Confidence Killers ~ #3 Shoulds (video)

You may remember the saying from childhood, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

It was well-intentioned as a way to help us get past mean or bad things someone had said.

But the truth is that even though words may not physically hurt us, they can still have a profound impact.

What we pick up on in childhood often gets reinforced through life – we even internalise and repeat expressions in our own minds.

In this video, I discuss another confidence killer, ‘shoulds‘. If you have ever said or thought, “I should do this’ or ‘I shouldn’t have done that‘, then this video is for you.

And where did the word ‘should‘ originally come from? The answer might surprise you.

Plus, I’ll give you some hints on how you can express yourself differently so you have even more freedom and choice.

Here’s the video:

Prefer to read instead? Here’s the full transcript:

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.

My name is Jules Wyman and I’m a confidence coach and speaker, and I don’t know where you are in the world but I’m curious to know whether you grew up with that phrase too? Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. It’s interesting because there’s variants on it that I’ve heard in the UK and I have heard that people use it in America, in Australia, I don’t know about on the European continent as well. But it has always fascinated me as a phrase, a saying that we tell kids, that I was told as a child, to soften the blow when someone says something mean or bad or uncomfortable towards us and yet, it doesn’t matter how old the people are that I ask, pretty much all of us can remember something that someone said to us that was mean when we were growing up.

So those words may not hurt, or we don’t think that they hurt, but they certainly do linger, that’s for sure, and it’s something that we do hold onto. What we’re not realizing a lot of the time, because we’re not taught, is actually how much those words impact on us and how much our daily language really impacts on us. You may know about self talk, that internal dialogue, that we all have. But actually do we realise the real impact of it, do we really understand exactly what it is that’s going on for us?

Now, I’m going to incorporate this video as one of the confidence killers series, and what I want to give you the opportunity to understand with this video is that there are words that could be changed, that when you change them, they can help your confidence or help how you feel about yourself change. And if we don’t recognize the impact of these words on us, then we are just going along for the ride and not really knowing what’s happening to us and can end up feeling really low or really high and not recognize that actually a big part of that is going to be our language and how that’s affecting us.

So one of the words that I changed a number of years ago now, and I’m really aware, anybody who knows me, who’s worked with me, who’s been around me any length of time will know that one of those words is the ‘s’ word of ‘should’. Now when I realised the impact of it, I’d never felt comfortable with the word, but when I learnt actually where the word derives from and it’s original meaning, I kind of understand why I used to feel conflict with it, I used to feel uneasy, either if it was said to me, “you should do this” or “you shouldn’t have done that” or even if I was saying it to myself in here (pointing to head) “I shouldn’t have done that” or “I shouldn’t have done it this way” or “I should have done it that way”. It doesn’t matter if it was an external hearing of it or it was an internal use of it, I knew it was having an impact, I knew it made me tense up, I knew I didn’t feel inspired or motivated by the word. And the more I understood about it, the more I understood why.

Should is an Anglo Saxon word and when you take it back to its original meaning, what it means, what it used to mean, is scold… s.c.o.l.d and occasionally it had an ‘e’ on the end. And it was used in that sense of scolding someone or something about what they were meant to have done or not done. And to me that just made sense as to why I was feeling the tension around that word, and the word should really is a confidence killer because it impacts on us and can end up with us feeling restricted about what is happening for us and how we are interacting with ourselves and the world.

So my offering is for you to recignise that the word ‘should’ is a confidence killer and like all of the other confidence killers that are in this series, the more that you can understand them, the more you can get to grips with what they are, spotting them, looking to make a confidence grower as opposed to a confidence killer, then that is going to help you feel even more confident, comfortable and reassured and resilient within yourself. So just be aware of when you use the word should, either externally or internally, and give yourself the opportunity to look for what you could (hint hint) say instead or a word that you would use that would express what you want to say in a different way that could be inspiring, that could be resourceful, that could be constructive, that could be helpful… just giving you a hint there and let me know your thoughts.

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