“Shoulds” are one of the biggest threats to living authentically, because with every “should” we follow we lose a piece of ourselves.
Who am I helping
Marketing is all about harnessing your authentic voice and directing your sharing to the right people. It doesn’t have to feel icky and it doesn’t have to feel hard. Particularly with a product business, making your branding clear is so important.
It’s easy to think “I should be selling my product”, and forget that there’s a very specific human that we are swelling that product too; someone that we’d love to help, and who would benefit most from what we have to offer.
Another common story is feeling like we have to help All The People. It’s a noble desire but totally unrealistic; our flavour and our particular brand of magic will not be for everyone, and that’s ok. Getting clear on who it IS for is a really important step.
Why we “should” ourselves
“Shoulds” are one of the biggest threats to living authentically, because with every “should” we follow we lose a piece of ourselves. It’s not a forever loss, but we become more and more distanced from our own (benevolent and wise) inner voice.
As a business owner there’s always something we think we should be doing – the source of that feeling can be internal (worry; ambition; overwhelm) or external (emails piling up; content to create; falling behind schedule).
They can also come from our perceptions of what our family or friends think we should be doing (which is not necessarily the case, but can feel very compelling). The shoulds are rooted in external reality, even when they are internal; they’re just a sign we’ve integrated social expectations.
Breaking free from the “shoulds”
Shoulds are rooted in scarcity, which is not an energy we want to spend time in or create (or sell!) from. The key is to remind ourselves that there are always more opportunities, there is always more time.
Combatting the often loud volume of the “shoulds” requires the creation of quiet time. When we’re feeling overwhelmed or in scarcity energy, all we have to do is take five minutes to sit and be with ourselves – usually something will shift and we’ll be able to hear our authentic needs and desires again.
The tricky thing is that identifying that some of these voices are “shoulds” and not in fact our own desires can be a challenge in itself! For years I thought I was doing what I wanted to do and it was only when I started incorporating self-care into my life that I began to realise that they weren’t authentic desires, but rather the expected path.
Your authentic voice feels different to the “should” voice; calm and kind. Practicing listening to that voice instead of the shoulds means that the “should” voice slowly gets quieter and your authentic truth and power come more and more online!