Are you falling into the trap?
I was talking with my sister and she was getting down on herself because she kept saying she “should have” done this or that. I’m sure you have said those same words or maybe you have even said “could have”, “would have”, or even “if only” am I right? Yes, me too, more times than I like to admit.
These 4 phrases end up becoming a trap and a black hole of despair. Think about the last time you said one of the phrases, how did it make you feel? I know when I first was losing my sight I fell into the trap.
I started thinking if I “would have” gone to the doctor sooner, maybe I wouldn’t have lost my sight. Then there was I “should have” spoken up. This was a big one because I did not want to be a bother so I tried to wait until my appointment. Then I through a bunch of “if only’s” in there just for good measure. While I have gotten pretty good at controlling the first 3 phrases, the “if only” phrase still gets me, because I like to second guess myself.
Disability brings with it many land-mines and this is a big one. You may be more prone to depression and playing the should have, would have, could have, if only game will only make you feel bad. Really do you need help doing that? No, I didn’t think so. Keep reading for some ideas on how to turn those phrases around, and the same kind of thinking will work for any kind of negative thinking. The biggest think is you just have to be aware of what you are saying and how it is making you feel.
The next time you catch yourself saying one of the 4 trap phrases try changing them up. Instead of saying I:
“Should have” say something like that was not the best choice, the next time I will do better.
“Would have” say now I know what to say if _____ happens again.
“Could have” say I now have another option that I might like to try.
“If only” say I am happy with the choice I made. Next time I can always try something different.
You can always find your own way to turn the phrases around, they will be most effective when they are in your own words,just make sure it is a positive statement. You might also like to check out my article “Out of Patience” to get a couple more ideas to help. Have you heard the saying “don’t should all over yourself?” I think you get the idea, be nice to yourself. Remember we all make mistakes and our judgment can be off once in awhile so give yourself a break if you slip into the trap. The more you pay attention to what you say the more you can catch yourself and change how you speak into something positive.
Remember disabled or not you are a wonderful valuable person, please do not ever forget that.