That one word: SHOULD.

When faced with decisions in life, many times we seek guidance. If guidance begins to feel like you are being told what you should be doing versus what you know within yourself to be right, please remember to stand up for you.

Agree or don’t with this post – your choice. 

I will never tell you what you “should” say, think or feel.

Here is why:

It was the Spring of 1991: I was standing in line at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, signing up for my classes as an incoming freshman. The woman sitting behind the table looked at me with my pregnant belly and said, “You should really rethink going to college right now. Or if you do choose to go, you should be a part-time student.” Her gaze went from my eyes … and then down to my belly. I remember like it was yesterday. My stomach in knots, I looked at her and replied, “Thank you, but I will be fine as a full-time student.” 

And thus began my dislike of the word “Should” – 26 years ago. 

I was so angry and hurt by the woman who told me I shouldn’t be registering for college. Her judgments cut deep. She knew absolutely nothing about me except for what she saw. And yet, she freely shared her thoughts on how my life should look. Driving home that day was huge for me. I cried alone in my car. Her words didn’t stop me from getting my degree. Instead, they drove me to believe more deeply within myself.

Her words strengthened my motto:

Don’t live your life for someone else. Live your life for you.

I love seeking advice. I love seeking guidance. I love learning from others’ wisdom and experiences. My true belief is that we are all here to educate and grow from one another. If someone has already been down a path of which I am headed down, why not learn from what they went through? Here’s the difference: I am seeking their guidance, not their approval. 

Just because a way of life works for one person – does not mean that it will work for another. Listen, learn and take in what you need to when seeking advice. Don’t feel the need to follow their guidelines or walk their walk. Take that which serves you and forge your own path. If you make a poor choice, the learning is on you-not them. It is one thing for someone to offer you advice. It is another if they expect you to follow it. Please don’t feel like you should have to.

Ultimately, YOU have the Power and Knowledge within to find your Answers in Life. No one knows you better than you.

Walk your own walk. One step at a time.