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Shrugging Off the Shoulds

When coaching people exploring a transition, it doesn’t take long for the conversation to come to the battle of the “shoulds”:

“I should stay where I am because I don’t know if I’ll be successful elsewhere.”

“I should keep doing what I’m doing because it’s more financially secure.”

“I should be happy with the role I’m in – it’s what they think I’m the best fit for.”

“I should be grateful for what I have instead of desiring something different.”

We live with the pressures and perceptions of others, imagining our destiny is what it is and should be followed with minimal provocation or disruption.

Some of the shoulds I’ve faced include:

  • Staying in college even though I didn’t like it

  • Moving my family across the country or world if I want to grow my career

  • Hanging in there until my stock options vest

  • Staying with a big corporation as it has more relevance to my resume

The shoulds are real.

Over time, I've learned to make decisions in alignment with my values versus the pressure of the shoulds. I've sought opportunities to grow, push the edges of my comfort zone, and be of service to others. These values are my most important decision criteria when I decide what to do or not to do.

What about you? Have you been contemplating a transition? What’s stopping you? Check out my Shrugging the Shoulds worksheet below and take a step toward clarity.

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