Say Goodbye to Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

Have you ever caught yourself thinking, “If only I could have done that differently?”

This second guessing is a form of self-imposed stress.  It happens when our self talk is full of should, could or would. “If I were good sister, I would have called my sister last night. If I were a good Mom,  I would have studied with my daughter today. If I were a good spouse,  I wouldn’t have become impatient with my spouse. If I were a good boss, I wouldn’t have been so critical just now.” Funny how “good” rhymes with should, could and would.

Self-imposed stress can be the most debilitating of all. The enemy within, it saps us of energy, deflates our ego and causes our self-esteem to plummet.

Remember, nobody is capable of giving 100 percent, 100 percent of the time.  It’s not humanly possible.  We can only do our best in each moment, not someone else’s best, and accept that we won’t meet everyone’s expectations, including our own, all of the time.

Here’s the real opportunity, a little known fact.  Those never-ending critical voices that swirl around in our heads are really only interested in helping us be “good” at one thing. They are called Gremlins and their prime objective, hard as it may be to believe, is to keep us safe by keeping us small. 

 These unwitting saboteurs perch on our shoulders and shout into our ears things such as, “A good friend should have . . .” or “A good employee could have . . .” or “A good spouse would have . . .” Contrary to appearances, Gremlins are actually misguided allies trying to protect us. Though their tactics are sneaky and complex, there are sure-fire ways to convert them from our biggest saboteurs to our greatest allies.  We’ll explore the complete multi-step Gremlin conversion process in future blogs, meanwhile, you can start making inroads with this simple first step.

Laugh.  The next time your Gremlin shows up, acknowledge his presence, and laugh.  Tell her there’s no room in the inn.  Nothing takes the wind out of the sails of a bully like being laughed at.  So, go on, laugh yourself silly. 

The next time, and every time, the voices of ‘shoulda’, ‘coulda’, ‘woulda’ come to call, laugh, thank them for the entertainment and invite them to invest in a more constructive way to contribute to your life.

© Copyright 2012 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

About djwlifecoach

I am retired from 40+ years of helping individuals and teams build lives and organizations they love. One of the great joys of my retirement from professional practice is having greater bandwidth to donate my professional and creative talents to support and promote animal and social welfare charities. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world’s largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout led to finding my purpose guiding others on their journeys. As a board-certified coach, author, consultant, radio host, Reiki Master and EFT/tapping practitioner, I share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. 111419 DJW Sid CH Pet Corner Photo ShootI help clients achieve rapid, extraordinary, sustainable results by connecting who they are with what they do, a connection often lost through stress and the sheer busy-ness of daily life. Courageous self-awareness and unconditional self-love lead to honest choices based on priorities that nurture you and those around you on a journey to wholeness. Decades in coaching, consulting, change management, organization development, human resources and mixed media artistic expression honed my business sense, professionalism, creativity, intuition, leadership and communication skills. The result? Practical tools that help you become more insightful, creative, committed, productive and fulfilled. Even the most dedicated and hard-working individuals can shift from frustration to a sense of futility when their values, passion, work, and lives become disconnected. One of the problems with not taking care of our health is that the effects of ignoring it are often slow to show up. We continue to juggle family responsibilities, work and finances until we lose ourselves, waking up one day 50 pounds heavier in body and soul—no good to ourselves or anyone else. I love working with people who are ready to take life-changing action to make their dreams a reality. At each moment, you have inside you all the wisdom you seek to choose your life and your way of showing up. Limiting thoughts, beliefs and feelings can block you from moving forward. An absence of love and concern for yourself can result in negative head talk that holds you back with discouraging messages about who you are and what you can do. By listening and caring deeply, I guide you in connecting with your own inner wisdom. We identify the way you’d like to live. We determine what’s blocking you and release you from the hold those blocks have over you—unleashing the positive energy that will fuel you forward. Together we develop a plan to move you closer to your heart’s desire. My books, blog, radio show and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. What’s love got to do with it? Everything! My book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! (Hay House/ Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. For fun, I love reading, sewing, knitting, yin yoga, afternoon tea, opera and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my spouse, Wilson Abney, and the cat who runs our life, Maisy Jane.
This entry was posted in All My Blog Posts, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion, Intuition & Intention, Stress, Perfectionism & Burnout and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.