Using EFT to undo the ‘I should do’ trap

rubbish bags

Do you have things that you should do? Many people have to-do lists that are packed with things they should do that get done very reluctantly or don’t get done at all.

by Andy Hunt

If you should do something it implies an expectation that others want you to do something.

When we’re children, our parents, teachers and others tell us what we should do and we learn what is important to the people who are telling us what to do. Because we are kids we usually go along with these ‘shoulds’ with varying degrees of resistance.

Most people don’t like being told what to do – ask any two year old. As children we often put up what resistance we can to the instructions as either a flat refusal, or some kind of foot dragging.

When we grow up and have things that we want to do we can carry the language and experience of ‘should’ into our adult behaviour.

We want to do something and we tell ourselves we should do our accounts, mow the lawn, wash up, make that phone call.

That’s when the trouble starts.

Whenever we put a ‘should’ in front of something we want to do then we set ourselves up to resist we want to complete the task.

You might like to try this little experiment.

  • Pick an item from your to do list that has been un-done for a while – for example “I should tidy the garage”
  • Say out loud “I should ...” , giving it a score from 0 to 10 on how true it is where 0 is completely false and 10 is completely true
  • Now, say out loud “I don’t want to ...”, giving that a score from 0 to 10
  • Now, say out loud “I want to ...”, give that a score from 0 to 10

For many people a strong “I should ...” score has a strong element of “I don’t want to ...” added to it.

If you found this to be the case, congratulations! You just uncovered an internal conflict that might have something to do with you not being able to complete the task. Unconscious resistance will make you avoid doing the task or have you drag your feet so that it takes far longer than it needs to.

Having found this conflict it is surprisingly easy to dissolve with this simple tapping routine.

In this process we tap on the should directly, the expectation from others that this is the right thing to do, the resistance to doing it and finally about what you really want to do in this circumstance.

Instructions for the “Should do ...” tapping, using “I should clear out the garage” as an example.)

  • Test how strong the should is
  • Even though I should clear out the garage, I accept myself and how I feel x 3
  • EB – I should clear out the garage
  • SE – They want me to clear out the garage
  • UE – I don’t want to clear out the garage
  • UN – What do I want to do?
  • Repeat this reminder set
  • CH – I should clear out the garage
  • CB – They want me to clear out the garage
  • UA – I don’t want to clear out the garage
  • TH – What do I want to do?
  • Test how strong the should is now
  • Pay attention if one of these phrases provokes a reaction and be prepared to tap on whatever reaction, memories or thoughts that are triggered.

If there is still a charge on the should, repeat the process.

When the should has been dissolved, test “I want to ...” if the should was in line with your values this will test strong; if the should was coming from the outside and not in line with your values then this will test low, and you need to decide what you want to do.

Pick an example from your to-do list and try this process out.

In my and others experience resolving the should will make it a lot easier to do what needs to be done or lets you know what is important to you.

If you apply this process regularly to you to-do list items you should find it much easier to get out of your own way.

On Saturday, November 19th, in Newcastle upon Tyne, I am running a one-day workshop “Getting out of your own way” where I will be teaching a complete process for resolving unconscious blocks and limiting beliefs about any project or goal.

Andy Hunt
Practical Wellbeing
0754 700 9116

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