In the past two blog posts, we discussed two personal myths that you can safely drop in order to live better:
Myth #1: “I am not cut out for this” (Replace it with “I Can do it if I set it up as follows:…”)
Myth #2: “People won’t approve” (To feel more peaceful and powerful, replace it with “People who truly know me, who have my best interest in mind, and whose opinion I respect, will support me.”)
What do you do, though, when you feel that you are stuck in a situation that is really unfair? This brings us to personal myth #3 that is a common “go-to” story when someone feels he’s been dealt a bad hand.
Myth #3: “Things should be different.”
Here are some fine examples of this myth:
“My boss shouldn’t talk to me like that.”
“There should be more choices on this menu!”
“I should exercise more!”
“I should have gotten that promotion!”
“I should get more recognition for the work that I do!”
“My daughter should be grateful for everything that I do for her!”
Now, what do all these statements have in common? They are set in a dream world, and don’t reflect reality. Let’s take a closer look.
Reality: “My boss talks to me like this.” Dream world: “My boss should talk to me differently”
Reality: “There is a set number of choices on the menu.” Dream world: “There should be more choices on the menu”
Reality: “I exercise very little.” Dream world: “I should exercise a lot”
Reality: “I didn’t get a promotion.” Dream world: “I should get a promotion”
Reality: “I don’t get recognition for the work that I do.” Dream world: “I should get more recognition”
Reality: “My daughter is not grateful for what I do for her.” Dream world: “My daughter should be grateful for everything that I do for her”
Any time you say “should”, you are really expressing your disappointment about the fact that the real world does not conform to your dream world. It is not helpful to dwell in “should”s because it can make you feel powerless. Unless it is in your power to make something exactly as you think they should be, find a solution in the world that Is, not the world that Should Be.
And here’s a 2-step solution on how to do it:
Catch yourself any time you say the word “should”, and rephrase your sentence in terms of two things: 1) what things currently Are, and 2) what you want to do in the context of what things currently Are.
For example, instead of “Employees should know what their work after 20 years on the job!” say: 1) “The fact is that these employees don’t know their work after 20 years on the job” AND 2) “[Unfortunately], they need to be re-trained.”
Shifting from what Should be to what Is can be very empowering because it offers you an opportunity to resolve problems rather than despair about the fact that the world doesn’t match your expectations.