I’ve been thinking about how I make decisions and then feel locked into them because I said ‘yes.’ My insides squirm thinking I have to do something I don’t want to do. Am I locked into that decision? Can I rightfully change my mind…of course I can? The question is whether I do.
I find my friends, as well as myself, collect beliefs around how we should be living our lives and what others should be doing. The culprit at the foundation of these beliefs is ‘should.” “Should” locks us into viewpoints that influence the decisions we make or don’t make. I want to challenge the notion that we can’t change our minds once we make a decision.
How about we all go on a “should” strike and stand up for our rights to change our minds and do something different.
What’s behind our belief that we can’t change our minds: does it mean we are spineless, can’t make decisions or not being responsible? I believe we have the same problem changing our minds when it includes others and when it only affects us. What happens when we make a decision and realize that it wasn’t the best choice for us? Can we correct?
Different passages of our lives call for different decisions. I bet, like the various sizes of clothes in our closets, we hold on to old beliefs that don’t fit any more in the scheme of our happiness.
So what can we do? Start cleaning out our “belief” closet. Change our minds about what is going to create happiness for each of us.
Let’s start counting…how many actions each day do we do base on ‘should?’
I know when I challenge the word ‘should’ many people believe that individuals ‘should’ have an underlying code of beliefs and values. Well, values are changeable given the course of our lives:
- When I was young, I valued love and my education,
- when I was a mother, I valued the time I placed on raising my children,
- when the children got older, I valued my career,
- when I got older, I started to value my time.
There are principles, such as “to thine own self be true” that can help foster our well-being. “Treat others with respect” is allowing others to be true to themselves, and not true to us. Principles are not “shoulds,” instead, they are guides in listening to ourselves and doing the right thing for us.
If we follow another person’s dream or belief, we miss out in traveling within our own lives. In our search for approval from others, we allow false ‘shoulds’ to enter our lives, and then we lose out in expressing our creativity and adding to the world our uniqueness. Each decision we make moves us forward or keeps us static within our comfort zones.
“Should is another word for “Powerless.”
You can change your mind. IF:
- the course of your life is not working for you,
- you’ve committed to an action that doesn’t feel right
- you are behaving in ways that don’t support your happiness
- you have a friend who doesn’t support you as a person
- …and more
Change can be a bit scary, yet when we listen to ourselves, we hear what needs to be done and can change our minds. Today I changed my mind about a food choice I’ve been making for the last umpteen years. Even though I like it, I knew it wasn’t right for me, so I changed my mind and made a different decision…not to eat it anymore. It’s a small change, but one that I can handle today. Maybe later today or tomorrow, I may change my mind about something else.
Do you change your mind often? If so, what motivates you to change your mind? Is it fine-tuning your choice or are you fearful and keep changing your mind? If you are the type that when you make a decision, no matter what, you stand by it, why is that important to you?
Where are you with the word “SHOULD?”
Women’s Group Topics
The word “should” easily flies out of women’s mouths because there are so many expectations that women be a certain way. Discuss your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs around “should.” Are you defining “should” as a value, when in fact it’s not? An intense discussion as many people believe that “should” is essential to living in a civilized society. Share your thoughts.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back by Kevin Salwen and Hannah Selwen