Stop ‘shoulding’ on yourself. When we place ‘shoulds’ on ourselves – I should get up earlier, I should be working harder, I should be taking better care of myself, I should be making more money by now, I should not be enjoying myself on a Monday, fun is only for weekends … etc, etc, etc …
By ‘shoulding’ on ourselves, we are actually attracting the very thing we want to change about ourselves to us, even more.
Perhaps one of your ‘shoulds’ is true – you should be getting more exercise. By ‘shoulding’ on yourself however, you are making yourself wrong. Unless you are going to the root reasons and causes of what is blocking your ability to exercise more, you are blocking your own chances.
This particular example is very common. Most of the time what is blocking people is not laziness or lack of initiative … but a lack of love for oneself in combination with an idea of perfection, or nothing. Walking at a brisk pace is really what most of us need, perhaps with some light weight lifting for strength and stretching for flexibility. We are conditioned to think that if something is too easy, it is not good enough. (I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people assume that yoga is too easy, they need a harder workout … and then they take a flow class and it kicks their ass.)
Working out like you’re training for a triathalon is stupid unless you are actually training for one – and that in itself is stupid. (I’m kidding, sort of). Extreme athletes are rife with pain and aches and injuries and are the most likely to end up in an orthopedic doctor’s office. This, of course, is a generalization, but it is true. Overdoing it is just as detrimental as doing nothing at all. THIS IS NOT AN EXCUSE TO DO NOTHING AT ALL!
Moderation. Everything in moderation. In our ‘everything is a potential addiction’ obsessed world, we have been convinced that we must be of the ‘all-or-nothing’ mindset. You are not an exercise addict (crock of shit) if you exercise to an extreme, but you might be injuring yourself unnecessarily. You also may be using exercise to avoid dealing with your emotional issues and relationships. Rather than facing the changes you want to make in your thinking and behavior, you are exercising 3 times a day. Not moderating!
If you work so much that you have not taken a break in years, even to go away for a weekend, you are not living moderately.
If you are unhappy in your relationship, have done everything to change your own behavior but are still unhappy … and staying … you are not living moderately. If you have children, you are modeling immoderate behavior for them.
If you are talking in ‘shoulds’ to yourself all the time and are feeling sad and useless and depressed, you are not living moderately.
Whatever the change you want to make … figure out the reasons you are ‘shoulding’ on yourself and learn to moderate the thinking and behavior you want to change.
Stop ‘shoulding’ on yourself. You are only prolonging the inevitable. Love yourself for the human you are RIGHT NOW. You are human, after all.
As my dear old dad used to say, “Have fun and learn something, every day.”