Words That Make Us Weak, Part 1

This one’s gonna have to have two parts.  As it turns out, I have a lot to say about making choices that DE-victimize us.

I’ve been walking a lot lately.  Not as a workout, but more to recover from workouts and clear my skull.  A good walk does wonders for creativity and re-setting your brain. <—Steve Jobs and Beethoven would totally back me up on this.  Not my main point today though.  Moving on…

So there I was, meandering blissfully around my neighborhood, admiring the fog over the mountain, listening to music and resisting the urge to sing out loud.


^^ Like this, except I was wearing a sweatpants and a hoodie.  And no birds came that close to me.  And I nearly stepped in a gigantic pile of dog $#%* at one point.

Anyway, as I was happily wandering, I noticed a girl running up the hill toward me.  She was working hard.  Red-faced and sweaty, she nodded as I smiled and sang said, “Good morning!”

Immediately after she passed me, my brain did this funny thing.  It suddenly went to a place of “SHOULD.”  It started telling me things like, “Gee Kristen, maybe you *should* be running right now.  You *would* be burning more calories if you would just sprint up the hills like her.  You *could* totally be working harder instead of just… walking.”

One minute: Cheerful enjoyment of exactly who/what/where I was.

Next minute: Guilty remorse over shoulda-woulda-coulda.

BAM.  Just like that.  Amazing how quickly this happens- often because of the comparison trap I’ve discussed before.  See how powerful our thoughts are?  Nothing had changed in that moment except my thinking.  And this “shoulding all over myself” mindset was totally not useful.

My problem with the Land of Should is that IT IS NOT REALITY.  And when your thoughts don’t match reality, you have no power; you are weakened.  There is no “should” – Only did or didn’tDo or don’tWill or won’t.  Let’s explore this concept using my little walking experience….

Made-up belief that momentarily caused worry, insecurity, and weakness:

“I *should* have sprinted up the hills.”

Alternative TRUE statements that are much more powerful:

“I didn’t sprint up the hills and that’s fine.”

“I have done a gazillion burpees already today and there is no need for more cardio.”

“I can sprint up the hills any time I want to.”

“Leisurely walking is good for me.”

Ahhhhhh, that’s better.  Back in power.  Owning my decisions and being content.


Think about it: In what situations do you find yourself “shoulding”?

Here are your verbal cues that it is happening:

If only….

I wish….




You know you’ve been there.


  • If only I would have taken a longer vacation.
  • I wish I wan’t so forgetful.
  • I really could be nicer to my in-laws.
  • I would totally eat healthier, if only ____.
  • I shouldn’t criticize, but ____.


Preferable Power Statements:

  • I choose to be grateful for the time off.  (And for my job!)
  • I have the tendency to be forgetful.  I will stock up on Post-it notes and set many reminders in my phone.
  • I have a difficult time with my in-laws, but I am in charge of how much time I spend with them.
  • If I think about it, there is nothing stopping me from eating healthy.  I have chosen the way I eat.  I will accept it or change it.
  • I will choose to hold my tongue in this situation.


These are just examples, but I’m curious whether any of them hit home for you!  What statements could you add to the lists above?  I appreciate your perspectives and always get new blog ideas based on your feedback, so feel free to comment on the facebook page or send me a message.  🙂


As I mentioned earlier, I feel very strongly about not being a victim and Part 2 on this topic is on the way.  Today, I’ll end with this:  Acceptance of each moment, howEVER it is occurring, means peace. You are right where you are supposed to be because, well, there you are.  Doesn’t mean you can’t change the future.  Accept reality, then decide how you will take your power back.

Just own it, man.


Related Posts:

I Don’t Make Mistakes!  (And You Don’t Either)

On Independent Thinking: Not All Advice is Good Advice

5 Replies to “Words That Make Us Weak, Part 1”

  1. Holy Macaroni! I do this wayyyy too often! Why do we do this to ourselves? I find my self thinking “shoulda, woulda, coulda” and as I feel the stress boiling think “WTH Ash! STOP!”. It’s good to self reflect and evaluate but only in healthy environments with directed thinking 🙂

    1. Agreed Ashley! And it is so great that you can recognize when it is happening in your head and tell yourself to “STOP!”

  2. UGH, I do this all the time! Why am i not getting my workout done as quickly, why am I not sweating as much as they are, I must not be working hard enough. I have to mentally scream at myself to “stop and get the hell over yourself.” Great blog, as always I will look forward to the next part.

    1. Yep, and the funny thing is, others are probably looking at YOU during the workouts and thinking the same things! It’s definitely a practice to mind our own business but so worth it for the peace & freedom!

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