The Most Damaging Word in Your Vocabulary

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One of the most dangerous words in the English language is “SHOULD”.

We bury ourselves in shame and inadequacy when we listen to the “Should Bird” resting eagerly on our shoulder. Every time we use the word “should“, we are in effect saying that we are “wrong” and “not good enough”. As my Priestess, Ariel says, the “should bird” is “should-ing” all over us. The message is you were wrong, or you will be wrong if you don’t do whatever you think you “should” do.

Most of the time, when we unpack the “should voice” and ask ourselves…”WHY we think we should do ….xyz?”…we realize that the “should voice” is not really ours to begin with. Our “should’s” are rooted in voices of expectation from our family, society, what we “think others are thinking”, what books, magazines or Facebook is saying, etc.
Here’s a short, potent exercise to exorcise the “should” voice:

1. Make a list of 5-10 things you think you “should” be doing.

2. For each answer, ask yourself and write down “why” you think you should be doing this.
- ex. “I’ll make more money if I…..”, “Everyone else is doing it.” “My parents always said….”, “I should be more like my sister, cousin…”

3. Replace the word “should” with the word “could“.
- “Could” is an empowering word that implies choice. We choose to do something or not. We are never wrong once we understand why or why we don’t do something. The power to act and change (if we want) is in our hands.

4. Now, ask yourself why you do or do not choose to do something.
- ex. “I haven’t done this because…” or “I don’t want to do this because…”

The irony is that if we are not doing something it is because on some level, we don’t really want to. When we begin to clarify what we really do want, we live our truth and let go of beating ourselves up for something we never wanted in the first place.

Free yourself up to understand why you are doing what you are doing and challenge yourself to ask what you really want. Let go of inner voices that do not resonate with your authentic truth. Release the self-beat and feeling of “being wrong” because your desires or expectations are different from someone else’s.

Love your truth. Let the “Should Bird” fly the coop.
Please post your questions and let us know who’s “should” voice is in your head.

With Love,


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One Response to “The Most Damaging Word in Your Vocabulary”

  1. Danielle says:

    Hi Ashley. My name is Danielle. I have a few of your yoga videos and I really enjoy the way you instruct the dvd classes. I noticed that a lot of the things you say remind me of a book called You Can Heal Your Life by a woman named Louise Hay. I was just wondering, have you’ve every read it? I love that book haha. Thank you for everything!