Should vs Could

So by now I know that we have all seen the season finale of Insecure. I have heard so many mixed feelings about this episode. But I, in fact, thought it was such a good episode. After reviewing it for the second time, one of the scenes that I loved the most was the scene of Molly and her therapist. Molly, as usual, is living in terms of what she should be doing. The therapist responds to this using a phrase that I thought was a perfect mantra for me going forward: “Get out of the should and live in the could.


I am pretty positive that there are many people who can relate to this. These are the people who have their whole life figured out by the time they graduate high school. These are the people who played M.A.S.H in elementary and knew what their occupation would be, who their husband would be, what town they would live in, and what kind of car they would drive. They even knew the color.


Like Molly, when you are living in the should it is hard to experience true happiness because you are always comparing what your life is to what it should be. And anytime an aspect of your life doesn’t match that, you struggle to understand why or how to change it. Sometimes you make poor decisions chasing what should be instead of focusing on what it could be. There is so much more power in accepting where you are in life and utilizing the cards you were dealt to have a desired outcome. Because sometimes you can spend so much time focusing on changing your life to what it should be, only to realize that it doesn’t provide you happiness once you receive it.


It’s interesting that this was spoken of in this episode because this is something that I have been battling with. It is something that I have been trying to convince myself was unhealthy. Since I have been working on this, I have noticed more of a sense of content with my life. And don’t misinterpret content with complacent. I still have goals for myself and things that I want to achieve. I’m still focused and motivated to gain more knowledge, wealth, and status. But I don’t stress myself out with the things I should be doing.


If you, like Molly and I, find yourself caught up with the should instead of the could, here are three things you can do that I found to be really helpful in this journey.


1. Start a gratitude journal. Writing down 1-2 thinks that I am grateful for everyday, keep things in perspective for me. It is harder to be upset because you should have a mansion by now, when you realize you have good friends, a job to go to, and someone bought you Starbucks today. And sometimes you have to go in depth when writing down the things you are grateful for. That way, when you read it weeks later, you still feel blessed and grateful.


2. Focus on things that make you happy. As stated earlier, sometimes the things you should be doing aren’t even things that would truly bring you happiness. So you are wasting time being miserable to accomplish something that will make you more miserable. If you really take the time to notice things you do that provide happiness, you will alter your goals and plans to align with those things. When I write my thoughts down, I tend to feel happy, peaceful, and in tune with my thoughts and myself. This is what encouraged me to continue blogging. Blogging was definitely not on my list of things I should do but if I hadn’t taken the time to notice what makes me happy, I wouldn’t be doing it.


3. Get therapy. Do like Molly and seek professional help. Therapy is something that I haven’t done myself but I do plan to. I think therapy can provide the same benefits as journaling, blogging, or talking to your best friend. It gives you the ability to vent and talk about your issues. And it allows a complete stranger to teach you how to deal with those emotions. Well at least that’s how I imagine it to be. We are all humans. We have emotions. And sometimes those emotions can get the best of us. There is nothing wrong with allowing a professional to help us through those moments. So my goal is to make my appointment this week to continue on my healthy mind journey.


Malibu…. Do you deal with focusing on your should instead of could? What are some things you do to help combat this?


7 thoughts on “Get Out of the “Should” and Live in the “Could””

  1. I love this. First, this last episode was hilarious but I appreciate the fact they show Molly in therapy because we don’t see that enough for P.O.C. I’ve also struggled with living in the should which leads to me beating up on myself and being my toughest critic…EVER. I think adopting that Mantra would help me as well which would remind me to appreciate where I am, good and bad, instead of focusing on how I have fallen short.

  2. I loved these tips on how to get out of the “over-thinking-the-could rut”.

    Especially the advice to seek therapy.
    I believe that is a tip that isn’t often shared because most people think they cant afford it or because they have pride.

    But there are options out there and speaking to a professional might just be the help that you need.

  3. Getting out of the “should” mindset is an ongoing goal for me and this post is spot on! As a therapist who also has a therapist, I highly recommend it for anyone the same way I would encourage people to hit the gym. Such a great read!

  4. Definitely needed to see this! I haven’t watched Insecure yet but I can still relate. I had my life pretty much mapped out and a vision for how it would be at this age. I couldn’t be farther from it LOL! I’m so hard on myself about it and I’m learning not to be. It’s so important not to get caught up in how life should be and work on living to our full potential just the way it is until we get there

  5. I like the idea of writing down 1-2 things that I am grateful for. I write in a journal from time to time but I never write about that. I’m also in the process of focusing on things that satisfy me and make me happy. I, for too long, did things to make others happy and not myself. These are some great tips!

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