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  • Kristen Stephenson

Set yourself free from self imposed pressure



If you’re like me and base your worth on the amount you can get done in a day, feel like you have failed if you leave things un-ticked on your to do list and constantly must. do. all. the things even if you don’t have the time then this one is for you.

I was recently given this advice and it has been game changing for me, you see I have this terrible habit of always saying “I should have done it this way” or “maybe I should do this” you could say hindsight was my worst enemy alongside my own very high standards that I had set for myself (yeah ok so maybe I’m a perfectionist with delegation issues). But by doing this I was placing a huge amount of pressure on myself to be holding it all together and doing all of these things, things that sometimes I didn’t even want to do I just thought that I should. I would feel immense guilt if I didn’t get to it that day or complete it in my time

frame, if things went pear shaped I would pick it apart and tell myself “if you had of done this it would have worked so that’s what you should have done” Crazy huh.

Cue turning my shoulds into coulds.

By doing this you take responsibility for your choice, there is no pressure, no expectation, you just totally own it and you can be at peace with your decision because at that very moment it was the right one for you. For instance many times the alarm that I have set for myself to get up and exercise before the day gets started would go off and I would turn it off roll over and go back to sleep, but for the rest of the day I would be telling myself I should have gotten up and exercised I would feel like I let myself down all day, like I had failed myself. But let’s turn that situation around and replace the should with could. Alarm goes off I turn it off and say to myself I could get up and exercise but I am choosing not to because I was up all night with a baby and sleep is far more important to me right now. You see for the rest of the day I am comfortable with the fact that I was tired and needed to catch up on some missed zzzz’s because the decision was mine and I took ownership of it.

The thing with the word should is that it’s in the past, what you should have done has happened, that ship has sailed and there is nothing you can do about it now so take the lesson and move on. But could, could is a choice, one that you get to make for yourself and one that you will be happy to move forward with. So next time you find yourself saying I should have done this or I should have done that pull yourself up replace it with could, take back life on your terms and watch the guilt and pressure disappear.


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