The Problem of Should

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Whenever the word should shows up in your thoughts or conversations it is a pretty good sign that prior programming is at work.  Should is a very dangerous word.  It leads to feelings of guilt and shame.  Although your mother might disagree with me, there are very few real shoulds in this world.  Most of the time you could substitute “I would prefer it if you would” or “I want you to”, or “it might be easier/better/safer if” instead of the word should.

Say this problem statement aloud, “I shouldn’t be feeling this way.” Rate the intensity on the 0-10 point scale and record your rating.

illustration for karate chop point

Setup (karate chop point): Even though I know I shouldn’t be feeling this way, I choose to love, accept, and forgive myself anyway. Even though I know I shouldn’t be feeling this way, I choose to love, accept, and forgive myself anyway. Even though I know I shouldn’t be feeling this way, I choose to love, accept, and forgive myself anyway.

diagram of the tapping points
Eyebrow…I shouldn’t be feeling this way
Side of Eye…I don’t even know why it is bothering me
Under the Eye…I don’t think I should be feeling this way
Under the Nose…Just admitting that I feel this way really bothers me
Chin…I feel bad that I feel this way
Collarbone…I’d like to pretend that I feel something different
Under the Arm…Then no one would know that I feel this way
Top of Head…No one would judge me for feeling this way
Eyebrow…I shouldn’t be feeling this way
Side of Eye…But my feelings are real
Under the Eye…And my feelings are ok
Under the Nose…I don’t need to be afraid of my feelings
Chin…And I don’t need to judge my feelings
Collarbone…My feelings happen naturally
Under the Arm…No matter what my feelings are – I’m in control of how I
express them
Top of Head…I choose to acknowledge my feelings, whatever they are
Eyebrow…Who told me I shouldn’t feel this way?
Side of Eye…What do they know about this?
Under the Eye…They are MY feelings
Under the Nose…My feelings are an acceptable part of who I am
Chin…I do feel this way
Collarbone…I accept my feelings just as they are
Under the Arm…I accept my feelings and I accept that they are MY feelings
Top of Head…My feelings are good and I am good

Take a deep breath and check the intensity of your original problem statement. “I shouldn’t be feeling this way.” Record your new intensity rating.  This is an exercise that often sparks additional thoughts and feelings. It is quite likely that other early programming remarks made their way into your consciousness.  Be sure to add them to your tapping journal for later work.

There are more tapping exercises like this one in Tap It Away: 10 Minutes to Freedom With EFT.

Cover Image of Tap It Away: 10 Minutes to Freedom With EFT by Dr. Leanna Manuel

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