Expat Life

Should Sticks and what to replace them with

Do you have one? A should stick? You are living your life abroad, and there are tons of good thing about it. You’re pretty happy with where you are living, spending time with the kids, stepping out of the rat race for a while.

And yet you are using this stick all the time.

To hit yourself.

To beat yourself up.

“I should be doing more. I should be finding a job. I should be making more creative lunches for my kids. I should be exercising more. I should be starting a course.”

Or perhaps you are of the “shouldn’t stick” variety:

“I shouldn’t be complaining, I shouldn’t be feeling unhappy, I shouldn’t be wasting my education, I shouldn’t want to have a break from caring from the kids.”


Here’s a secret: you won’t magically feel better if you start doing the things you think you should be doing. Because if you get a job, you would probably be thinking that you should be spending more time with the kids. Or that you should be working harder, not rushing home after work.

You would still be feeling guilty.

How do I know?

I recognize this so well in my friends and clients because I used to do it to. All the freakin’ time. Especially after giving up my job to move abroad with my husband and even more so after having kids. It was only after taking up coaching and working with my own coaches that I started recognizing it. That I started realizing how much energy and joy this habit was taking away from me. Admittedly, I still use the should stick from time to time, habits are hard to break. But realizing the impact of it has helped me to reduce its use considerably. As a result I feel a lot happier because of it.

Should Habit

It is a habit, using this should stick. You may even believe that it is a good habit, that you are “pushing yourself” to move forward. But are you really? Are you going in the direction that is right for you? Or are you only doing it because you think you should be doing it? And making yourself miserable in the process?


Expat Energy Should Stick
Support yourself, lift yourself up instead of using the should stick.

Support yourself

Now do yourself a favour and toss out the should stick. Right now! Start supporting yourself just like you support your husband and kids. Be kind to yourself. Be your own cheering squad. You are doing good things now- you are making it possible for your family to explore the world. You are a worth your own support right now. Not when you do the things you think you should be doing, but right now!

Enjoy or choose

Enjoy what you are doing. And if you do not enjoy it? Then find something better to do. Make different choices or accept the reality of your situation.

Make the choice to stop hitting yourself with the should stick.

Make the choice to be kind to yourself.

You deserve it.


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