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the Should Epidemic

February 7, 2018



This is a post I made to the Club Group about an epidemic mindset:  the 'Should' mindset.  From observation, this mindset can go from harmless to toxic in seconds.  An unreasonable and unrealistic Should Mindset can lead to disappointment, shame, frustration, anger, and defeat.


That being said, after  creating awareness of the Should Mindset, many athletes I coach have started correcting themselves and seeing themselves with a more positive, motivated, and growth-oriented mindset.  They love themselves more.


This post comes from the heart -  struggled with a Should  Mindset for years.  I felt like and disappointment and I was disappointed, frustrated, and worthless.  It took learning and reflection to create the words for how and why I felt that way.  I'm happy to share my process as it seems like a common mindset, and I understand the consequences.


*This is an edited version of the Facebook post to allow expansion (and, for full disclosure... Some proof-reading).


The ‘Should’ Epidemic


Hey Everyone!


A few of you have come to me to discuss how you’ve been down in training, like you’re not progressing, and that frustration is piling up.


This has come out through related thought processed:

  • ‘I should be lifting X by now’,

  • ‘Why does Jon always PR, yet I never do? I should be able to PR too’

  • ‘Why can’t I do X by now, I have been practicing for a year and I should be able to do X’.


There is no such thing as ‘should’.

I hear people say  ‘I should be snatching X by now'

or 'I should lift like X'

or 'I should have qualified for X by now and hit X marker.’


Truthfully, I tell myself the same things too.


BUT SERIOUSLY.  Lets give ourselves a break!

The word ‘should’ does nothing for anyone other than create feelings of shame and inadequacy.