One of my least favorite words in the English language is “should.”
Because when I say it to myself (Rebecca, you should really do this, for example), it’s typically said in an authoritative, bearing-down sort of way that feels so disempowering to my spirit.
In the 5 years I’ve been in business and in my 20-plus-year marketing career, I’ve “shoulded” on myself plenty of times.
And more often than not, these “shoulds” have taken me down paths that have felt out of alignment or proved to be bad timing, resulting in some costly, messy or uncomfortable situations—a bad hire for a marketing assistant, investing in a costly online course that I never use, and, more recently, prematurely trying to launch a group coaching program.
What I hear from many women entrepreneurs that I coach and talk to in my community is how easy it can be to get tripped up by this “should” voice.
What happens is it can take you in directions that aren’t aligned with your inner knowing, such as taking on projects that are other people’s priorities or doing marketing activities that the “experts” say to do, but aren’t the right ones for YOU and your ideal clients.
Or you can find yourself stuck and spinning your wheels, so that you’re not building momentum, not consistently attracting new clients and not making the money you’re wanting in your business.
Here are 3 of the most common “should” statements I hear and my tips on how to transform that disempowering voice into soul-inspiring self-talk—and action!
1) I should be further along in my business than I am now.
This thought typically stems from one of these unconscious beliefs:
- I’m not good enough.
- Something must be wrong with me.
- I’m not doing it right.
- I don’t have what it takes.
To address these hidden beliefs, you need a good healthy dose of self-compassion.
Because without the practice of self-love and acceptance, we can beat ourselves up pretty good—and either push ourselves harder or give up completely.
Self-compassion is definitely not a luxury; it’s necessary for success!
Action: Acknowledge and accept exactly where you are in your business. You can simply say: I am where I am, and I’m OK.
Secondly, from this place of acceptance, declare that you want more. Say: I am at peace with exactly where I am, and I want to create MORE—more clients, more money, more visibility, and more opportunities to give my gifts.
Finally, ask yourself: From this place of acceptance and desire for more, what support or training do I need to grow to that next level and attract my ideal clients? What do I need to let go of to create space for more of what I want?
2) I should take this client because I need or want the money.
Here are some unconscious beliefs that may be behind this “should”:
- I better take what comes to me, as there may not be another opportunity like this.
- This is probably as good as it will get for me.
- The Universe has brought me this person, so it must mean he/she is the right fit.
Personally, I’ve gone through a lot of growing pains with this one. But this year was a turning point.
For example, earlier in the year, I made the tough decision to let go of a lucrative, but non-ideal client. Once I got still and quiet and asked myself this question: “If I take money off the table, what is the highest good in this situation?” the simple, clear answer I heard is: “Let her go.”
In another situation a few months ago, I quickly passed on a prospective client who I discovered wasn’t the right fit in our initial phone conversation and referred her to another coach who it turns out was thrilled to work with her.
The “old Rebecca” would have stayed longer in both of these situations and tried to work it out—because I used to operate under the paradigm that when money is on the table, I have to stick with it and make it work.
Now, I’ve learned to put a stake in the ground, trust my gut, and say a graceful “no, thank you” to ones who are not ideal.
Action: Practice listening to your intuition and noticing those bodily sensations in your gut. Be willing to pass on non-ideal clients and trust that your enlightened “no’s” will lead you to your ideal “YES’s”!
3) I should do this (fill-in-the-blank) marketing strategy or attend this networking event.
Typically, the unconscious beliefs for this “should” statement are:
- I don’t want to be left out or get left behind.
- Everyone else is doing it, so it must mean I need to do it, too.
- I don’t want to look stupid or uninformed by not engaging in this marketing strategy or attending this event.
I get it. You don’t want to feel left out, not “with it” or like you’re not behind the 8-ball in your business.
But what can happen when you follow these “shoulds” is a big giant feeling of overwhelm—resulting in a lack of clarity and forward movement in your business.
Action: Pick 1-3 marketing strategies you want to focus on for now—that feel right and light for you, your personality and your ideal clients. And simply let go of the rest. You can always come back to them at a later time.
Between now and end of January, I’m offering a limited number of Complimentary Business Clarity Sessions designed to support you in paving a path to a powerful 2017.
This is a laser-focused session to discuss your business and life vision for the New Year. The intention of the session is to clarify where you are now, the transformation you are seeking, and if it makes sense to explore working together.
These complimentary sessions are my way of giving back and fulfilling my mission to support soul-inspired female entrepreneurs to create a big income and an even bigger impact with their gifts.