“I should be eating healthy.” “ I should not eat that.” “I should have lost more weight by now.” “I should start exercising.” You might not see anything out of place with these statements. It’s a common habit to motivate ourselves to change with this approach. However, should statements generate unnecessary emotional turmoil. When the reality of your own behavior falls short of your intentions, your should’s and shouldn’ts create guilt, self-loathing, and frustration. Should statements don’t work because they are pain-based, and in the long run, most people tend to avoid painful experiences. We are wired to minimize pain and maximize pleasure. Simply put, motivation that includes should and shouldn’t statements will most likely backfire.

What happens when you say “I should lose weight?” Chances are you created a heavy emotional burden. Just because you “should” be exercising, doesn’t mean it’s a part of your routine. Just because you “shouldn’t” be that extra helping, doesn’t mean you’re not eating it when no one is looking. These statements shout loud and clear “I should, but I don’t want to.” It’s not only that you don’t want to, but also that you won’t.

Most likely, you get up every morning with a new plan of what you should do today, what your menu should look like, what you shouldn’t binge on, and when you should go work out. Your words imply that there is some set of external rules which demand how your behavior, choices, or actions are supposed to be. However, these are not the rules you want to follow, but the rules you should be following. Should ultimately translates into “I don’t think so!” as choice is replaced by obligation. Should statements make us feel pressured, resentful and rebellious. As a result we respond with resistance and defiance, and follow the urge to do just the opposite.

Should statements fail to connect with the clarity and joy of choosing to do the work of achieving a certain desire or dream. They pull us from our center and from the joy of taking care of ourselves. Notice how many times a day you say “I should do this,” or “I shouldn’t have done that.” How does it feel to say those words? Listen to your words and see if you are really saying what you mean. Notice if your should statements fuel desire and passion, or if they fuel resistance and resentment. As you move forward in your attempt to create change, are you filled with a loving perspective? Or do your rules seem punitive? Creating distinctions in the subtleties of your language can lead to a major shift in inspired, energetic, and long-term motivation.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Annette Colby, RD can help you take the pain out of life, turn difficult emotions into joy, release stress, end emotional eating, and move beyond depression into an extraordinary life! Annette is the author of Your Highest Potential and has the unique ability to show you how to spark an amazing relationship with your life! Visit www.LovingMiracles.com
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