The Soul-Stealing Shoulds

This week, I was reminded of the dreaded word “Should.” This word is loaded — it is intuition-zapping, obligation-creating, sucking-on-a-lemon-contracting, and soul-jarring. You might as well be hanging out in a mini pressure cooker.

The thing is that many of us have very FULL lives and continually receive invitations and offers to do a lot, on top of the responsibilities we already have. Whether it is to take out the trash, lead a project at work, or go out with friends/family, we often push ourselves to do these things just to bypass saying “no” OR for fear of missing out.

Whatever may the reason be, there is a whole lot of forcing going on. And that can lead to total burnout, binging, headache, heartache, and sickness, leaving very little room for true mind-blowing fun.

Also, if I may add… “Should-ing” yourself will leave very little room to invite love into your life in a real way.

If you are a love seeker, this is how the “SHOULDs” show up for you:

They make you feel like you are trapped. Check this scenario out.: A guy you went out with last week was amazing on paper, but when you were with him in person you just weren’t feeling the butterflies. He was nice and kind BUT you felt there was just something missing — that SPARK. After the date he called, and even though you kind of wanted to avoid the call you picked up and said yes to going out with him again. Why? You thought you SHOULD because you never know… maybe he could turn into someone special and you feel you SHOULD give it another TRY.

In this scenario you feel like your foot does when you try to scrunch it into a so-so pair of shoes that are a size 6. When in reality, you know you are legitimately a size 7 and the perfect pair of shoes would be rocking hot and in your size!

If you are in a relationship, this is how the “SHOULDs” show up for you:

They are a silent killer. For example, you put everyone else before yourself, giving and giving. You do this because you feel you have to most of the time, and some of the time you really want to. This goes on every day, making you feel completely exhausted at the end of each day. Practicing this daily leaves very little room to nurture yourself, creating a feeling of not feeling understood or appreciated, and amping up the resentments.

The side effect of all of this is a constant feeling of annoyance towards your partner because it feels like they don’t support you or help you or don’t care enough. Have you had that sentiment? If you’ve said those very words to yourself then you need to take a look at your SHOULD speedometer. More on this below…

So, what you SHOULD do instead is… just kidding. 🙂

When you catch yourself in the SHOULD act, in those situations where you feel you need to do something but don’t really want to, stop and take a couple of deep breaths. Ask yourself: “how can I make this situation more fun for me?” It could be by wearing a dress you have been wanting to wear or putting on a pair of hot heels. Check in with yourself and find out what would make the whole thing WAY more exciting.

Now we need to cut all the other SHOULDs down to size. The way to do this is to simply to ask your intuition. Your intuition is your feminine powerhouse and if you ask it any question it will answer it for you. Your intuition will never leave you feeling tired, less than, or forced.

I got this from my friend Annie Lalla. When you ask your intuition anything from “Do I want this handbag?” to “Do I want to go out tonight?” if you feel within your body a sense of expansion or largeness, then that is a YES. If you feel contraction, smallness, or an icky feeling, that is a NO. Once you have the answer, follow through with what comes up for you!

An idea I am adopting from another friend of mine is the “KA-POW” effect. If you feel “KA-POW,” that is expansion and a YES. Make sure to keep following the “KA-POW” feeling — you will be led in the right direction without any pressure or guilt and will get your soul back from the dreaded “SHOULDs.”

In Love,


Sign up for free updates

    By entering your email, you consent to receive marketing & promotional messages from Kavita Jhaveri.