Freeing Ourselves from Shoulds

Below is an exercise to help you transform a self-judgemental “I should…” into an actionable “I need…”

If you’d like to practice more ways to turn negative self-talk into a beautiful mirror, Dian is teaching Making Internal Bullies into Allies: Shifting Negative Self-Talk into Constructive Action on Saturday March 9 in NYC, details here.

This exercise is from Connecting Across Differences, 2nd. ed, Ch. 6.

Part 1:

What do you tell yourself that you should or shouldn’t do? Think of some recent or current situation where you might talk to yourself in this way and complete the following sentences?

I never should have ____________________.
I shouldn’t be so ___________________.
I shouldn’t always be ___________________.
I should have known better than to have ____________________.

Part 2:

When you are telling yourself each of these should, how are you feeling?
Starting with the feeling and now looking at each “should” sentence, can you name which needs are “up” for you?

Part 3:

Did you feel a change energetically between telling yourself should and connecting to your feelings and needs? How do you experience each in your body?

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