Are you should-ing all over yourSELF?

by Casey Baine, MA, LCAS, LPCA, NCC, RYT

If you have read any of my blog posts, you know I love Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)! Particularly the mindfulness based kind.  I love to overthink things, so CBT is a good fit for my analytical brain. I spot themes in my own thinking which makes it helpful for me to know how to redirect my thoughts if they start to get outta hand.  Below is a great diagram to explain the basics of CBT.  

Even though I’m really good at CBT, I am also human.  Guess what that means? I get caught up in emotion, engage in reactive behaviors, and have intrusive thoughts just like everyone else.  Luckily, I have and practice CBT and Mindfulness exercises to cope with unpleasant emotions, disengage from people/situations, and/or deal with my own bully of a brain.  It’s the using of the tools piece that is missing when I find mySELF feeling out of balance.  

To say I’ve been overwhelmed lately is an understatement.  I thankfully have the privilege to have agency over most all of my choices throughout the day; therefore, it is completely up to me to pump the breaks anywhere I see fit in my schedule.  Through careful review and reflection, I noticed that I rarely said “No” to any business meetings, lunches, coffees, dinners, etc… I’m the mom of a new baby business, I should be going to all of these meetings if I want my business to succeed, right?!  

Did you catch it?  I used the word “should”!  That is a No-No. THE HORROR!!!  What’s the big deal with “should”?!?!  Let’s start with discussing how the word “should” feels.    

I think “should” feels bossy.  If someone tells me I “should” do something, if it was unsolicited advice, I might just laugh.  Like literally, laugh. out. loud. I say that because I typically don’t take too kindly to folks telling me what to do.  How about you?

So what if instead of someone else telling you what you “should” do, what if you tell yourSELF what to do?  Well, we do tell ourselves what to do… Every day! The issue is when we start telling ourSELF what to do (should or must statements) and it becomes so rigid that it is problematic in other areas of our lives.  Great graphic below!!! 

In my case, the “should” statements that I was telling mySELF, left me feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally drained by the end of the week, every week.  I would be so wiped out that on the weekends I felt that I had nothing left to give my family. My physical, mental and emotional SELF, in addition to my relationships, were in rough shape. 

All because of arbitrary “should” statements that I was telling mySELF. Who made those rigid rules? I DID! It was ME! SELF-sabatoge!!! Anyone else do this $HIT??!!

I have since kicked those “should” statements of having to attend every business meeting/lunch/dinner/coffee to the curb.  Moving forward, I plan to choose only a few meetings per week, and the ones that I attend, must best serve ME!  

Are you should-ing on yourSELF?  Most people do at some time or another.   I can help with that! 

It basically takes awareness.  (That is the mindfulness piece.)

Add on some CBT and you have yourself some tools to get out of your head and into your life!  

Want to learn more about CBT?  I’m hosting a CBT skills workshop on 9.7.19 at 9-12 for adults and at 1-4 for teens.  Cost is $90.

Must prepay to reserve your spot! 

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