Stop shoulding all over your life

I have a series of blog posts that generally classify as New Year’s resolutions peppered throughout the year. This one is unashamedly borrowed from a Sex and the City line. Previously I wrote about extricating myself from the jaws of paralyzing perfectionism and this is very much tied in to that.

I am one of those people that often is more worried about what I should be doing than what I am doing. It doesn’t matter what it is that I’m doing, I can think of 10 things that I SHOULD be doing instead and simultaneously beat myself up about it while berating myself for not being productive at what I am doing.

I don’t have five tips on how you can avoid second guessing yourself or five ways that I will commit to being more present in my life. No matter how hard I tried, I could only come up with one. Say it with me, STOP SHOULDING ALL OVER YOUR LIFE.

Sorry, there is no other way to say it. Life is meant to be lived and to live you must be present. Worrying about where you SHOULD be, who you SHOULD be with, what you SHOULD be doing only keeps you from enjoying and being fully present with who you ARE with, what you ARE doing, and let’s face it, makes you feel like dung.

Last night was a friend’s birthday get together that I was hoping to attend, but I had to back out at the last second (sorry about that). Instead, somehow I wound up at wine bar in another part of town, the whole time thinking that if I am going to be out at all then I SHOULD be at the party. But here is the kicker, I wasn’t at the party, I was at a nice wine bar, outside on the patio on a beautiful night enjoying a date with my beautiful bride. Really, it doesn’t get much better than that, but instead of enjoying it I was worrying about what I SHOULD be doing. I was also composing a couple blog posts in my head.

Right now I should be working on a marketing plan that I owe a colleague (sorry about that). I tried, but my mind just isn’t there right now. So instead of beating myself up about it, I am focusing my energy on being present writing a few blog posts that I need to get out of my head, and it feels good. I will be able to get back to the marketing plan later because this blog post will no longer be screaming at me to write it. And when I do, I will be efficient and productive because I won’t be worrying about other things that I SHOULD be doing.

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