What You Mean When You Say “Should”


“I should work on mobility more.”

“I should prep my food for the week.”

“I really should take a few days off.”

“I know, I know… I shouldn’t be so negative”

What do you really mean when you say “should?”

Here’s my 2 cents.

  • You either mean that you really want to because you believe it’s good for you or you mean that someone else wants you to and thinks it would be good for you.

Let’s just drop “should” and “shouldn’t” altogether.

Instead, think about what you REALLY mean, and say that instead.

“I really want to prep my food for the week and do more mobility work.”

“My friend thinks it’s in my best interest to prep some food for the week, but I’m not sure it would help me.”

“It would be a great idea for me to take a few days off.”

“I don’t want to be so down on myself.”

Do you want to do it? Do you believe it would be beneficial for you? If so, say that. Otherwise, consider who wants you to and decide if you agree it would be beneficial or not.

Bottom Line: “Should” can bring about stress, confusion, doubt, guilt and blame. Clarify what you want, why you want it, and change your language. If you don’t want to, or don’t believe it’s good for you, then take the time to figure out what the hell is going on instead of continuing to talk about what you should or shouldn’t do.


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2 thoughts on “What You Mean When You Say “Should”

  • Sharon Koenig

    This is so true! It’s something that a lot of my clients struggle with. They find themselves in a perpetual state of “trying” and failing, rather than DOING and making progress! Nothing great can ever come of having too many ‘shoulds’ and not enough ‘musts’ in life – that’s what it takes to turn “trying” into succeeding!