How to Stop Should-ing and be More Empowered

An empowered woman is strong, she knows who she is and what she wants. Although an empowered woman may not have everything she wants yet, she does take 100% responsibility for her life and the outcomes she is getting.

It's not easy to feel empowered all of the time though. Stuff happens, life can be challenging and sometimes all we want to do is binge on box sets or drown our sorrows in a bottle of red. That's ok for a short-term release. Sometimes indulgent self kindness is exactly what is needed... so long as it doesn't lead into a negative downward spiral of self sabotage!

One of the ways to realise that self kindness has turned into self sabotage is to listen to the language you use. If you start thinking or saying the "should" word too often you may want to sit up and take notice.

You've probably heard the expression "stop should-ing all over yourself" but how do you do that?


When you learn to change your "should's" into "could's" you shift away from being a victim. It is the first step in training your brain to make empowered decisions.

How often do you use the word should?

• I should be earning more
• I should call that client back
• I should go to bed early
• I should eat better
• I should do more exercise

When you use the word should treat it is a warning sign!

Should-ing sucks the joy out of life and makes you a victim but if you choose to you can do something about it.

1 | Everything starts with awareness
When you notice that you use the S word do not beat yourself up because you "shouldn't use it", Simply stop should-ing and celebrate the fact that you noticed it...

Most people don't even notice the disempowered language they use so give yourself a pat on the back.

Once you have "caught that thought..."

2 | Be curious
When you first start to retrain your brain to think more empowered thoughts it may not be easy, that's why most people fall back into default thinking patterns. The secret to success is KEEP IT SIMPLE and start by remembering one word... "could"

For example:"I should be earning more" is a statement, a very disempowered one. "I could be earning more" opens the brain up to thinking differently about the situation and naturally leads into..."How could I be earning more?"

3 | Brainstorm the options
Sit down with a pen and paper and write the question that you now have at the top of the paper. Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down as many answers as you can in that time. Don't censor the answers, they can be as silly or as unreasonable as you like. Write everything down even if it is something you would never do.

The goal at this point is to be creative with your thinking. Once the 5 minutes is up come up with 3 more answers. Don't tell yourself "I can't think of 3 more" you can if you STOP censoring your thoughts.

4 | What you do next depends on how you feel
You may be charged up, full of ideas and raring to go now. If you are great, off you go... or you may be overwhelmed with what you could be doing but aren't. In that case put the ideas somewhere safe and deal with the overwhelm by switching off.

I deal with overwhelm by walking along the beach. For you it might be doing something creative like painting, writing, taking a bath, anything that allows you to switch off. Do not feel guilty that you "should" be doing something more productive. While you are having downtime your brain is unravelling and making sense of your thoughts. When you are feeling refreshed go back to the list and choose 1 thing to do.