In NLP it’s called “shoulding all over yourself” and for me “shoulding” is the difference between living your life to others’ expectations or living authentically – true to your inner self.
This is a fun exercise that is thought-provoking and possibly transformational.
It is something to do in a pair so find yourself a person you’re comfortable with – or your coach – to carry it out. Have fun!
Person 1: Make a list of five or six ways to finish the sentence “I should…”
Person 2: After your partner says “I should…” ask, “Why?” (Do not comment, just write their answer down).
Person 1: Now take the “I should” sentences and instead of starting the sentence with “I should”, start them with “If I really wanted to, I could…”
Person 2: As person 1 does this, ask them, “Why haven’t you?”
Person 2: When person 1 has finished answering why they haven’t done the thing, get them to look at what is on their “I should” list that they can drop with relief and ease?
Person 1: Identify what other actions you can choose to take rather than those you have dropped.