As a health coach, one of my main roles is to provide space and support for people to navigate towards their health and wellness goals. I’m basically a guide as my clients experiment with what works best for them and their lifestyles. Of course, I have some knowledge in regards to health, but oftentimes, people just need support and guidance, they don’t necessarily need anyone barking rules and restrictions at them.

It’s interesting to let people tell their stories and then to dig a little deeper into what they really mean. One phrase I noticed a specific client using was “I should”. They were saying things like, “I know I should be working out everyday” or “I shouldn’t eat out as much, but it’s just so convenient.” And so I asked the innocent question of, “Well who told you that you should be doing these things?” The client paused, stunned, unsure just who told them they “should” be living a certain way.

We then dove into a conversation about how society puts these expectations out into the world, these unrealistic standards that we often break our backs striving towards, but always fall just short of.

We all feel this way, to a certain extent at some point, so what if we all started telling ourselves exactly who we are is enough? What if there was no more should statements and we were free to show up in the world exactly as we are, beautiful and flawed. What if we were gentle with ourselves and our bodies and stopped looking at what everyone else was doing and started experimenting to discover what works best for us and our lives?

So, I’m challenging you to notice when you throw “should” into your vocabulary. Exactly who’s story are you buying into and is that serving you?