what should you do to make your career better?

As an expert, professional and human being I don’t believe in “shoulding on yourself.”

Ever. Like. Seriously.

“Shoulding” on yourself is actually a debilitating way to go about your life. Because I don’t know if you’ve ever really noticed, but take note now – the voice of “should” is not kind, nor compassionate nor wise. It’s kind of an asshole. And you don’t really listen to or do anything for long when an asshole tells you to do it.

(And you totally know it too.)

Plus that voice inside your head is worse than anyone that could “should” you from the outside.

So don’t listen to that voice. Except. Except if you’re going to do something useful with that voice. That’s the only reason and here’s how:

Expressing and exposing all of your “shoulding” is only useful and supportive for helping you to know yourself – to really hear what you’re saying so that you can listen to what you’re saying, so that you understand the gravity of what you’re saying as though it were someone you really care about sharing vulnerably with you. This is after all the one relationship that you also have the most control over. And the one that has the most control over you.

So first, let’s look at all your should’s shall we? (Let’s get you some useful insight into yourself here). Let’s bring your should’s out into the light.

For example, it wouldn’t be uncommon to suppose that:

I should work on my career because … I’m unhappy.

So now your turn –in as many different ways as you can (try for 10). Don’t think. Just write:

I should take time to work on my career because ________________________________________.
I should take time to work on my career because ________________________________________.
I should take time to work on my career because ________________________________________.
I should take time to work on my career because ________________________________________.
I should take time to work on my career because ________________________________________.
I should take time to work on my career because ________________________________________.
I should take time to work on my career because ________________________________________.
I should take time to work on my career because ________________________________________.
I should take time to work on my career because ________________________________________.
I should take time to work on my career because ________________________________________.

When you read through your completions notice how you feel about your career, and your whole life as you hold them in your mind. Just read the words you put in the blanks to catch a good whiff.

And do so without any judgment of whether what you’ve shared with yourself is good, back, right or wrong.

Witness. Observe. Notice. Unattach.

Please. Please. Please. Very important.

See how “shoulding” hasn’t created anything sustainable? Recognize that “shoulding” actually takes away the experience of enjoying what you would actually want to be doing. Notice how you feel when you’re “shoulding” on yourself. Your response to you can’t be great, right?

(Aside: Struggling with not judging yourself right now? I thought that might be the case. Redirect your thoughts to think: “How interesting that these are the reasons that have come to the light. Thank you mind. Thank you for reflecting to me how I perceive my work and my life.” You know that your mind won’t always tell you your truth when you need it, so when it reveals anything, it’s useful to give thanks.)

Okay, now shake that list from your mind. Let’s now mine for what’s behind, beyond, and beneath all this “shoulding.” The real, wise, genuine voice inside of you.

In the next set of stem sentences answer in as many different ways as you can (try for 10). Don’t think. Just write:

I deserve time to work on my career because ___________________________________________.
I deserve time to work on my career because ___________________________________________.
I deserve time to work on my career because ___________________________________________.
I deserve time to work on my career because ___________________________________________.
I deserve time to work on my career because ___________________________________________.
I deserve time to work on my career because ___________________________________________.
I deserve time to work on my career because ___________________________________________.
I deserve time to work on my career because ___________________________________________.
I deserve time to work on my career because ___________________________________________.
I deserve time to work on my career because ___________________________________________.

Didn’t like that one? You can try instead:

I want to work on my career because ….

OR

It’s time to work on my career because …

Read over this list now. Notice that it’s a more accurate perception of your life’s realities. Notice the feelings in your body when reading this set of responses. Observing. Witnessing. Noticing.

Contrast the difference in the feelings and also the responses between “shoulding” on yourself and “being a friend to yourself.” Go ahead do that now.

(I know … interesting huh?)

Want to know why you did that exercise perhaps? I’ll tell you: Part of any change that will happen or that has already happened in your life didn’t happen without some time in the land of contemplation. No change happens without it.

And this was an exercise in just that – contemplation.

So, what insights did you get for the road from this exercise?

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March 16, 2014 tagged as: