Replace your Should with a Could

They say you should be yourself.

I’m not sure who they are but I’m starting to think that they are on to something.

Every time you act like someone you aren’t or do something you don’t want to just to appease someone, you get a little bit further away from who you are.


Everyone agrees that you should be yourself. There are thousands of quotes and motivational pictures depicting this. No one would ever tell you “Be more like someone else.”

So why is it people still spend so much of their time doing things they don’t want to, and traveling down a path that isn’t right for them?

It’s because of fear. They are afraid that what they want in their heart won’t work out.

Afraid that if they take the leap there won’t be anything there to catch them.

They let fear push them into a corner.


I hate that word. I encourage you to throw it out of your vocabulary.

Whenever you are using this word it’s because you’re thinking about something that you don’t want to do, but for some reason feel like you have to.

should go to university. I should get a normal job. I should settle down.

This word is a virus that you have because you’ve been surrounded by it your whole life. You parents, teachers, peers and society have all instilled their own “shoulds” into you.

After writing that word so many times it looks alien to me. I hope it looks alien to you as well.

Every time this word appears in your life I want you to think very carefully about how it got there and if you really need it.


I would encourage you instead to replace all of your shoulds with coulds.

Could is a word that I can get behind. It allows you to imagine possibilities.

When you are thinking of a could, you are allowing yourself to believe in something that you want.

could start that business I’ve been thinking about. I could talk to that cute cashier. I could travel around Europe.

It’s a much more useful word.

Rid yourself of the shoulds and start thinking in coulds.

You’ll explore more of who you are and less of who other people want you to be.

dr seuss

21 thoughts on “Replace your Should with a Could

  1. I should use could more often…ahhhh, i’ve done it again! Ok, this time it’s with good reason. Thanks for posting great words of encouragement. I’m really challenging myself to be myself and to live my life the best way possible. It’s something I could get used to doing. F.A.T. L.Y.L.A.! Thanks for following my blog and for writing such inspiring words.


    1. It’s no problem, after checking out your blog it wasn’t a question, I had to follow!! I’m glad that you could take something from these words. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw this in a movie one time and have kept it for my own…when someone says, “You should, you should, you should….”
    Say back to them, “Quit shoulding on me!”
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I love your positiveness and will follow you….see you on Sundays 🙂


    1. Haha, I love that! I am definitely going to quote you on that one. I appreciate you checking out my blog as well. 🙂


  3. thankyou for following, you have a wonderful blog, and this is entry is perfect, nice finish with dr. seuss,
    we don’t do things we really want to because we fear the unknown, what a classic programme within society’s mind, not just with staying in the wrong jobs, but also the wrong friendships and most disastrously – the wrong relationships.
    go into the deep dark abyss of the unknown, the universe is always supporting our every decision. fear is an illusion.
    fondest greetings, and all the best, nicole x


    1. Wow, I think your comment may have been better than my post. I agree completely, we need to rid ourselves of our fear or it will cut short what our lives could be. If you ever want to write a guest post for my blog please let me know. I’d love to let me readers hear what you have to say on… well any topic to be honest. You seem to have a good understanding of life. Thank you for taking the time to write this.


  4. No way, thankyou Steven, you are my first prized friend on this thing, wordpress is another world haha. i would gladly write up a post for you just let me know what you would wish me to speak of 🙂 and thank you also for reminding me not to let fear interrupt my dreams, sometimes i forget this wisdom , all the best !!


  5. I totally removed the words “should, must, have to” of my brain’s dictionary and my life improved much! Those words are judgmental and stressful! Nice post!


    1. That is a good idea! Those words encourage you to stress over what other people expect from you while discouraging you from pursuing your ambitions. Thanks for sharing that. 🙂


  6. I love it! One of my favourite parenting experts (Pinky McKay) always says “Don’t let anyone “should” on you” and it’s a mantra I often repeat. It really is one of the most insidious words around. I’ll definitely be swapping to “could” whenever I can.


    1. I’ll look up Pinky McKay, it sounds like I could learn something. I think it’s a good replacement because it encourages you to focus on your aspirations. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  7. This reminds me of what my therapist told me a while ago. She was talking about how the guilt of not doing something — like, let’s say, a paper I’ve put off — brings me down and then continues my depression cycle. Guilt is one of my worst triggers.
    So her advice? “Instead of telling yourself, ‘I should really write that paper,’ make a point of telling yourself, ‘I am choosing not to write that paper right now’ or ‘I am choosing to write that paper right now.’ That way, you’re putting yourself in full control of the choice and stop falling short of your goals.” Obviously I’m paraphrasing, but I was amazed at how much switching those words changed my whole outlook.
    I had actually forgotten about that advice for a while, and this post just reminded me. Thank you for that. Great post. (:


    1. This comment has deepened my understanding of how certain language can effect our perception of our lives. Your therapist had really good advice. The way that you frame and view everything in your life is of utmost importance. We just have to learn how to harness it for the benefit of our emotional/spiritual well being. Thank you for sharing this!

      Liked by 1 person

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