Need, woulda, coulda, shoulda: Words NOT to live by

How often do you say, “I need to go do something.”  Or, “I should have done it this way.”  Or, “I could have done it better if only.” And lastly, “I would have done it if other things hadn’t gotten in my way.” I call those key words “coulda, woulda, shoulda’s.”  They, along with the word “need” are words I hear all the time.  I hear them in myself although I’ve been working to remove them from my language.  Why?  Because those words are coming from trapped emotions.  They are words to set us up to fail instead of succeed.  They are guilt driven trip wires.  When I hear someone say, “I need to get myself to go look for another career.”  Guess what, when they don’t go do that, how does it make them feel?  They know it is in their best interest to go do it. It is something they say they want, but then something stops them from doing it.  We are saying this is really important if I “need” to do it.  So what is it then that we feel when we don’t do something that we know is imperative for us?  We don’t feel good about ourselves that is for sure.

The same is true for the words “could, would, and should.”  They are trigger words that make us feel bad about ourselves.  When I hear myself say, “I need to get this email out.”  I change my language.  I say instead, “I am choosing to get this email out.  Or, “I’m choosing not to do it right this second.”  There is a difference in making it a choice.  Instead of it being driven by trapped emotions that are setting us up to fail, we are taking responsibility for the choice we are making.  We are either going to do something or not.  Is it just symantics?  If we choose not to do something that we know we “should” be doing, isn’t there guilt still?  Perhaps, but we are making a conscious choice.  Whereas, when we just use the needy words, we are being driven by our subconscious needs instead of making a willful, mindful choice.  Choosing to do something, even if it isn’t in our best interest is still more empowering then allowing the subconscious to have free will over us.  It is the difference of being in victimhood to our unconscious trapped emotions versus being empowered and making conscious choices.

Learning to listen to the words we choose to use is very important.  Like my last blog I wrote, learning to make more precise our language and choosing words to attain and attract those things we really want in life makes them more possible.  It shows we mean business.  We aren’t using willy nilly, weak wording like “I guess I should go and find a new job.”  You know what I hear when I hear that phrase?  I’m waiting to hear the “But.”  Because there is going to be an excuse right after I hear “I guess I should go and find a new job, but, I have to write a resume first.  I know I need to write a new resume.  I guess I could write a new resume, but I don’t have time right now.”  See how those words just flow from something you say you want to do but set you up to fail?  Have you heard yourself say things similarly?  Now listen to how it sounds choosing more specific words. “I am going to find a new job.  I am going to write a new resume.  What will it take to write a new resume?  I am going to schedule some time this afternoon to sit down and concentrate on it.” (But then the other voice comes in and says, but you don’t have time to write a resume.) So I take that and say, “So what will it take to get my resume started?  I can find a few minutes this afternoon and jot down a few ideas.  I have 10 minutes before making dinner.  I can do some quick brain storming.”  You go from feeling like other things are ruling your life to finding answers and ways of getting the task done.   And you are getting more specific with how you can achieve your goal.

I encourage you to listen to your language.  Start with just noticing when you say those trigger words, “need, coulda, shoulda, woulda’s.”  Becoming aware is step one on learning to becoming more mindful in using our language.