Stop SHOULDing


We all have what I call the “itty bitty sh*tty committee”…a chorus of negative self-talk that lives in our minds, telling us why we can’t achieve our goals, or why we’re not good enough in so many areas of life.

Or, they 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. 

Welcome to “Should-ville.” 

This process is counter-productive, because the more you feel pressured to do something, the more likely you are to stick in your heels and avoid doing it.

Having a should-based mentality might be the very thing holding you back from your own potential, whether it’s about losing weight or making a life change. 

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. I shift my mindset to keep me on track, especially where my health and fitness are concerned.

You can control the playlist of your thoughts.

It’s important to remember that you’re the audio engineer… you can control the playlist of your thoughts. So often, it’s easy to find yourself losing focus and in a negative spiral. This is a perfect time to try the two techniques that I learned from Safi Bahcall. They’re amazingly simple and effective….

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.