Shoulding All Over Yourself
A word I have spoken to myself in my head countless times over the years.
It was usually in reference to what others expected from me and living up to that expectation, because it was important for me to keep my word. If someone was counting on me or I committed to doing something, it was happening. No question.
What I discovered though, is that I would commit to things without doing a “gut check” first. Because I’m a good person. And I like to be helpful. And truthfully, there was a nice little ego boost that went along with it. But upon reflection, I discovered that I didn’t always want to do the thing I committed to. Or I overcommitted myself. Cue the internal dilemma. Since I gave my word I still did what I committed to, but now I would feel resentful because I didn’t actually want to do it. So, I would show up with a sense of obligation, annoyance, irritation or frustration…and it was no one’s fault but my own! I created the discord between my Ego and Higher Self.
There is an energetic difference when we show up wholeheartedly versus out of a sense of obligation. For me, one feels light and free and the other feels heavy and like work. And even if I thought I was good at hiding the difference, I wasn’t. You can’t fake energy. People notice…they feel it too, even if it’s only at a subconscious level. I would feel terrible in these situations because I knew I wasn’t showing up authentically. And yet, being out of integrity with my word wasn’t an option. Something had to change.
Now when I have a decision to make and ‘I should…’ comes to mind, I immediately switch it to ‘I could’. It’s a small difference but it shifts the decision from one of obligation to one of possibility and choice. And then I check in with my internal guidance system for the answer, not my head. The trick here is to honour the answer. If it’s a yes, I commit eagerly and wholeheartedly. If it’s a no, I commit to that as well without feeling the need to justify or explain myself.
I’m going off on a tangent here but this is something I’ve noticed with my female friends and clients over the years. We say ‘no’ but then feel obliged to explain or justify why we’re saying no. Why? We’re willing to turn ourselves inside out for others but balk at honouring the truth of what we want. This could be a good future discussion topic!