Be kind to yourself – dump the ‘should’s’

One of the things I am constantly asking clients is ‘ Who says ? ‘ . Most of us have an unconscious set of rules in our head – good mothers bake cakes with their children , the house should always be clean and tidy , ovens should be cleaned one a week , babies should go to sleep by 7pm every night etc etc . In extreme cases these rules develop into OCD ‘ I must touch the door handle 12 times when I leave the house ‘ ….or what ? These rules can make our lives more difficult and unhappy – perfectionists have such unbelievable rules that they spend their lives trying to achieve the unachievable.

So where do these rules come from ? When I ask ‘ Who says ? ‘ the answer is often ‘ I don’t know’ . However if I ask ‘ what voice is saying you should do this ‘ the answer is often …my mother,my father or my teacher. When we are young we absorb other peoples opinions,beliefs and ‘rules’, which might not apply or suit us when we are adults, and trying to follow them can make our lives a misery.  Its most extreme when you have a new baby – everybody seems to tell you what you ‘ should ‘ do – as well as your own unconscious mind having its own set of ‘shoulds’.

My advice ? Listen to advice but don’t follow it unless it makes sense to you. Challenge the ‘ should’s in your mind – ask ‘ Why ? ‘ Who says ? ‘ and if there isn’t a sensible answer then IGNORE IT ! Don’t allow your unconscious mind to put pressure on you to follow ‘rules’ that are someone elses.

Be free – trust yourself and follow your instinct. Live your life by your rules .

Always challenge the ‘should’s in your mind.