Stop SHOULDing


Have you ever heard of the “itty bitty sh*tty committee?”

That’s what I call the chorus of negative self-talk that lives in our wandering minds, telling us why we can’t achieve our goals, or why we’re not good enough in so many areas of life.

This chorus may encourage us to “should” all over ourselves, saying that we should be waking up earlier, shouldn’t have eaten so much, should work out more…and we go racing down the highway of guilt. 

It’s hard to break the pattern of negative self-talk. By having a soft approach with a heaping help of love, it’s possible. When you do, you can start to take yourself less seriously and have a little more fun. You can let go of anger and anxiety. That freedom is what brings happiness. 

My attitude is that I’m in charge of what I think and how I interpret events, so I pay attention to the chatter in mind, and when it starts bad-mouthing the world, I respond accordingly.

Remember that you’re in charge of what you think and how you interpret events. Paying attention to the chatter in your mind is the first step in releasing yourself from negativity. When it starts bad-mouthing the world, keep in mind that you’re the audio engineer…You can control the playlist of your thoughts. Often, it’s easy to find yourself losing focus and in a negative spiral. That would be a perfect time to try one of the two techniques to refocus your mind in 2 mins or less. 

1. DOUBLE DIGITS – Focus on generating a random double-digit number between 1-100. Single digits aren’t difficult enough to create and don’t require you to focus. Because double-digits take a little more effort to create, it’s not easy to make a list of these random numbers and still focus on the irritating voice in your head. So think, “29… 74… 56…. 13…” and all those inner-racing thoughts will start to quiet down.

2. HASHTAG – If you find yourself wallowing in a deep yucky stew of thoughts, this is a simple trick to increase awareness and put things into perspective. It may also make you laugh 😂 When a negative thought bubbles up, create a mental hashtag. Let’s say you’re having a pity party. You might create the mental hashtag #PoorMe, #ImSoLame, or #LifesABitch. Or, when you find yourself stuck in a rumination loop where you’re being critical of other people, say to yourself #FTFF (Filling Time By Finding Fault).

Remember, you can take charge of your inner audio engineer and stop playing the same loop over and over by using these techniques.