Depending on what source you reference, human beings think between 50,000 and 80,000 thoughts each day. That’s a lot of mental noise that unfortunately, is mostly negative—some say up to 80% of our thoughts are framed as “I can’t do that”; “I don’t want to”; “I won’t be able”; and “this isn’t what I expected or wanted.”
Even with the 80/20 ratio, negative thinking is not what holds us back from an energy standpoint. Since our minds think in pictures, even though we throw up “nots!”, our brains create a picture of whatever we’re thinking anyway. For example, if you think, “Don’t slam the door!” your mind still sees the door making a loud noise. Or if you say to a child, “Don’t touch the hot pot!” you get a mental image of the little hand reaching up to the hot stove. But it’s ok. These unpleasant pictures provide the necessary contrast for us to choose what we want instead, like “please close the door quietly” or “come away from the stove and sit at the kitchen table.”
So the good news is that you really don’t have to worry about getting rid of your negative thinking; just use it as contrast to make positive choices, and you’ll be fine.
But there is one word that many of us tend to say to ourselves repeatedly over the course of a day. Some say it over the course of a lifetime, and it really messes up their hopes and dreams. This word keeps you stuck in your head and prevents you from listening to your heart. It’s a simple word, but its impact is complex, with tentacles that reach into all areas of your life.
What’s the word?
“Should” is an angry relative shaking his/her finger at you and scolding you for being wrong. “Should” is the guilty tug toward an activity that you really, truly do not want to do. “Should” is shame and blame, making you feel small and afraid. “Should” destroys relationships and sucks the satisfaction away from even the smallest accomplishment, because it always leaves you wanting.
Don’t believe it? Try it now. Take any sentence, and add the word “should.” Feel what happens to your energy. “I am going to work” is a simple, empowering choice. “I should go to work” is an obligation that you don’t want to fulfill. “We are in a relationship” is a calm statement of connection. “We should be in a relationship” is a sinkhole of yearning and frustration. “I am here to serve my community” is a gift to others. “I should be here to serve my community” is retreat into self-doubt and guilt.
So if your goal is to feel good and bring your best self to your world, let the word “should” vanish from your vocabulary. Replace it with “I am,” said in your loudest, proudest voice, because affirming what and who you are is a great way to connect with your heart and live your truth.
You don’t have to be a “positive” person to get your energy flowing. Just stop suppressing where your energy is trying to go now, and allow whatever and whoever has your attention to provide you with whatever lesson, support or opportunity it/they have to offer. Life without the “shoulds” is a relief. Where there’s relief, there’s freedom, and wherever there’s freedom, there’s Fullistic® flow.
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