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#19 Positive Practices Stress Less Series VII "Say ‘Goodbye’ to ‘Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda”

coulda expectations regret self-imposed stress shoulda woulda Jan 25, 2016

Say ‘Goodbye’ to

“Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda”

Have you ever caught yourself thinking, “I haven’t done enough,” or “I should’ve tried harder,” or “If only I could have done it differently.”? This is self-imposed stress. It happens when our self-talk is full of the word should. “I should have called my sister today. I should have studied math flash cards with my daughter today. I wish I would not have been impatient with my spouse. I should not have been so critical today. I should have seen that coming.”

The voices sometime swirl around our head and can be never ending. It’s like they are standing on our shoulder and shouting into our ear -- things like, “A caring friend would . . .” or “A good employee would . . .” or “You should . . .”

Here’s the best solution I know for this: Tell those voices that there’s no room in the inn. Stop listening to that critical voice. Self-imposed stress can be the most debilitating of all. It saps us of energy, it deflates our ego, and it causes our self-esteem to plummet.

Remember this: Nobody is capable of giving 100 percent, 100 percent of the time. It’s not humanly possible. We can only do the best we can do, and accept that we won’t meet everyone’s expectations (including our own) all of the time.

And when the voices of ‘shoulda’, ‘woulda’ and ‘coulda’ come to call, bolt the door and pretend you’re not home.

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