Friday, July 31, 2015

Should vs Want: A Game in Mind Trickery

If you are like me and overanalyze/over think to a fault, you have probably come up with some tactics in mind trickery. You know, to make it behave and not be getting in the way of everything. Today a mind tactic HIT ME  RIGHT IN THE FACE, metaphorically speaking.

Today it's beautiful outside. It's been so rainy this summer I caught myself in this kind of annoying thought cycle: "It's so nice out. I should go out. I should go for a walk! It's so hot though. But in the winter time all I want is for hot weather so I SHOULD go out and enjoy it. I SHOULD." Then I feel like because I should, I have to rebel against it. All because I feel like I should. It goes on and on!

 "I should go exercise. I should go water the plants. I should paint this. I should organize that. I should hang this. I should have done this a long time ago. should SHOULD should SHOULD should SHOULD". It's practically the word my heart beats some days. SHOULD. Expectations! Not meeting them! Disappointing everyone, especially myself!!!! Constantly piling up a whole library of should do or should haves.  Then the list is so long and heavy, you don't know where to start and you end up (sometimes) doing NOTHING and then feeling TERRIBLE and beating yourself up about it.

I believe thoughts are the very foundation of what makes our lives. They can be life giving or life taking. We ALL have inside our head our regular, normal voice/stream of consciousness and that negative one that is always giving us every reason NOT to do something. I've been working on responding truth to those negative thoughts.

So today when I was like struggling with the MOST SIMPLE OF TASKS of "should I go outside" (saying it out loud makes me laugh because seriously...who argues in their head about going outside!?), this thought struck me: "I WANT to go outside and enjoy the weather. I GET to. Not should, WANT". It applies in SO many areas that I always think should:

I should spend time working out today. But what's the point. I can never be disciplined enough.

I should go grab some groceries so we can save money and eat better. What's the point, I can neve seem to eat healthy enough.

I should go work on the landscape out front, it's the worst. Everyone is probably judging me. Why isn't her yard a golf course!

I should reach out to so and so, I'm probably not very good at staying socialized.

I should spend time working on my writing...I have enough time I should have accomplished ______ by now.

I should spend time working on my photography....just another skill/hobby I've let go by the wayside.

I should spend time with God....I am so selfish with my time.

I should pray for this, or that. Why don't I do that more often.

I should be better.

I should do better.

WATCH how this changes everything:

I want to spend time working on my fitness today!

I want to get some things off the to-do list!

I want to spend time with God!

I want to write today!

I want to spend time in prayer!

I want to go outside and enjoy this WEATHER!

I want to spend time with friends !

I want to show my yard some TLC!

I know, it's seems lame. But for REAL, when I was thinking "No, you WANT to go outside" it's like everything changed about how I felt about that simple goal. Yeah, there are always reasons (and sometimes reasonable reasons) not to do things. When you start thinking should, it becomes a chore. When you choose to go on the flip side it does help (of course, not always 100% effective, haha) but thinking I want to do this (because you really do) really does help. I'm going to try and keep using this technique and ignoring the "shoulds".

Of course, I will always be trying to weasel out of working out and yard work.

I hope this made SOME kind of sense. Happy friday!


  1. Yes, yes, yes! "Take every thought captive". This has inspired me to pay more attention to retraining my attitude about the "shoulds".

    1. I was like how have I not thought this before?! I think I unrealistically think other people only do things bc they are 100% gung ho--guess what Carrie, they probably aren't but do want the end product so "just do it"! Bc they want to reap the benefits not necessarily Bc the the task is so fun. Mind rambling some more!

  2. I have to mind-trick myself into so many things. When I'm cleaning, Netflix usually helps a lot :). "You can watch 2 episodes of Parks and Rec if you dust/clean the kitchen/mop." If I was a better Christian it would be sermon podcasts, but I just love Leslie Knope so.much.

    1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH Julie, yes so much. Netflix helps us adult. What motivation was there to adult before?!?

      SW--Yes, I love that. Our thought life is SUCH battleground! Take those bad ones captive and give 'em a what for!!!