Should – one of the most unhelpful words in the English language

In my experience as a hypnotherapist, one of the most common things I help people to deal with, is feeling stressed or upset by something.

When they express this feeling to me the word ‘should’ is often part of the sentence…

..I should be able to cope with this

..I should be able to do this

..I should have said something

..I should have more willpower

..I should be able to manage

..I should be enjoying this

Well, who says so?

Is it your own expectation or what you think others expect of you?

Is that expectation realistic?

Is it helpful?

Quite often the expectation we have for ourselves is at best optimistic and at worse, doomed to failure. We expect so much of ourselves, holding us to the highest possible standard, so anything less than perfection equals failure. Look how upset some of the silver medalists were at the recent Olympics – they proved themselves to be amongst the best in the world, but it still wasn’t good enough.

If you are driven to be the best at whatever it is you are trying to do, that’s great. It can be a fantastic motivator during the tough times. But there are no medals in how you live your life. There’s no first place in dealing with a break up. No one is going to give you an award for how you manage with a new born baby. There is no competition for who will be able to cope with bereavement best. There isn’t a daily prize for the person best able deal with their cravings.

So start by giving yourself a break. Don’t hold yourself to a standard you wouldn’t expect of others – why do you have to be better than everyone else?

Second stop saying ‘I should’ or ‘I shouldn’t’. When you say this, even to yourself, what you’re really saying to your subconscious is ‘I’m failing to meet the required standard’. Wouldn’t it be better if you said ‘I would like to….’ ?

..I would like to be able to cope with this

..I would like to be able to do this

..I would like to have said something

..I would like to have more willpower

..I would like to be able to manage

..I would like to be enjoying this

This gives your subconscious mind a goal to work towards. This is something you can learn to do. This leads to growth rather than failure.

Finally, tell yourself that today you will be kind to yourself. Listen to that little voice in your head and every time it says ‘should’ change the sentence to ‘would like to’ and choose to grow rather than fail.


If you are in the Coventry area and would like to have a chat with me about how I could help You with this or any other issues, please give me a call on 07429 749936 or email me at

I look forward to talking to you.

Sue Griffin @ Talk Therapies


Leave a comment

Filed under Happy, Peace, Stress, Worrying

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s