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Reframing "Shoulds"

3 Min
Life Coaching
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Marisa Moon
Certified Primal Health Coach & Fasting Coach
Daily, if not hourly, we tell ourselves we should DO something or should BE something...we constantly use "shoulds" when we talk to ourselves in our daily thoughts. Shoulds usually represent guilt or fear about not living up to someone’s expectations. Even guilt or fear about not living up to our own expectations. Follow along as Primal Health Coach Marisa Moon shares a strategy for reframing these thoughts.  Learn more about Marisa's philosophy on her podcast called The Foundation of Wellness at marisamoon.com/podcast (also on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play)
From the community
89 reflections
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Kathy
Should!
Marisa, I love this! I find myself doing this often, although I know it is not legitimate to me. Is it just natural? Who are we trying to impress or please or help if we are working on those shoulds? They are definitely not a necessity to living a healthier and happier life. Self imposed shoulds I would like to remove from my self-talk and my life. If you have additional ideas, I would most certainly love to hear them!!! 🙏🏻Namaste 🙏🏻
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Matthew
Good lesson!
I ”should” take it to heart!🤗 I know I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I HAVE to. I've lost so much! I have to either work hard to recoup my losses or need a large windfall of some sort to reclaim everything I feel I've lost and what I feel I need. It's a HARD road I find myself on for sure! Sometimes I think I might not be up to working on bettering my place. I feel like life has given me the cold ”should-er!” 🤪*ba-dum-tiss!*
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Susie
Shoulds
Reframing my shoulds is a great suggestion. My head/heart are full of them. It is interesting to think of these shoulds as representing fear or guilt for not meeting expectations. They can also be paralyzing. I plan to attempt rephrasing my shoulds & would be interested in hearing more suggestions on this topic.🙏
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A
More, please
I found this helpful and would like to hear more about how to put it into action. I am so much harder on myself than others and often tell myself about things I should have done. I could use some help reframing those talks with myself! I want to let some things go, but I could use a nudge (or maybe sometimes a friendly shove!).
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Adam
More like this please...
...This was very relatable and helpful, framing my inner monologue in this light.
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Sally
Great start
I would love more on calming my should please. 😊 It seems I use should a lot an need to redirect.
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Alicia
Reframing shoulds
I was reminded that obligations that include shoulds are based on guilt and fear. Using the practice of reframing it to “if I had more resources I could” or “if I had a greater plan of action, I could” releases me from the blame or shame game. It also allows me to recognize how things could change.
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Trent
Great tooic
Would like to learn more about this and particularly how motivation plays into this.
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Al
Shoulds
I learned that I have been using shoulds as a negative motivator. Would like more info on this. Great psychological insight. Wish more meditations were like this. AD
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Ruthy
More like this
School has been getting too me a lot and this was the best meditation I had in a while. I feel like it would be nice if you make more like this so I wouldn’t be feeling/ saying negative things.❤️
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Debb
Should, Would, Could
This great life coaching session brought back memories of a licensure process a few years ago. My mentor/teacher kept reminding me to quit “shoulding on myself“ - I used (and still use) should a lot. I love what Marissa said about the connection between should and guilt. Her suggestion to replace should with would and could is terrific. This will help me continue to try to be more mindful of my “shoulds”
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Catherine
Only live with what my own should
I don’t let others opinions determine my life. If I think I should do something, then it is something that I know is the right thing to do. It’s often me knowing what’s right, yet not wanting to follow through. Only time should is effective and useful for me is if I have to make a choice between two important things. I may turn to people who know me well and have my best interest at heart for guidance if I am too indecisive
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Simone
Thanks
I liked this meditation/instructional audio, more audio of this kind will be helpful. thanks
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Julie
Action Plan
I learned from this one instead of telling myself or others of things I should be doing which doesn’t make me motivated to complete those tasks is coming up with a plan of action. For me a plan of action gives me something to work towards to.
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Cam
Day 71
Guilt is a strange thing. I don’t even notice it until I really step back and see what is vexing me. Like a constant spasm in my neck that won’t go away until I regroup my thoughts. Be kind to others, act how you want others to treat you. And be kind to your self
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Sue
Shoulds
Replace should with it would be nice - great substitute! I think shoulds way too much ...
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Morgan
More sessions please
I do this regularly. Subconsciously and out loud. “I should wake up early tomorrow”, “I should make the bed”, “I should finish those thank you notes”. I often become overwhelmed, and do sometimes think to myself, “no one understands”. Replacing should with making a plan to conquer tasks sounds like a great tool for my situation. I would love more sessions on this topic!
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Ashby
Shoulds
I learned that sometimes I’m the only thing holding me back. Instead of feeling guilty for the things I should be doing, I will start thinking about them in the present moment and how I can tackle it ASAP without stressing myself out.
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Alicia
Shoulds aren’t kindnesses
I learned that I can create a counter narrative re “shoulds” in my life. Doing so alleviates guilt or shame and pushes me to recognize the bigger picture—sometimes there are limitations to what we can do.
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Judith
More please
I often use parts of my coaching and meditation with my Korean students. Many are suffering from material loss and fear of course they don’t show it... but over the years they have learned to trust me. This virus has changed life as we know it. Please create more!!! With gratitude from an open hearted fellow traveler. May you continue to walk with grace. Judith
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Judith
Repeat - Yes please! More
I. Can’t tell if the first one went through or not. I share much of my practice with my student in Korea. Any thing. You can help with? Loss of the material etc Thank you for your excellent sessions. From an open hearted fellow traveler, May you continue to walk in grace. Judith
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Zoe
More sessions please!
I really enjoyed this session, I found it relevant and something I would like to continue working on.
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Zoe
More sessions please!
I really enjoyed this session, I found it relevant and something I would like to continue working on.
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Andrea
Unsure about reframe
I don't really feel like the suggestions in the form of phrases are for me. They still produce anxiety in my body. However maybe that's just the initial response and maybe it could still be helpful the more I get used to it.
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Sonik
I didn’t really like the forms of rephrasing.
I think it wou LD still make me feel guilty/or like I am sayIng shouLD
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Erika
Alternatives to should
I am putting a lot of my own expectations on myself and also assuming some expectations from others without asking them. I could try replacing shoulds with: It would be nice if... If I had the adequate resources required, I could... I could make a detailed plan to...
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Karen
Lack of motivation
I have trouble with motivating myself to clean and workout. I should clean or I should get up and run. These are self imposed expectations. I feel better when I do them, but the initial motivation to start cleaning or waking up early is the hardest part. Also, a lot of times the activity isn't fun itself, I just feel better after, so I'm just putting off doing it.
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Carolina
Yes! More sessions on this idea
I find applying any new language to “should” is a better direction & feeling...let’s use some new ideas!
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Caitlin
More sessions!
I found this to be extremely powerful and helpful to use in reframing negative thoughts.
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Janet
More sessions
I know that a lot of my negative thinking revolves around shoulds and I would like to find out more about what they are trying to tell me and move past the guilt.
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Kim
Redirect should
Just because we can, doesn't mean we should. Cut myself some slack.
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Kim
Redirect should
Just because I can doesn't mean I should. Redurect my thoughts to relax my need for perfection. Question "Why do I feel the need for perfection?"
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Kim
Redirection
Just because I can, doesn't mean I should. Question my need for perfection. Identify why in this moment I crave perfection, or perhaps control?
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Bridgette
Reframing “Shoulds”
I fall into this trap a lot. And as a result, there’s a lot of guilt and feelings of inadequacy. Like I’m not doing everything I need to do. I learned that I can reframe this from “I should...” to “It would be nice if...” I think this takes the pressure off a bit. Because I can’t do everything. And that’s OK. It doesn’t mean I’m inadequate. It doesn’t mean I’m disappointing. And it doesn’t mean I’m a failure.
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Cheryl
Reframing Shoulds
I would like more on this I found it to be very helpful. I can reframe My shoulds
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Emily
I learned
That I’m not living in the present moment if I am thinking of all the things I should be doing
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Melissa
Shoulds
I learned that I have to many expectations on myself and allow others expectations influence my mood and the way I feel About myself too much.
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Chela
I learned that
How we speak to ourselves really affects us. We need to be more gentle with ourselves
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Tracie
Reframing Shoulds
I need to redirect my thoughts so I don’t put more expectations on myself. I can rephrase to “it would be nice if...” I’d like more sessions in this. I really need to focus more on self-talk.
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Jen
Shoulds
I learned to feel better about the things I "should" be doing with my life and that it's ok. Also to reword the word should to " if I had the resources to do the things I wanted to do I would".
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Saija
Shoulds
Some of my shoulds are wishes, others are ones that I know would make me a better person but something is holding me back. For the latter, to be kind to myself, I’ll say “it would be nice if....” until I make it.
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Mike
Bye bye shoulds
Hello It would be nice If I did have the resources to get this done faster If I create a schedule to dedicate time to this thing I’ll get there I do this too often
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ali
Shoulds = guilt never put these 2 together!
I appreciated this new insight on reframing recurring "I should..." statements. Try: "If I had the resources...," "If I have a solid plan in place then I will be able to..." Thank you!
WJ
Walter J
IF-ing...
Never really thought about it, but “should” is a very judgmental word. It does imply guilt for not having done something already. On the other hand ‘if’ brings Hope and adding ‘would’ turns it into a more Beneficial almost declaration statement... It would be fantastic ‘If’ I ‘would’ remove the word “Should” from my vocabulary! I have developed the habit of removing contractions from my speaching & writing over the past several years, since most contractions are negative ... wouldn’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t, can’t, etc. & do not always translate properly. It is an easy way to take that 1st step to Becoming more positive. So it makes sense to make this a 2nd step & change over to ‘If’ & ‘would’. Thanks Marisa for this powerful idea & suggestion! Namaste ❤️👍🏼🍀
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Lostpuppyevan
This verbalized how i have always felt but never was conscious of
That making this change could really benefit me and I am interested in learning more about it
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Rhiannon
Not saying “Should” as much
I learned that from this life coaching, our minds always say should. As I think about all my goals that I am aiming for in my life, I am already replacing “should”, with “I will”, or “ I have the right things for....” Hopefully over time if I continue to support myself without regretting or having fear over things, then I will be able to achieve and learn better.
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Sam
Should I comment....😉
Yes pleas post more on this. It’s that inner voice that can change and be my mother or grand pa or the crazy younger version of myself that says see you are a screw up. Changing the script is a excellent way to free myself from that. I have also been trying to let go of labeling things as good or bad.
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K
How “should” shows up in my life
“Should” shows up when I’m being pulled into all sorts of assignments but it’s not clear if the work will add value. I feel like I should be doing something different with my life..the guilt is almost unbearable
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Ninoshka
Should
I learned that I should replace my should with it would be nice if, and stop blaming myself for things like not keeping the house clean or not spending enough time with my family. I would like more information on this topic as I feel I have this problem.
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Angela
Should
I learned that a more positive approach to “shoulds” that I truly want to accomplish is to say “if I make a plan of action I could...ie “if I plan my meals and make a shooting list I will eat healthier every day “
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Rachel
Change my shoulds
I learned that shoulds are guilt and I will try saying it would be nice if instead. Self talk is where it all starts.
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Latisha
Perspective shift
I like the idea of reframing shoulds because it opens up space for the desire behind it in a more empowering way.
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Suzanne
Should of would of could have
Being conscious of the shoulds will give me power over the emotional content that underpins them. Creating plans for repetitive shoulds will help relieve that recurring emotional weight.
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sugeni
Should
I need to reframe. I'm constantly disappointing myself. Too many shoulds make me feel like I'm not doing enough 😪
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Inge
More sessions please
I was just getting into this session and then it was over ☺️. I would definitely listen to more in-depth discussion on this topic. It plagued me often and gets in my way of productivity.
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Patti
Words count
Marissa reinforced what my own life coach explained to me, however she was speaking about talking to others and using “should”. I love the alternatives mentioned, to respond to ourselves with motivating words is much healthier than the guilt trip!!
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Kat
Reframe
I learned that the words I use affect my mental health and use better choices of words.
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Gia
I use shoulds alot
I learned that I have a lot to learn about myself. And this program will help me in my journey.
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Teatearainbowswet
Should
I learned that what I should do in the first place and what should I do
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Jennifer
A reminder
I know about the “shoulds” but don’t always practice replacing them when stressed.
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Susan
Encore!
I loved this topic and presentation. Bravo! Encore!! I feel like I have a bucket full of shoulds above me all the time, and if they aren’t raining on me, then the bucket is pounding my skull.
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Kymme
Shoulda coulda woulda
Thank you for getting my alternative language versus my self defeating should mantra
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Susan
I will be this into action straight away
I learned that I should not be so hard on myself, perhaps break down a task into little bits through out the day, or ask for help
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Jude
It was a feeling of relief to hear someone else offer options to replace the ‘should’ pattern engrained from childhood.
Am putting them into practice today for my peace of mind and self respect 😊
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Silver
A chronic offender of shoulda woulda coulda
Thanks for opening my eyes to the deeper meaning of this habit
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Hope
I want more
I loved this and it was a nice perspective on expectations. I would love more on this topic
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Charlene
When things aren’t meeting expectations I think about shoulda coulda woulda then shit
This creates a sense of not enough. I plan on trying to accept things more that I am powerless to change.
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Noa
Lovely
Thanks. It was soothing and practical! Would love to meditate more on the topic
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Hazel
Realization
I’m always telling myself that I should go outside to exercise, or I should do more school-related work, for I’m afraid that I’m not living up to my own expectations. I realize that it’s taking up so much of my life. I don’t even get to be the person who I want to be anymore. These shoulds dominate what I “should” do in a day. Instead of telling myself that I should do something, I’m going to ask myself why? Why am I doing this? Who am I doing it for?
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Nyla
Yes, more please!!
I’m big on being my worst own critic and I never feel content. I desperately want to change it but don’t know how
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Nicole
Working on behavioral change...
As self-aware as I am forced to be, I need to be better about the words that I say to myself or out loud because I know that the power of my voice is enough to stop me in my tracks, as far as chores or other actions I can directly link to trauma and experiences leading to Post Traumatic Stress Injury. These two experiences are enough to make me completely paralyzed with the feelings that they review within me. I have to use my voice very firmly to tell myself that I am safe, that I can only use a certain amount of dishes so that I’m not completely overwhelmed with the stress and memories that particular chore creates within me. I’m going to use my voice to tell myself that I am not surrounded by water, that I’m safe and that I have my cell phone if I ever feel extremely endangered, such as having an aura before a seizure. I know how they feel, so they’re a clue. I can do this, I believe in me.
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JOHN
Shoulds may be the authentic me trying to express myself but possibly worried about how big the changes I need to make may be
I can replace “should” with “it would be nice if” and this way I look at it with a more positive outlook and see it less challenging or harmful to do this things I once told myself I “should” do! Great session!!!
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Charleen
Reframing shoulds
I know that I hold myself to really high standards bc I think that's what others expect from me. I know that my shoulds control me. :( I want to learn to be more present. I need to practice being here now.
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Brooke
Chang
Changing “should” to a positive word, to a positive thought, takes away the negativity that lingers long after you’ve stopped talking.
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Brittney
Changing
“It’s to intimidating to take on this change” really resonated with that. I want to do the thing, I want to improve but the intimidation stay present. Thank you for this awesome session
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Andrea
Excellent topic
Please keep more of these coming! Reframing is what I am working on right now and more of this is fabulous! Thank you ❤️
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Tash
That was amazing. thank you
I am enough. Thank you I will change my shoulder from now on in
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David
Replacing a should with a decision
This is good however, I’m learning there’s also a time when the option of replacing should or removing it all together by making a decision not to do something. ‘I should take that training course’ - ‘at the moment I do not have the resources and so I will not realistically take the course’. As you say, it’s about removing guilt.
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Gabby
Shoulds
Once it started to play I realize I do that all the time that’s really tough industry I’m always thinking about what I could be said of being where I am
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Christine
Shoulds
I do this too often. I speak out loud instead of just in my head. I’m going to work on this thank you.
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Lynn
I like to replace “should” with “I want”. The three flame
This reframes the thought to more of a choice and something that I feel good about doing. Instead of, I should go for a walk, I tell myself I want to go for a walk. I like the tips here and will pay more attention to my thoughts and recognizing my shoulds
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Nicole
Should
I didn’t realize how often I did this til I thought about it. I will be making a true effort to change my should into more it would be nice if. I like that phrase so much more.
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The
Yes more on this topic Good suggestions .
Should Good suggestions. Do more. I stopped comparing myself to others.
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Colette
Not alone in this
It’s nice to know that I am obviously the only one in the world who blames myself, with I shoulda.
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Esperanza
Should
I learned that I can replace this guilt with positive affirmations
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Emily
Excellent Point
I say “I should...” all the time. Will try be more mindful of my shoulds. Thanks!
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Marren
I would definitely enjoy and value more sessions looking into our shoulds, and how we can work with them!
It really hit home that “should be doing” thoughts take us out of the current moment
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Emily
I should
I say this in my head all the time and I would like to stop. I would love more recordings on how to reframe
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Danielle
I felt like this applies to me.
I learned that I should say things like instead of I should…If I put together an action plan to clean the house or It would be nice if I had the resources to clean the house on a regular basis.