Do you find yourself often saying ‘I should to this and that’ or ‘I ought to see so and so’?
8. All the ‘SHOULDs’ and ‘OUGHTs’ of the Festive Holiday Horrors
I know you know the old expression ‘Don’t ‘SHOULD’ on yourself!’ but still you do it.
And why do you do it?
You grew up with lots of tapes playing from your parents, school, religion and society, they are
deeply embedded and often you act on them without any awareness, except for the vague disconcerting feeling that it may not be quite right and certainly does not bring you any happiness.
These taped messages which are constantly playing are the source of many of the SHOULDs and OUGHTs.
On top of that you may seek approval and acceptance, it is very easy for you to think ‘I SHOULD attend that office party, else they will think I don’t like them’ or ‘I OUGHT to visit Auntie Rene as she is all alone and I know she’ll tell my Mother if I don’t go’. You want to ‘fit in’ and it is often at a great cost to yourself and brings additional festive strain.
Reciprocating is another big SHOULD or OUGHT. ‘They invited us over to dinner, now we OUGHT to invite them back’ or ‘John sent me a card so I SHOULD send one back to him!’
Do you have some more SHOULDs AND OUGHTs? And what can you do about them?
The Mind Chi Happiness – QUESTION
The big new skill you will need, is to bring to your awareness when one of those SHOULDS and OUGHTS creeps into your mind. At that very moment STOP and QUESTION before you automatically respond. This is a new skill and you will need to use the nanosecond interrupt that you have in your brain to grab control. You may wish to use several of the Mind Chi Happinesses used with the previous Horrors – STOP! BREATHE; SAY ‘NO!’ and use your POWER – all can assist you here.
Just becoming aware that it is a SHOULD or OUGHT is a big step in the right direction. You may well miss a few and be in auto-respond mode and then catch yourself. STOP right then and say, ’Oh, I am so sorry, I was on automatic, would you let me think about this and get back to you?’
If you are responding from the fear of lack of approval or acceptance, then one QUESTION you might ask yourself is ‘What is the WORST that can happen?’ After you have thought that one through then YOU decide; ‘Can I live with that?’ (Remember that it is usually not nearly as bad as you expected.)
After you have thought the possible consequences through YOU now decide on your action plan. The big difference is that now YOU are taking control, the POWER is in your hands. If you feel that what you receive in the approval or acceptance (you do not have a guarantee about that anyway) is worth it, then it is your CHOICE to do the action. Interestingly the ‘same’ action feels completely different if you think someone else is making you, versus if YOU feel it is your choice.
If reciprocation is the reason that someone does something, with the specific thought and expectation that they will receive the same or better back, then they are doing it for the wrong reasons (and I expect you were not thrilled by the thought that you OUGHT to invite them back – and WOW – freedom, you SHOULDN’T!!!)
First they will probably be a bit surprised and may hint at when will you be available and then they won’t invite you again and you are BOTH free of the obligation.
In all cases, if after your QUESTIONING a SHOULD or OUGHT you decide ‘Not this time’ then to communicate with understanding and empathy that you wish to take a different direction is very important. Either you will find that it was no problem at all (in most cases) or someone will say that it is important to them. In that rare case then you need to come up with a compromise with which you can both be happy.
To summarise the 8 Mind Chi Happinesses to overcome the SHOULDs and OUGHTs:
- Become aware of all your historic tapes and QUESTION their relevance to you today.
- After you are aware, then QUESTION what you actually do what to do.
- Use your nanosecond of over-ride control to consciously select ‘Yes’ or ‘No’
- Use STOP! BREATHE; SAY ‘NO!’ and your POWER to assist you to have CONTROL
- QUESTION if you really will receive the acceptance or approval if you acquiesce.
- Ask yourself; ‘What is the worst that can happen’ then select your action.
- Only reciprocate IF you want to, an explanation to the person is polite though!
- Explain with courtesy your change in behaviour, it will probably be freeing to the other as well.
And in all cases enjoy!
© Mind Chi 2011