I Am A Recovering "Should Addict"

Here’s a little exercise. Replace the word should with could or would like to. Instead of saying I should go for a 30-minute run, try, I would like to go for a 30-minute run.

Rather than saying, I should eat healthier, how about, I could eat more fruits and veggies

By shifting from a condemning command to a hopeful possibility, it may very well lighten up our lives in teensy ways that could lead to major shifts.

After all, our brains like to focus on the areas of our lives where we feel we’re lacking, which is probably a survival mechanism we adopted millennia ago to know where we needed to improve so we could ultimate thrive. 

It’s up to us to train our brains to think differently, to create new patterns and grooves, to truly break our habits. But, it’s important to understand that once a thought pattern is set, it stays in our brains, literally creating a rut. 

The way to overcome "stinkin’ thinkin" is to create a new pattern that actually serves us in becoming our greatest good.

I am also a recovering “should” addict. I thought that by doing things right and making as few mistakes as possible, I could control how my life would meander. Unfortunately, the tighter I held onto my rules, the less fulfilling my life became, until I essentially forgot that the purpose of our lives is to enjoy them.

After all, as my friend recently said to me, “we’re here for a good time, not a long time.”

Just for today, can you dress up your should in a different way? Put an imaginary dress on it, give it a pair of heels, maybe even a rhinestone-studded bra. Make it fun or even make a lil’ fun of it, so that it’s not so serious to weigh heavily on your heart anymore. 

Lightening up isn’t something that happens overnight, and that’s okay. It takes practice, like everything else in our lives. Growing up and becoming a real woman is about strengthening this sense of self, the parts of us that are iridescent, so that we not only feel amazing, but we also inspire a sisterhood of fellow brilliant women to shine just as brightly.

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About the Author

Judy Tsuei is living her dreams come true on Kauai. She's a thriving writer who loves teaching clients how to find one's authentic (and vulnerable) voice through words, creative expression, and adventurous retreats in paradise. Her company, Hawk and Lily, inspires everyone to be strong, wild and joyful both on- and off-the-mat. Follow her fun on Facebook & Instagram — or come play with her today!