Stop “Shoulding” On Yourself

I have been sorting some things out in my own thinking and at the same time paying attention to my feelings as I explore ways to fully express myself, my potential, and my purpose in this life. I have observed that there is a part of me that compares myself to others that I admire for their accomplishments. I have a judgment at times that I should be and do more. I think that is called “Shoulding on yourself”. Albert Ellis a famous psychotherapist originated the concept of “shoulding” as a way to explain how we can be harshly judging of ourselves for the expectations we have.

Expectations can be useful and harmful depending on how you use them. Positive expectations are ones filled with possibilities, hopes, energy and focus. Athletes, companies, organizations set expectations to guide themselves to greater success. Negative expectations are those we set for self and others that are unrealistic and set ups for failure. I suggest that you only have positive and realistic expectations that take you higher. I will do the same.

I didn’t really mean to write about expectations but some how I felt compelled to put in the above paragraph. I hope it was helpful. What I really want to talk about is this idea that I need to be more, do more, accomplish greater results etc. to be ok. Where does that come from or is that just in my head? Do you have anything similar going on in your thinking?

I was reading some bio stuff about Thom Hartmann who I think is an amazing human being. He has written so many books, has a radio talk show and is on a mission to expand people’s viewpoints of themselves and the world. Then I caught myself comparing my life to his and there I was “shoulding” on myself. Do you do stuff like that? At least I caught the self-judgment and could change it. Then if I am really off course, I can then judge myself harshly of being so self-judging. Oh what a fun tapestry we can weave of disjointed condemnations, unrealistic expectations, and polluted thoughts.

Today I am over that.

I am making a commitment to myself from this point forward to guide my mind to be supportive, encouraging, loving and inspirational. Anything less will be redirected to thoughts that will take me higher. With the positively propelled mind, the emotions will follow and together with my body and spirit I am going on a single mission: to be myself as fully and richly as I am capable of being. All else will take care of itself.

Would you join me in this self-commitment to be yourself fully and richly and to bless the world by doing so?

Note: if you are exploring the experiment from yesterday’s blog then make this “being” the framework from which you do all of life. As always, I would love to know how it goes.