I love observing human behaviour – my own and the people around me. It’s interesting to see the words that we choose when speaking about ourselves, our dreams or how we view life. There are two words in particular that I believe to be quite counter productive when it comes to your well-being and reaching your goals. But first, why do our words hold such tremendous power? Two main reasons:
#1 Our words reflect our core beliefs about ourselves and our life.
#2 Our words have a direct impact on the decisions we make and the actions we take.
So, what are these two mysterious words that carry so much weight? Probably not what you think: should and trying. Seem pretty harmless right? So how could two simple words be keeping you from reaching your goals? Let’s take a closer look at what they represent.
When we use the word “should” it usually comes from the voice in our head. That voice is our ego and our ego is formed over years of receiving what our environment throws at us. It can be the media, our parents, our friends – anyone or anything really. Notice how you feel when you use the word “should”. Not great right? You feel as though you have done something wrong. That you are either doing something you shouldn’t be or not doing something you should. A few examples:
I should workout more
I should eat healthier food
I should spend more time with my family/friends
I should slow down and take better care of myself
I should be putting more money aside for my savings
The list can go on and on… Instead of using should, we need to take a step back and make our decisions based on our WHY. What’s your WHY? You can read more about it here and here but in short it’s why you get out of bed in the morning and do everything you do in a day. If we look at the above examples related to my should, the perspective shifts from a feeling of guilt to setting clear intentions:
I want to workout more because my health is important and it allows me to do what I love.
I want to eat healthier food because it makes me feel and look good.
I want to spend more time with my family and friends because it puts me in the best mood and helps me feel supported.
I want to slow down to take better care of myself because health is my core value and without it I can’t do much.
I want to put more money aside in order to feel less anxious, have more freedom and enjoy a comfortable life.
See how everything becomes more clear when we focus on the reason why we want to do certain things rather than why we think we should? It’s not to say to NEVER use the word should. It all depends of the context. As a general rule though, notice the circumstances in which you are employing it and if it’s really serving you.
“Trying” is another word that many people use when referring to something new they are doing without realizing that they are setting themselves up for failure. By choosing to use that term you are doing one of two things:
Letting yourself off the hook before you’ve even given it a real shot.
Demonstrating that you don’t really believe in yourself or what you are doing that much but hey, I guess you’ll give it a go.
I’ve heard the term “trying” come from the mouth of entrepreneurs who are “trying to build a business”, from people that are “trying to lose weight” and so many more examples. It’s normal to not be 100% confident in everything that we do but the subtle details in how we think and speak about it does influence the results we get. We need to set ourselves up for success and at least project the outcome we want by how we talk about it.
Notice how often these two words are part of your vocabulary. Don’t freak out if you realize you use them a lot. Simply start shifting that mental dialog by focusing on your WHY. You will immediately feel empowered even if you don’t change your verbal habits right away. The first step is changing your mindset and then your behaviour will adapt with time.
Let me know below if this article resonated with you and if you are going to kick “should” and “trying” to the curb in order to act from a place of empowerment rather than guilt and shame.
To dive deeper into this topic, continue reading below!