Shoulda, woulda, coulda by Pam Thomas
"I should ..."
"I would have ..."
"I could have ..."
Does the beginning of those three sentences sound familiar? Let’s flesh them out a bit more in case you don't recognize them.
"I should lose weight."
"I would have been happier if I had been more successful in my last job."
"I could have done a better job if she hadn’t distracted me and made me angry."
What do you think now? Kinda familiar like an old pair of shoes two sizes too small?
Not to worry, you aren’t alone. We all shoulda, woulda, coulda all over ourselves particularly when it comes to goals, dreams, and intentions. Here’s the good news, when it comes to goals, dreams and intentions, believe it or not, the shoulda, woulda, couldas serve a valuable purpose; they are great little indicators as to how important what we are trying to achieve is to us personally.
Yep, that's right, they are our own little pocket gauges but sadly we don't use them as such. We often use them as the proverbial 2x4 upside the head. OUCH! A means to make us feel wronged or worse, feel like failures.
So I'd like to ask you to do me a HUGE favor right here, right now (it's a three part favor, by the way). The first part of the favor is to step away from the 2x4, put it away, shred it in the wood shredder, burn it on a bonfire. Do whatever you need to do, just get rid of it. The next thing is that you become aware of your shoulda, woulda, coulda vernacular. And the last part of the favor is, if you are shoulda, woulda, coulda-ing all over yourself, please ask yourself one of the following questions;
- "On a scale of 1-10 (one being a low score) how important is this goal, dream or intention to me?"
If your response is a 5 or less, please be honest with yourself, how likely are you to carry out whatever it is you are shoulda, woulda, coulda-ing yourself over? Things that score low on the importance scale also score low on the priority scale and are more likely to be placed on the backburner, in the back of the closet, or stuffed in the back of our minds.
- "Is this something I wish to do or something someone said I should do?"
Let's face it, when we are trying to accomplish a goal that is someone else's and not our own, we are less likely to see it through to fruition. Why? Because it's not ours. It is not in alignment with who we are and our core values.
- "How will this serve me in being my best self?"
If your answer is, “It won't" then please reconsider your reasoning for trying to take action on a goal, dream, or intention that will not serve you.
Here is to using the shoulda, woulda, couldas as success tools, (as opposed to the opposite) until you don't need them anymore.