Unleash Your Leadership: Breaking Free from the 'Should' Trap

leadership Jun 15, 2023
You Should

Should: the word that can create so much havoc in someone's life without them truly realizing it. How does it feel to look at the words "You SHOULD" as you scroll through your feed?

Life is full of this word, regardless of your age. You should be more present, spend less time on your phone, eat better, try harder, get out and exercise, have gotten that promotion, been more empathetic, worn closed-toed shoes instead of open, asked more questions, led more like Sally. Those words hurt at varying levels.

That one word can impact how we lead today. Even if you aren't hearing it from other people, if it showed up frequently when you were younger, you are silently repeating it to yourself. In fact, you may have already done it today. Take a moment to think about it.

I'm giving you permission to let go of that word. Open your heart and mind to the possibilities of life without it. Release yourself from everyone's expectations and be yourself. Be authentic and lead differently. Let go of your own expectations because most of the time they are rooted in what someone else expected you to do or be.

Here's a little exercise that can help you let go of those expectations: Write down all the expectations (or "shoulds") you feel are placed on you by yourself and others as a leader. Then, go through your list and identify which expectations you truly want to fulfill and which ones you don't.

Next, write down why you feel the need to fulfill certain expectations and what you think will happen if you don't. I invite you to be honest and reflective with yourself in your writing. No one has to see this except you.

Finally, choose one or two unrealistic expectations that are truly holding you back or weighing you down. I give you permission to let them go and walk freely without their weight on your shoulders.

How could letting go of these expectations change the way you lead?

If this exercise resonates with you, try applying it to other areas of your life. You deserve to feel free and be able to show up anywhere without the "shoulds," and encourage others to do the same. It's a gift I give to you, and a gift you can give to others.

I would love it if you could send me a quick note at [email protected] or through direct message on social media to let me know how dropping those expectations is going for you.

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