Turning 'shoulds' into "coulds"
Recently, I ran an IG poll about finishing techniques, and I received a few DMs that made me feel like folks were overwhelmed - maybe like I was implying there was one right way to do things, or they felt like they weren't measuring up.
I have a voice in my head that tells me the same thing, a jumbled ruckus of 'shoulds', colliding with each other from all aspects of my life. I try to remind myself:
"Stop shoulding all over yourself!"
Here's the thing. If we spend all our time agonizing over what we 'should' be doing, we're not offering ourselves much compassion, we're buying into the idea that there's 'one right way' to do things, and we're sucking the creativity out of our lives. Alternative? Start parking those shoulds on a Could List. If it's not keeping the lights on (literally or emotionally), it is 100% negotiable and you get to decide whether it's important to you - and you get to change your mind whenever you want.
With a Could List, you can dip into that list whenever you have a few minutes and see what resonates. What serves you today? What's going to help you reach your goals and also energize you? What's languishing on this list and maybe something you can let go of entirely without guilt?
As a small business with some amazing peer mentors, there is a constant influx of things I could be doing. Posting every day. Creating pins. Journal prompts. Planning content. Improving SEO. Creating video content. Forget printing money, someone start printing time!
Putting all these goodies right onto the Could List created a lot of freedom - now I can observe the river of great ideas and take my time choosing which ones are right for me on any given day. I used to feel guilty for not doing every single thing. I even used to feel guilty for not having a plan to stick to every day, every week. Now I can give myself credit for making an informed choice that's guided by intuition. I'm responding to my changing life, day by day, instead of treating myself and my business as something static and inorganic.
As a human, whew: the weeds in the sidewalk, those veggie recipes I've been meaning to research, the additional educational content I feel like my 4-year-old would absolutely sponge up. Shouldn't I be meditating and nourishing my gut biome and handwriting some letters? Should I confess to you my terrible car slob habits? Having these things on the Could List gives me the chance to take a breather and engage in some 'medium living.'