Feel Good Sisterhood

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18.1 Manuals for Ourselves

I should

Last week, we talked about having a manual or expectations for others. We often have expectations for ourselves as well. What it means to be a good boss, employee, wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, friend, and the list goes on. We can NOT be all things to all people AND take proper care of ourselves at the same time. So, I invite you to evaluate, what are the expectations that you have of yourself and how you show up in your relationships. Where did you get the idea that you needed to be that way? Why do you think that? And do you want to keep thinking that? Does it serve you?


Okay, so last week, we talked about the manual. And we talked about the manual in terms of having expectations for other people. That having expectations for other people is what creates a lot of irritation, and anxiety, and negative emotion in us.

When we have expectations for other people, then what happens is we make it mean something about them or about us. We expect that other people should know how to show us love, they should know how to relate to me, or talk to me, or coach me even.

So, when we have expectations for other people and those people aren’t doing what we think they should be doing, then that causes us a lot of negative emotion. And it’s okay to have expectations for other people. We all have manuals. But what happens is when we decide that they are bad or I am bad because they’re not following the manual, that’s when it becomes a problem.

Now, we also have manuals for ourselves. And you can actually use the manual worksheet from last week in order to figure out what your manual is for yourself. Like, many of us have manuals of what it means to be a good wife. What it means to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good sister. All of those expectations that we have on ourself, that we use against ourselves in order to have evidence of why we aren’t good enough?

And so, I have another worksheet for you today and what the worksheet is called is “I should.” And so, you can use this for a specific area, or you can just use it for generalized expectations that you have on yourself. So, at the top of the page, or actually it’s two columns, and what you’re going to do, and you can use this same technique on a blank piece of paper in your journal if you want to.

At the top of the page, write “I should.” And then, write down all of the phrases or sentences that you should be, okay? Or do or whatever it is have. And so, I should be pretty, be able to lose weight, be athletic, want to work out. Like all of these expectations that we have on ourselves.

And so, just write them down, don’t judge them because they’re in there and you’re beating yourself up about it. And once they’re on page, once they’re on the page, then what we can do is I want you to ask yourself, “why?” Why do you have this expectation that you should be do or have this thing? And then, answer it for every single line. This is going to take a while, but it’s really good work.

Because what we realize is that a lot of the expectations that we have on ourselves were imparted on us or imprinted on us from childhood. And now, we get to decide, do we want to keep hanging on to that? Okay? Or do we want to reject it? A lot of these things of “I should” are patriarchal standards.

They’re standards that we have for women, that we don’t have for men. And so, it’s really interesting to ask yourself like, “where did this belief come from that I’m supposed to be this way?

Now, this is four parts. And so, the next part of the worksheet is, “and let me get this right.” Re-read each item in the list, replace “I should” with “if I wanted to, I could” and then, read each item again. And see, how that just changes the feeling of that statements?

And then, the fourth part to this is asking yourself, “okay, so why haven’t I? If I really wanted to, why haven’t I?'” And then, that will reveal so much amazing information. All right?

What this work is all about is your relationship with yourself, the expectations that you have on yourself. Because the relationship that you have with yourself is played out in the relationship that you have with other people. That’s why we’re doing this work this month.

Next week, we’re going to be talking about our relationship with our body. But for right now, we’re just talking about our relationship with ourselves. Okay? Just our mind, what we do, how we act, how we behave, what we have, what we don’t have, things like that.

This is huge. If you do this work, this can really be your own self-therapy. And helping you discover, and get to a really good relationship with yourself, and understand, and be able to accept, who you are in life? All right?

That’s all I have for you right now. I’ll see you in the next video.

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