• Simon Phillips


Updated: Dec 6, 2019

Manage the 'I should' changes the Festive Holiday Horrors can bring - with Mind Chi!

Here is the eighth of the series of articles with practical ideas for managing the Festive Holiday Horrors. This one looks at all the ways we 'should' on ourselves and I hope this provides some support, reminders and assistance to overcome them.

8. The ‘SHOULDs’ Festive Holiday Horrors and Mind Chi way to overcome

All the 'SHOULDs' and 'OUGHTs' of the Festive Holiday Horrors

Do you find yourself often saying ‘I should to this and that’ or ‘I ought to see so and so’?

I know you know the old expression ‘Don’t ‘SHOULD’ on yourself!’ but still you do it.

And why do you do it?

You grew up with lots of tapes playing from your parents, school, religion and society, they are deeply embedded and often you act on them without any awareness, except for the vague disconcerting feeling that it may not be quite right and certainly does not bring you any happiness.

These taped messages which are constantly playing are the source of many of the

SHOULDs and OUGHTs we carry with us, especially at this time of year.

On top of that you may seek approval and acceptance, it is very easy for you to think ‘I

SHOULD attend that office party, else they will think I don’t like them’ or ‘I OUGHT to visit Auntie Rene as she is all alone and I know she’ll tell my Mother if I don’t go’. You want to ‘fit in’ and it is often at a great cost to yourself and brings additional festive strain.

Reciprocating is another big SHOULD or OUGHT. ‘They invited us over to dinner, now we OUGHT to invite them back’ or ‘John sent me a card, so I SHOULD send one back to him!’

We always carry a slew of ‘shoulds’ with us, however, these are exacerbated by the history of the season. After you have looked at the changes you may make for the Festive Holiday Season, you may want to look at other ‘shoulds’ in your life.

Do you have some more SHOULDs AND OUGHTs? And what can you do about them?

The Mind Chi Festive Holiday Happiness – QUESTION

You can’t do anything to change others’ ‘shoulds’, only your own. The relatively easy

changes you CAN make by questioning might create some easy and profound changes

for how YOU respond.

The big new skill you will need is to bring to your awareness when one of those

SHOULDS and OUGHTS creeps into your mind and at that very moment STOP and

QUESTION before you automatically respond. This is a new skill and you will need to use the nanosecond interrupt that you have in your brain to grab control.

You may wish to use Mind Chi step 2 – Focus for this Festive Holiday Horror,

the reason being that you want to mindfully hold the reins of your brain. Take

a minute of your Mind Chi breath and move into the challenge of thinking of

‘One, one, one’ over and over, the idea is to see if you are able to be in

control. If you are still on ‘One’ it is a good time to look at your ‘shoulds’.

If the number is above 5 wait for a clearer thinking day if you are able. Or

listen to some calming music.

Just becoming aware that it IS a SHOULD or OUGHT is a big step in the right

direction. You may well miss a few and be in auto-respond mode and then catch

yourself. STOP right then and say, ’Oh, I am so sorry, I was on automatic,

would you let me think about this and get back to you?’

If you are responding from the fear of lack of approval or acceptance, then one

QUESTION you might ask yourself is ‘What is the WORST that can happen?’ After you have thought that one through then YOU decide; ‘Can I live with that?’

Remember that it is usually not nearly as bad as you expected.

After you have thought the possible consequences through YOU now decide on your

action plan. The big difference is that now YOU are taking control to change in

your hands. If you feel that what you receive in the approval or acceptance is

worth it, then it is your CHOICE to do the action. Interestingly the ‘same’

action feels completely different if you think someone else is making you,

versus if YOU feel it is your choice.

If reciprocation is the reason that someone does something, with the specific

thought and expectation that they will receive the same or better back, then

they are doing it for the wrong reasons, and I expect you were not thrilled by

the thought that you OUGHT to invite them back, and WOW, freedom, you


At first they may be a bit surprised and may hint at when will you be available

and then they won’t invite you again and you are BOTH free of the obligation.

In all cases, if after your QUESTIONING a SHOULD or OUGHT you decide ‘Not this time’

then to communicate with understanding and empathy that you wish to take a

different direction is very important. Either you will find that it was no problem at all, as in most cases, or someone will say that it is important to them. In that rare case then you need to come up with a compromise with which you can both be happy.

To summarise the 8 Mind Chi Happiness to overcome the SHOULDs and OUGHTs:

1. Become aware of all your historic tapes and QUESTION their relevance to you today.

2. After you are aware, then QUESTION what you actually do what to do.

3. Use your Mind Chi step 2 – FOCUS to make your brain clear thinking for questioning.

4. If you have responded automatically, request a replay and say what you want to!

5. QUESTION if you really will receive the acceptance or approval if you acquiesce.

6. Ask yourself; ‘What is the worst that can happen’ then select your action.

7. Only reciprocate IF you want to, an explanation if not may be polite though!

8. Explain with courtesy your change in behaviour, it may be freeing to the other as well.

The Change Maker Group are people who have mastered the skills for managing change.

They too face the constant change and understand your situation. We provide ‘Smart Mirror Coaching’ an on-demand coaching service that may just be what you need to help you through this time.

Please do contact us with any issues where we may be able to assist: community@thechangemakergroup.com

Building your resilience in just 8-minutes a day with the Mind Chi routine can also

boost your strength and ability to find joy in the season, here is a free gift

of the 8 Mind Chi steps: http://www.mindchi.com/mind-chi-basic-8-steps/

For Mind Chi sessions and mentoring, please contact Vanda@MindChi.com

SPECIAL NOTICE! The new 'Change Wisdom' book and kindle is available NOW and right HERE - the perfect gift!


The really final article is about the Festive Holiday Horror of EVERYTHING!

#Resilience #Stress #MindChi


We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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