Using “Could” instead of “Should”

I’ve yet again had enough of my should voice. It is my incessant personal judge. It tricks me into thinking that there is always some ultimate way of behaving in every single given situation.

But my intellect has since matured and I see how much those shoulds are lacking in complexity and understanding.

So suddenly, a few days ago, I had an epiphany. I decided that whenever I catch myself saying that I should behave in a certain way, I’m going to switch the word (or idea) with “could.”

And so far, I must say that it has been a great success. I am finding my narrow-minded pressure making space for a world of choices.


OK fine, you want some examples? I’ll give them to you but please keep in mind that I think they sound pretty stupid when said out loud. Eek. :/

Here you go:

Should: Deena, it’s after midnight! You shouldn’t be up this late.
Could: You could be up this late. Or you could go to sleep.
The experience: Much less stress around the experience. It isn’t as if I sinned for being up after midnight nor will it be a sin if I stay up longer.

Should: Deena, it’s so bad that you’re leaving the heat on so much. So expensive and frivolous.
Could: Deena, you could have the heat on less if you want.
The experience: Understanding that my actions are not the be all and end all of money-spending and energy-using. Perspective.

Should: You should read all the old material from the first version of this blog post to make sure you don’t lose something that’s written really well.
Could: You could read all the old stuff from yesterday or you could just delete it. Whatev.
The experience: Letting go. Not worrying too much about the repercussions of my actions as if they are so critical.
P.S. I didn’t read it over. I just deleted the old stuff.

Should: I should include a picture with this post.
Could: I could include a picture with this post.
The experience: Get over it. Or, just stop it.

Should: I should feel offended by what he said.
Could: I could feel offended by what he said.
The experience: I could just let it slide. I will survive and so will my ego.

For the most part, the shift in thought is opening up my moments to opportunity as opposed to confining me to one supposedly righteous way.  The shift in my experience is from heaviness and seriousness to being more easy-going and lighthearted. So, so far so good.

Yes, I should have a proper ending to this post but I just can’t think of one!

I could have a proper ending. But I guess I won’t.



2 thoughts on “Using “Could” instead of “Should”

Add yours

  1. Oooohhhh…I do the same thing with all the “shoulds”…LOL. That inner dialogue always seems to be limiting rather than expanding doesn’t it? And you’re right, it should be positive and strong rather than limiting and weak. Good advice to follow here.

    1. :) Thanks! So funny you do the same thing. For me it didn’t last long but I’m still trying different things so I might stop stressing myself out all the time.

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