true to say that you have already been on the receiving end of someone else's anger.
Or perhaps you fear doing so?
When we subscribe to following knee jerk trends to an unprecedented crisis, we are also signing up to a goodly dose of the inner turmoil of others.
Telling us how to do things makes others feel validated that they are doing the right thing.
Irrespective of where their judgement may usually lie.
And if ever there was an opportunity to jump on a bandwagon of retribution and blame, it is here now.
Alongside this, virtue signalling has gone bananas. And that is having a very profound effect on people that are already struggling.
It becomes something else that they feel they 'should' do when their greatest achievement may have been to get through the first two hours of their day.
And there is so much that we all want to do to help, isn't there. Yet nothing feels enough. And no feeling the right one. I cover this more in my post 'Let's talk about the guilt'.
Because with a sea of mass trends encouraging everyone to do the same thing, the pressure of 'should' is almighty for many people.
But you don't have to follow suit. Nor adapt to please.
Because you can actually make a decision and choose how to do your day. However that looks for you.
Because every day, you are helping and supporting someone somewhere.
Remember that tiny gesture that you made yesterday? - Yep, that one! Well, guess what? - It made someone beam and it gave them hope.
Quite simply, you made their day.
And as the saying goes ..........
'Should' exists outside of times of crisis too, of course. Over time it has become ingrained within us.
We learn from a very early age how to be and how to fit into prescribed boxes. How to be good. How to be pleasing. How to be appropriate.
It is all well meaning advice based on someone else's view of the world. It keeps us safe from harm and stops us drawing attention to ourselves. If we keep these things in mind, we can continue to do the right thing and if we do it well, we are liked. A good person.
And because we have been told these things consistently they become part of our own internal dialogue. They take up a huge chunk of space in our metaphorical book of rules.
When we continue to choose should over what we want, it starts to jar. But we do it because we want to continue to do the 'right and acceptable thing'.
Often, we do what is expected of us within any particular relationship or situation without even realising.
We may be following old patriarchal, matriarchal and familial patterns that have been laid down since time immemorial. In fact, many are so old that no one is able to pinpoint their provenance.
All a bit pointless really!
And if you bear in mind you are layering a new layer of 'should's' over old, this may go some way towards explaining the feeling of overwhelm that you are experiencing.
So what's the alternative?
The alternative is to opt for pleasing yourself. And that is where the difficulty lies. Because 'pleasing ourselves' can be perceived as selfish. And no one likes that either, do they?
But there is nothing selfish about operating from our own moral compass and values.
It's the only way to get your own job done. Right here, right now. However that may look in your world.
There are so many ways of doing everything at the moment. The choice is all yours.
Today, tomorrow and the next day.
Make no apology for being true to you.
Because when you opt out of should, you have even more choices.
And everything becomes much simpler.
But more importantly, it's a whole lot easier on your heart and soul.
And that has to be a good thing - right?
My name is Nicky Kentisbeer and I am a Mindset & Confidence Coach.
I support women like you to work on your mindset and develop the confidence that you need to move beyond the challenges that are keeping you stuck, towards a place that you would much rather be.
I do this based on the belief that you have within you the most incredible resources and capabilities to find your own solutions - irrespective of your background or starting point. There is no barrier to entry.
Maybe you have a feeling of being stuck, going round in circles or living the same day over and over? Or you are finding that the way you approach problems and challenges always gives you the same result. And it’s not the one that you want.
The feeling of being stuck is incredibly disempowering because it brings about feelings of indecision, procrastination, overthinking and fear which in turn can affect our self-belief and confidence.
And if you stop to think about it, you may find that you fear success as much as you do failure. Sometimes staying stuck may feel like a safer place to be when the alternative means change and stepping outside of your comfort zone? There is nothing unusual here as we do all have a tendency to stand in our own way at times.
This may happen because you have lost sight of how resourceful you are. You may also allow old beliefs and stories to inform your response to what is going on for you currently. Yet, much of this narrative is historical and it is no longer relevant to your life now and the choices that you make.
As your coach, I can support you to understand and address the things that may be holding you back from achieving your goals.
Through 1-to-1 coaching sessions, we will explore what it is that you want and the steps that you need to take to get started. I will ask lots of questions! Questions that you may not have asked of yourself. It is through these questions that I invite you to look at things in different ways, from a different perspective and access your own solutions accordingly. I will invite you to look at old beliefs and the stories that you may be telling yourself about your abilities.
I do not teach nor tell you how things should be done. And there is no judgement.
If this resonates with you, I invite you to book a free 30-minute call with me to discuss whether coaching would be the right approach for you to start turning your ideas and aspirations into action.