‘Should’ is the result of what we’ve learnt is the right thing to do, usually based on other people’s thinking either as direct advice or via our own assumptions. This is particularly true, when we embark on something new, we decide we need to look to everyone else in order to be accepted and avoid mistakes. Do you agree?
The world of should is exhausting because we are not creating enough energy to sustain ourselves. In this world, we are borrowing other people’s energy and ideas and it can feel like pushing a boulder up a hill trying to fit in and meet everyone’s ‘perceived’ expectations of us.
This was my experience when I first become a parent – there were so many people telling me how to do it, I remember being exhausted from worry, responsibility and lack of sleep. I lost my own sense of self and took what I thought was the easy option and followed everyone else’s compass. Instead of this choice being a short cut to getting it right, it added to the weight of responsibility I already felt and made it even worse – not only did I not know what was best, I struggled to meet these ‘perfect’ expectations.
No wonder so many parents beat themselves up, they are measuring themselves against what they should be doing according to the perfect parent manual and obviously coming up short most of the time because the perfect parent manual doesn’t take them into account – their uniqueness and their child’s uniqueness – how could it? We are the only people that can add this piece of the jigsaw into our decisions and choices.
It’s important to listen and learn from others but to avoid the world of should, we need to match the power of other people’s voices with our own.
We would love to hear your stories and ideas on this – please share below.
1. If others ask you for advice, always ask them what they think before you share your ideas.
2. When you share your advice avoid saying:
you need to… you must.. if I were you I would…
Try sharing your ideas without telling them what to do.
3. When they ask for your advice, remember they really just want an opportunity to figure it out for themselves, so stay quiet while they do this.