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  • Writer's pictureRobin Rhine McDonald

The gap between "shoulding" and "choosing"

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

Right now your social media feed is filled with many things. A lot of what's being shared are baked goods recipes, how people are cleaning out and redesigning their homes, getting their home workouts in, cooking fancy healthy meals... basically a lot of posts that might make you feel like you should be doing a lot more than you are.

The thing is, whenever we feel like we should do something, the level of desire is usually close to zero.

No one enjoys feeling obligated.

"I should probably get some sort of workout in while I'm stuck at home for 2 months."

"I shouldn't be snacking this much."

"I should probably spend less time watching Netflix."

"I should try cooking more at home instead of ordering so much take out."

"I should be using my time better. Maybe I should start a house project too."

Just writing these statements makes me heavy and burdened. When we are bogged down by the shoulds, we are actually less likely to do anything about them.

The question is, what do you do when the things you should be doing are the things that are necessary or would greatly benefit you?

So what's the solution?

When we feel like we should do something, whether it is or not, we are not viewing that activity as something that we want to do or an idea that comes from us in that moment. Your ambitious self may have come up with the idea, but your current state is not aligned.

In order to shift from should to choice, you must do two things.

One, realize that you really don't HAVE to do anything. You get to choose. You don't have to login to work from home, you don't have to eat well, and you don't have to exercise. It's 100% your choice to do or not do. It comes down to whether you're interested in the results of those choices.

Two is to recall your vision - what you actually want. Is it to find a way to create a life giving routine at home? Is it to come out of this shelter in place healthier than before? Is it to have energy and feel good about yourself?

Here's how this might look:

"I should probably figure out a way to do some home workouts and start eating healthier while I'm stuck at home."

Current state - working out and eating well is not what you want to do, it's what you feel you have to do. Otherwise you'd have been doing it.

Recalling vision, "I want to support my immune system, to have energy, and to be a healthy person."

Then, you apply that vision to the circumstance.

"Because that's my vision, I'll take a small step towards that right now and research home workout options and have some vegetables included in my grocery order."

Both of those first steps didn't require that you get up, but it did give you a nudge to do something about it.

Every little step counts, and the more you can elevate your vision - the thing you REALLY want, the more you can use that as a life line that pulls you out of the should and on the path to being who you truly want to be - and underneath it all - actually are.

What are the things you feel you should do? Go through the following questions and see if you can't create a new way to approach the next few weeks at home!

  • Are the things you feel obligated to do in alignment with who you want to be and where you want to go?

  • What choice do you actually have?

  • What needs to happen to close the gap between feeling obligated and choosing to act from a place of authentic desire?

  • What's the first step? When will you take it?

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