I wanted to share this article which spurred some thought for me.
This is the key excerpt:
"I recently heard someone talk about changing our "I shoulds" to "I coulds." That really resonated with me on a personal and professional level, as it seems so easy to get caught in the trap of stressing about everything I "should" do. When we think of things in terms of "I should," we exist in a pressured state of feeling forced to do something. Thinking about what I "could" do shifts us into a mindset of choice—I am deciding in this moment whether to do this thing. It not only sounds different, but it feels different to phrase options from the perspective of "I could" instead of "I should." There is an internal mindset shift that occurs when we do this; and it allows us to move forward with trying to do the things we could, instead of getting stuck in the mode of pressuring ourselves to do what we should."
I saved this article and thought I might use it as a the basis for a post or further thought. The idea resonated, but something didn't seem quite right. I thought, the "shoulds" (moral choices) which are reality based are clearly "coulds" i.e. there's no action that you should do that you couldn't do.
Last week, I was listening to Dr. Ellen Kenner's podcast http://www.drkenner.com/ and she mentioned that people should treat themselves kindly. When they want to change something, they should tell themselves that a certain action is what they "want" to do instead of what they "should" do. It reminded me of the previous article and how much more powerful it is to replace "should" with "want" in our thinking (instead of "could"). The whole focus becomes one of re-inforcing that the choice of actions is based on evaluating the full context and doing what we want to do, all things considered. (http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/context-dropping.html) Not only does this framing of actions skip the common impression of forced action (should), it also skips the maybe aspect of vacillating action (could). There's no doubt that there can be an overwhelming number of choices and many unpleasant times, but it's empowering and self-nurturing to approach the myraid of choices in this way. That's how we can gain a positive focus on life's joys (like I mentioned last week). Parenting and other life choices are about what you want to do considering all the aspects of your life.