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  • Coach Alyssa Shaw

Stop shoulding on yourself!

You may have heard this before "you're shoulding on me" or "don't should on yourself". But what does it really mean?


When my first mentor coach told me what having need and should in our vocabulary does to us, it was a huge aha moment! She explained that when you tell yourself that you should or need to do something, you are not giving yourself the opportunity to win.


I'll give you an example:


I tell myself "I need to do the dishes"...

--> If I do the dishes I will not feel accomplished because it was something I told myself I needed to do.

--> If I don't do the dishes then I will feel like garbage about myself because it was something I told myself I needed to do. This is where people with ADHD often turn inwards and start blaming their character/who they are as a person. This is incredibly unfair!


Here's another example:


"I should call my friend"


--> If I do call my friend, I will not feel accomplished because it was something I told myself I should do.

--> If I don't call my friend, then I will feel like garbage about myself because it was something I told myself I should do.


Here are some examples of how you can shift your language and stop shoulding on yourself!


"I should call my friend" --> I would like to call my friend

--> It would be nice to call my friend today


"I need to do the dishes" --> I want to do the dishes

--> It would be a good idea to do the dishes


Practice shifting your language. It will feel funny and foreign at first.


Here's what you can do:

  1. Start to catch yourself when you are saying "need" & "should". Do not get mad at yourself, just catch yourself.

  2. Practice shifting your language using the examples above. * Sometimes it's easier if you write it down or practice with a coach/friend until it can feel less funny to say. * You can create some visual prompts to remind yourself to catch the needs and shoulds. * You can set a timer in your phone that goes off at a certain time every day to remind yourself to be mindful if you're telling yourself "need" or "should". * You can ask your friends, family or colleagues to help you by repeating "need" or "should" back to you when they hear you saying the words. It's important not to attach judgment, they can just say need or should as a helpful reminder.

I noticed such a huge difference in myself when I started to catch the needs and shoulds. It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I wish the same for you!


Happy de-shoulding! :)


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© Coach Alyssa Shaw

493 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, QC H9W 4C3