In this second article, I’ll be talking about 3 little words which reflect where you are not being true to yourself. The presence of these 3 words in how you talk to yourself, about yourself, or about your life, are important clues to why you are not enjoying the power and privileges of being a grown up. The words? ”Coulda, woulda, shoulda”- 3 little words used when you are vacating your power, used when you are out of integrity with yourself, and used when you have forgotten you are a god/dess walking the earth.
Women especially suffer from the culturally-reinforced vacating of power while men suffer from cultural norms which box them into false power. (Check out my earlier article on women’s contemporary power) The presence of “woulda, coulda, shoulda”-in your beliefs, in how you talk to yourself and with others, in how you make your choices-offer useful information of where you are not being true to yourself. “Woulda, coulda, shoulda” undermine you, disempower you, and diss your nobility, your dignity, and your sovereignty. Not cool!
Try Out This
1. Begin to notice where you are saying “I woulda…., I coulda…, I shoulda…” and notice the silent “but” when using these 3 words. “I woulda spoken up, but……”, “I wish I coulda gone on vacation this year, but….”, “I know I shoulda been honest with her, but….”. Notice how you feel as you hear yourself say “woulda, coulda, shoulda…but…” Are you feeling behind what you are saying? Or do you feel yourself offering an excuse, blaming, or distancing yourself from what you saying, what you want…maybe even scared? Ouch.
2. Now take these 3 words and choose to replace them consciously with words of chosen action. For example: “I am speaking up about this being wrong”, “I am excited and saving for my vacation this summer!”, “I am going to be honest with sharing how I feel when we talk”. Notice how “I am” replaces “but” and how differently it feels to proclaim “I am”?
3. Notice the difference in how you feel as you voice “I am” vs a “woulda, coulda, shoulda… but…”? Can you feel how taking responsibility-“I am” feels more empowered than “I woulda, coulda, shoulda…… but……?
When you use “coulda woulda shoulda” in talking about your choices in life, you are using words to justify not taking action for being true to yourself, for what you truly want in life. This does not mean you are a scoundrel (love this word), without hope, or a bad person. It does mean your history includes being shamed, wronged, or unsafe with telling the truth. You are not alone in this-and-being a grown up requires picking up your courage for claiming what is true for you in life. As I remind the brave people I work with, along with the power to create the life of your dreams (being a grown up) comes the responsibility to do so.
Look for my 3rd article in the series on being a grown up. Our world is in a historical transition and living your presence, power, and purpose in the world has never been more important. And your being a grown up will be in a manner different than how you were taught and how modeled before.