Is the “S-Word” lowering your Self-Esteem?



Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve written a post- OK, OK, it’s been almost forever since I’ve paid any attention to my poor neglected blog.  I’ve thought about, and even planed out many posts in the time I’ve been MIA, and each time I think, “I gotta get one of those posts done” I’d end up feeling this dread, embarrassment, and all sorts of self-judgement for not being a “good blogger” and letting so much time pass.  Which of course kept me from posting anything.

So I decided this shall be my post topic.  The “S-Word” and how it lowers our Self-Esteem.  What’s the “S-Word” you ask?  The answer: SHOULD.

Is “Should” Lowering Your Self-Esteem

There’s a little therapy joke that I love about how when we “should,” we end up “should-ing all over ourselves.”  And it couldn’t be more true.

For example, during my 3 month blogging hiatus the only reasons I felt like I “should” be posting were external, duty based, put my best foot forward reasons.  I felt like I “should” post because, I love my blog, I love my readers, it helps my business, I don’t want to become one of those blogs you find where it’s good info but it hasn’t been updated in 3 years, because other people are doing it, because I am supposed to.   But not once, until yesterday, did I feel like I wanted to post.

The truth is I’ve been busy. 

When last I wrote we were heading to Las Vegas, and things haven’t slowed down since.  We’ve got a home remodel project going on, I traveled out of state to visit family, I got the horrible flu that’s going around, my practice is booming (blessing) and that means I am working LOTS of hours (blessing that also depletes energy), I attended a several day training, then our birthdays came, and Thanksgiving hit, and now all of a sudden it feels like Christmas is here.  Phew!  It’s been a hectic, busy, amazing, and tiring few months to say the least.

During all of this, each time I thought about my blog, I felt the “S-Word” immediately, but I never felt the “want” to post something.  So, I respected that.  I fought the “should monster.” And won, I might add!

Should vs. Want 

Now, I know we all have things we have to do in life that we don’t want to do.  Life’s (or a successful life’s) not about only doing the things we want to do.  Sometimes we have to bite the bullet, take inspiration from Nike, and just do it.  Learning the difference between these situations and “should” situations is key for Self-Esteem.

Sometimes there are things we don’t want to do, but we want the reward or perk or outcome said “it” provides.  For example, paying bills, exercising, or going to work are all examples of things we may not always want to do, but we do them because we want the aftereffect.

When we do something because we feel we “should,” we are doing something we think we should want to do, or that we believe other people want us to do.  Basically, we are hoping to create a desired aftereffect, usually respect of some kind, by doing something we don’t want to do.  Which, in reality is disrespecting ourselves.

So we are trying to be seen with respect by doing something disrespectful.  Hmmm, are you starting to see the flaw in this line of thinking?

Why It’s a Win

I call my fighting of the “should-monster” regarding my hiatus a win, because if had posted before today, I would have been putting myself out, adding stress to my life, treating myself poorly simply because I was worried about you might think of me.

Which let’s face it would have changed the post I was able to write, the amount of sleep I was able to get, my ability to be present with my clients, my irritation level with my husband and contractor, and my overall enjoyment of this time of year.  So I would have written a post that I didn’t really like, and you probably wouldn’t have liked, and for what?  So the date mark on my post was a certain number?

Taking this time to put the things that are (currently) important first allowed me to do those things well, feel good about what I was doing, and experience the moments of joy that were scattered throughout my past several months.  Taking a 3 month hiatus made me feel good about myself and important in my own life.

Fighting Your Should-Monster

So, I ask you, how many things are you doing in your life simply because you feel you “should?” And how do those things make you feel about yourself?  Do they feed your anxiety and insecurity or do they bring you peace?

Imagine how you’d feel about yourself if you spent your time focusing on and doing things that you want to do, that fill you up, that are respectful to you.  Life, not to mention Self-Worth, feels very different when we fight the should-monster and discover what we want to do instead.