Enough with the Should'a, Could'a, Would'a! The Past is the Past. Move On

  Monday, June 1, 2020

Let me read you this article instead

Cognitive distortions include different patterns that restrict our capacity towards achieving our optimum potential to reach our life goals. These often arise from a fixed mindset filtering out the positives and only emphasizing the negative. With this type of mindset, you can quickly sabotage your best efforts. 

The Should/Must Statements 

The should/must statements are cognitive distortions that often result in a regretful feeling: "I shouldn't have done that" or "I should have said something different in that last conversation." It occurs when an individual keeps second-guessing themselves about the past. This way of thinking throws you into a state of self-criticism that often sets the bar too high and deprives you of a sense of accomplishment. When you're continually deprived of feeling accomplished, you lose the momentum to tackle the important and worthwhile obstacles in life. Many people end up settling for much less of what they could be because of continual "should" and "must" statements. 

“the Should Bird is should-ing all over us.”

— Anonymous

What Negative Consequences Does it Have?

People suffering from this type of thinking pattern do not feel satisfaction in life. It's not healthy, nor a sustainable way of thinking. If your overall attitude about your previous accomplishments is negative, then your stuck in an endless loop of: "Well, no matter how hard I try - it won't turn out well for me anyhow." 

This type of thinking will drain your energy reserves and often create a negative reality. If you are thinking that something won't turn out well, then more than likely it will not. But if you are focused on a positive outcome, then the probability of it being a positive experience are that much better. Sure, you might still fall flat on your face with a positive and more well-balanced attitude -- but the odds are in your favor for a positive outcome. Drop the "should of", "could of", or "would of" attitudes about your past and focus on the task immediately in front of you. 

How Do I Stop This from Happening? 

Some people may stop reading at this point, but you might consider lowering your expectations and stop running after perfection. Don't lose your sanity in the process of achieving your dreams. Quit creating a perfect outcome to every situation. And, as the old saying goes, don't be so hard on yourself. As trite as it sounds, create a schedule, follow a regiment that involves daily bodily care, mental health care, and adequate leisure time for yourself. This will help you stay balanced. 

With the help of mindfulness and other CBT tactics, you can achieve the goals that you’ve always wanted in a much more balanced way. Moreover, take little breaks in between your work and remind yourself religiously that your worth is not dependent on your production level or your worldly accomplishments. Enlist things that bring you satisfaction but are not considered as big achievements. It can be anything from making someone smile to painting a picture. Stack the small "wins" up day after day. 

Health Disclaimer

JournalOwl is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, medication, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptoms or conditions. JournalOwl is not authorized to make recommendations about medication or serve as a substitute for professional advice. You should never disregard professional psychological or medical advice, or delay in seeking treatment, based on anything you read on JournalOwl’s website or platform.

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