MGU 165 | Life Without Should


Whether we all live and grow up with other people’s expectations and, by extension, their judgments. But instead of letting those “shoulds” define us, shouldn’t we just be living the life that we truly want for ourselves? It is a lot easier said than done, but it is not impossible if you have the intention and the willingness to do the work. Joining Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen to unpack this for us is Your Joyologist, Tricia Huffman, a speaker, writer, coach and mentor who is out on a mission to help people live with joy in the NOW. Tricia believes that we have the power to move beyond the “shoulds” and actually strive for our “wants” and that it’s totally cool to be doing so. This conversation challenges so many of the things we have been brought up to believe all in one sitting. Prepare to have your mind blown.

Listen to the podcast here


A Life Without “Should”: Claim More Joy With The Life That You Want With Tricia Huffman

We have a wonderful person on the show with an account called Your Joyologist. Her name is Tricia. Tricia, when I opened up your Instagram account, I saw two posts that jumped right out of me. It reminds me of a bunch of words mixed into a crossword puzzle style. I saw one of these and the first three words that you see are the words that will represent the beginning of 2021. I’m looking at this and words start popping up at me and I’m thinking, “Do these resonate with me?” When I looked at your Instagram, there were two posts that jumped out.

These represent the place that I’m at and something that appeals to me as well as a lot of other people, based on the likes that you were getting on this post. One of them said and this is the one that had a lot of likes on it, which is like, “It’s almost always never about you.” The other one was, “Why do I assume people are going to reject me before they even do?” That one surprisingly had a lot fewer likes but they’re very similar. I immediately thought that’s a great question. That’s a lot of not-enoughness that we talk about so often on the show. I thought that that was an interesting point to start on. It sounds like the rejection part of this came from a podcast and you were talking with Mary.

That was Mary Marantz when she was a guest on my podcast. It’s one of the quotes I pulled from that episode. I pulled it because I’m sure a lot of people are going to resonate with that.

Sometimes, Instagram ties into this exact quote, “We can sometimes interpret what people think of us or how successful we are based on whether or not somebody likes our posts.” When I see that I’m like, “Why aren’t more people resonating with this?” It could be the algorithm or something. It’s fascinating when you put something up and somehow it doesn’t reach people. That doesn’t mean that they don’t like it. That means that they didn’t see it in the algorithm.

When I do share the podcast quotes, I don’t always pay attention to but there is the time of day, I notice I get more whatever attention and stuff like that. A lot of times when I’m sharing those podcast quotes, I’m doing it Monday because when the episodes come out, it could be 10:00 AM, noon or 2:00 PM. Any time I post a quote from a podcast, no matter how good the quote is, it never gets as much as anything else. I don’t know if it’s because of the time I’m giving it. Based on the fact that other post that you shared about not being about me, I’ve shared that post at least 3 or 4 times but that one always gets a crazy amount of likes.

I don’t think I’m putting that one at a certain time. I have no fucking clue what’s going to resonate. I already post and I was like, “People are going to love this.” I might post it at an off time because I was so in my body like, “People are going to love this one.” I posted it at a downtime so it’s not getting that much likes. I’ve let go of comparing how amazing a post is going to resonate with people based on the number of likes it gets. It means absolutely nothing.

MGU 165 | Life Without Should

Life Without Should: A lot of people have achieved something beyond their wildest dreams and are still unfulfilled. It’s ridiculous when you think about it.

It’s humbling how we can think that something is going to do well and then it doesn’t do well and you think, “I may be not right about that or it’s an algorithm thing.” That’s part of what makes Instagram such an interesting platform specifically. Certainly, this can happen on other platforms like Facebook and TikTok, if you use it or whatever else. You post something and then you think it’s going to do well but it doesn’t. It’s easy to take that personally and feel defeated by that. Sometimes, you have to keep going or not give a fuck, as you’re saying.

Going back to the posts that it’s not about me, it doesn’t even have to do with whether the post is moving or anything. I try to live by the process of one person. If I feel called to share something and one person says, “I needed this. Thank you so much.” That’s it. That’s awesome. Even having one person like or share it. We unvalued people. They’re important only if there are lots of them but they’re all singular people. I was like, “I needed to post this.” If one person, read and liked it, that is amazing that we can think of something and put it out there.

The idea of if 30 people were in a room with you, it seemed like a lot of people but if you get 30 likes on an Instagram post, depending on the size of your audience, you might not think that that’s many people. It’s continuously fascinating to me how our brains work in the sense of we don’t get as many likes as we want, we get criticism or we don’t get the feedback. The more that you post online, the more you can start to release any expectation and concern with it. You have to build up a lot of self-worth. I want to say that I loved that post about trying not to assume people are going to reject you. That’s a fascinating thing to discuss. What did you get into in your podcast?

That was her memoir and it’s called Dirt. A lot of her life story and the story she was living out in her life was because she was raised in a single-wide trailer that she was not enough so she was going through her whole life. In many ways, she went to Harvard. All these things for the accomplishment but closed herself off from people and was afraid people were going to make fun of her from West Virginia and living in a single-wide trailer without them even knowing it.

Whatever your job and your place in the world is, you can find joy in it and find a want in it. Share on X

The layers of protection she had and how she was living out her life based on already being afraid of what other people would think. People rejecting her without even giving her a chance. When she finally started to open up and telling people her entire story. That’s when all of a sudden, her life and relationships changed. She was able to connect with more people. Many people were like, “I came from this background.” She was trying to hide her story thinking she would be rejected. When she finally started sharing it, it’s when everything changed in her life.

This is an interesting story, Tricia because it reminds me of a lot of people in different backgrounds from musical artists, actors, athletes, entrepreneurs, digging into some of their backstories. It’s not a rule but I find it’s more common than I would have thought years ago that people who are extremely high achievers came from backgrounds where there was either poverty, some major family trauma or something that they would say their desire to succeed in their chosen field was driven by not humble beginnings beyond that. It’s more like trying to overcompensate through success, wealth, fame or notoriety. Will Smith summed it up great. I saw an interview with Will Smith in 2019. He said, “There’s no amount of success that’s going to overcome your trauma.” You can’t heal trauma through success.

I don’t know if that was the case with her per se but I’ve heard versions of what Will Smith said from high achievers, rich people and successful people who have all these levels of worldly, materialistic status but they’re still dealing with sadness, depression, drug abuse and addiction. It’s an interesting narrative to think about, “If I go to Harvard, if I make it to the NBA, if I sell a million records, if I make it on an ABC TV show,” we could have a trillion different examples. On the other side of that, there are many tales of people getting to those levels of achievement and being like, “I still don’t feel like I’m enough. I still feel like a piece of shit. I am still believing the story of my not-enoughness even though I have all these material worldly trappings.” It’s really fascinating.

I believe, Jason, that’s pretty much why I do everything I do. That’s the point of my podcast and being claim it is that I feel that so often, we’re putting our feelings outside of ourselves, “I’ll feel enough once I lose the weight, I get this job, I can afford this purse. Once I’m in this type of relationship, I have kids, I lived there,” and we’re constantly putting feelings outside of ourselves, “Once I have this, I will feel that,” but we keep chasing it. I’m saying it’s up to us to claim our worth, value, success, fulfillment, enoughness every day. Sometimes, every moment of the day. That doesn’t mean you can’t want more but it’s looking at what’s motivating you to go after things.

That came from working with people who had it all that I was touring the world as a sound engineer, working for icons and singer-songwriters and these people that were selling out concerts around the world. They had everything they could dream of and they still not happy. They still had doubts, fears, struggles, shame, and guilt, all of it. That, and then when my father passed away, suddenly that made me shake up and be like, “I have to do something to change people’s lives.” We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I’m with these people that are living their freaking biggest dreams. I live in my dream doing what I always wanted to do but these were living their dreams and they honestly look miserable. That’s ridiculous.

How do we reconcile that? On the one hand, there’s so much rhetoric in the conscious community, self-help community, wellness or whatever group of humans we’re in that are trying to better the world and ourselves. That’s not even a good word. I don’t know what we’re doing anymore. There’s rhetoric about don’t give up on your dreams, persistence and determination, keep going, keep striving. I remember any time somebody would win the Super Bowl, they’d play the song, “When you wish upon a star. Anything your heart desires will come to you.” You have this experience where you’re touring with world-class musicians knowing these people with incredible fame and wealth who achieved the dreams that people are killing themselves to try and achieve.

They’re there, they’re still unfulfilled and/or not feeling joyful and wondering like, “Is this all there is?” That’s frightening in a way because on the one hand, we’re taught and conditioned to chase our dreams. One of the values that society holds in the highest regard, keep chasing your dreams, keep going for it. On the other hand, you have this experience of meeting people who have achieved beyond their wildest dreams and they’re unfulfilled. It’s almost, for lack of a better word, kind of schizophrenic in a way. How do you reconcile that? What do you glean from that? Go chase it but then when you get there, you’re like, eh, “Is this it?”

Not for everybody and not all the time but a lot of the time, what happens is once you get that thing that you want, you’re not enjoying it but you’re still then stuck in comparison. What’s going to be next? What should I do? There’s a lot of other people around you for pressuring you in different ways. You don’t even necessarily been under pressure but like, “What’s next? What are you going to do about that?” There’s a lot going on for anybody who has anything of success. We put pressure on ourselves that like, “You did it. You wrote the song. That got a lot of attention. You did this. You sold out the thing.” It’s usually then what’s next?

People are not usually celebrating themselves and their wins. There’s this pressure of doing more and better. What can I do next? Comparing to other people that might be in a similar place, “I want to be at this person’s stature. What about this person?” Often, we’re focused on other people and looking outside of ourselves instead of looking in and seeing like, “What do I want?” That’s why I’m writing my first book about eliminating the word should from my life and how impactful that was.

What I see as we’re so often looking outside of ourselves and comparing ourselves and it’s all a lot based on shoulds. Instead, if we can look in and see what do I want, what am I feeling, I’m allowed to celebrate myself and acknowledge it myself. We’re also not taught that. It’s wrong to be proud of yourself and to celebrate yourself. It’s lazy to live out your dream and then enjoy it. That’s what we’re taught. We’re not taught to savor our successes. We’re taught more and more, better-better, keep going.

That’s an interesting way of putting it too. It doesn’t seem we ever feel enough no matter how hard we work or try. There’s always another level beyond that. Wouldn’t it be interesting if it was like, “When you get to this place, why don’t you step back and enjoy it for a while, savor that, spend time with your family, do the things that you love?” I don’t think that messaging is out there. We are encouraged to take vacations as if a two-week vacation is going to satisfy us enough for the whole year. Get excited about buying a big house without realizing how much money it costs to not only purchase that house but maintain it, how much of a headache having a fancy house can be, how many employees you might need to manage it and make sure that it looks all the time.

MGU 165 | Life Without Should

Life Without Should: The only way to actually do affirmations that is to face the real thoughts and feelings that you’re having.

It feels endless. The number of people that Jason and I have met in our lives never seem satisfied, relaxed and feel content. It almost seems like the people that are the most content are those that have the least amount going on, the least amount of money or got to this certain point where they’re like, “I’m burned out. I don’t want to do anything anymore because I don’t feel like I can.” We have to be pushed to these extremes in order to even appreciate what we have or let it all go and not care anymore about the striving.

It’s the truth. I remember Miranda on my podcast. She does a lot about minimalism, she had a family with three kids and they had their dream house in Texas. A big house and land that they lived there forever. He got a job offer back in Virginia and they decided to move into a two-bedroom with three kids. They eventually then bought a three-bedroom but still, it’s a small house but she does amazing things. It was an interesting conversation too. We’re taught how many people in her life like, “What are you doing living in a small house? Is everything okay?”

It wasn’t even about money or anything but the judgment we receive and the confusion. If we do it several times in my life too, I would be on tour, work for long periods of time and would it be done instead of going to get work right away. I would enjoy time off for months. That was hard for people to wrap their heads around. What are you doing? What do you do every day? What are you going to do next? Aren’t you worried? It is a risk of when will I get money and people were frightened by the fact of taking time off to rest, recover and enjoy my life. I want to wake up, go to the Farmer’s Market, do yoga or I’ll write something or not. If you moved into a smaller house, is something wrong? Is everything okay?

We also think that there’s something wrong with somebody who’s not in a relationship, doesn’t have children or doesn’t do all of these things that we’ve been programmed to do like, “I feel bad for you because you haven’t met your soulmate yet.” As if we can’t enjoy life without these stereotypical things like a house, husband or wife, whatever partner in our lives and the children. We have all these boxes we’re supposed to check off as if once we have completed all of them then we’ll feel satisfied.

It’s a perfect segue, Tricia because I’ve known you for a long time. We can get into the backstory because it weaves into some questions I want to ask. When you and I met through the Cafe Gratitude Community with Ryland, Molly, John, Cary and that whole world from the Bay Area to LA, you and I had this interweaving of worlds and we would see each other at Shabbat Dinners at Trudy Green’s House and all those things. I’ve seen you go from a lot of iterations in your life and career going from a single woman to having a husband, kids and a house.

I’m not married.

That might be a clashed partner then. I don’t want to throw labels out. I put my foot in my mouth. That is the taste of my toenails.

People then jumped to that conclusion.

As I did. You’re in a committed partnership. You’re in a house, you have children, you’re in a different phase of life or stage of life than when you and I met. Having these things, do you find that your joy quotient, fulfillment and sense of who you are has changed at all. Is it different? One could look at you from the outside and go, “Tricia’s got all these boxes checked now.” What does that mean? If you reflect on it, have things changed in terms of your joy fulfillment at all? Is it different? Is that even a valid question?

That’s totally a valid question. I’m going to say no but also yes. I had always dreamed of having kids. I hadn’t dreamed of being married which is why I’m not married. I checked some boxes there for me. That was a big dream. Also before I had kids, I fucking loved my life, I did what I wanted, I could travel whenever I wanted and I didn’t have anything holding me back. Now, I have kids and they bring me so much joy. It’s the same but different. I went 1,000% would never tell somebody they have to have kids.

You don’t understand the level of joy. You might not understand all that but I’m not telling you you’re not going to have joy if you don’t have kids. There’s a lot of pain in the ass with having kids but I loved them dearly. These stupid boxes that we feel we have to check and pressure other people into checking are ridiculous. It doesn’t have anything to do with your levels of feeling joy, success, worth or enough.

I feel a permutation of this conversation. I’m curious about your cosmology as a geologist. One of the things that I love is having been the recipient of many of your wonderful creations in the world like your mugs and notepads. You sent me this wonderful journal that I’m excited to jump into. On that note with affirmations, positive self-talk and being mindful of the power of language, there’s somewhat of a slippery slope there with spiritual bypassing and toxic positivity in the sense that through social media or being in the conscious community, a spiritual community, there’s a lot of like, “Tell yourself you’re amazing. Tell yourself you’re worthy.”

Even though you could be feeling a piece of shit. What’s the balance between, “I feel sometimes the pressure to be positive?” For me, it was this thing for years, “Jason is the life of the party. He’s always bringing laughter, entertaining people and infusing the room with joyfulness.” I realized after years of doing that, I felt much pressure to be that person that if I showed up and I was glum, depressed or off, people will be like, “What’s wrong? Is everything okay?” I’m now starting to train myself as come as you are like if I’m depressed, sad, despondent or confused. I don’t have to be fucking joyful all the time. I’m laughing at saying this to the Joyologist. My question is what is this balance between positive self-talk affirmations? If you’re pissed, sad, lonely or depressed, fucking be it. What is that balance or what’s the middle ground between all this?

It’s ridiculous to think you have to be joyful all the time. That is a ridiculous assumption. I don’t even like the term being positive, looking at things as the glass half full, or turn your frown upside down. I hate all that stuff. I realized some of my affirmations could have been a little bit of toxic positivity in the past. I’ve transformed that. I have always shared the real thing with affirmations, positive thinking and wanting the best for yourself that the only way to do that is to face the real thoughts and feelings that you’re having. If you try to convince yourself, “I am enough. I am worthy of everything. I am successful,” but in your head, you’re doubtful, afraid, unworthy and unloved which is most of us.

Who doesn’t have those feelings and its bullshit to act like everybody else is walking around that’s great and like, “Let me fake it?” It is a lot about noticing the thoughts and feelings I’m having. Being conscious of what I’m thinking and what I’m feeling and not that any of it is wrong but simply by paying attention to it, you also create so much compassion for yourself but that’s where my affirmations come from. It’s usually, “I have this doubt? I’m struggling now with feeling like people don’t care about me. What do I want to believe? I want to believe that I am loved, supported and worthy of love then stepping into that.” If you’re struggling with that then that’s why I love the language of tapping. Are you familiar with EFT tapping?

Yes. I love that.

A judgment can only have power over you if you believe it to be true. Share on X

I don’t do it that much but I’m good friends with Jessica Ortner of The Tapping Solution. I love the language of it like, “Even though I’m struggling with my worthiness, I still this.” They’re using the language of even though so naming the thing you’re struggling with, “Even though I’m stressed about money this month, I know that I’m safe.” It doesn’t even have to be like, “I know that money is coming to me with ease.” You can tell yourself those money, abundance things and that might work or it could even be like, “I am safe. I am taken care of.” I love that languaging.

The big part is it’s not everything be joyful, be happy, think positive. It’s tuned-into what you’re thinking and feeling, getting clear with yourself, being compassionate with yourself and then asking yourself, “What do I want to believe? How do I want to feel?” In the daily journal thing that I sent you, the new Daily Intentions, Connection, Reflection Journal, there are three I am statements are the start but I also say at the beginning where I give the example, those could be calling yourself into what you want for your future or it could be an affirming yourself.

It could be, “I am debt-free.” That’s something you’re struggling with. By you saying that I’m hoping it’ll trigger you into, “What am I going to do to be debt-free? Let me think of some action steps for that.” I am worthy, I am a podcast host or I’m a best-selling author. I was writing I’m a bestselling author for a couple of years and then every day, If I’m an author, I need to write a book proposal. It allowed me to think about what do I want for myself and give myself that space. What do I want to believe about myself? Starting to warm it up. Another part of it is choosing how do I want to feel? I want to feel calm, at ease and empowered. Even by naming the feeling, it can start to get you to pay attention to, how do I feel? I’m guessing you guys are now used to it too to paying attention to feelings and thoughts. I don’t think a lot of people are aware of how they feel regularly.

Isn’t that amazing? I look back on all the different stages of awareness that I’ve had in my life and it’s an ongoing growth process. Now that I’ve become more aware, I’m amazed at the times that I wasn’t as aware. I bet you in the future, I’ll feel the same way about my present self. I’m right along with you. Jason and I have talked about this in a bunch of episodes, how there are many incredible practices literally at our fingertips and pun intended more talking about tapping because you can tune into something that’s simple, powerful and yet I forget about it until you brought this up, Tricia. I’m like, “I forgot about tapping.” I also have the app that Jessica and her brother created. It’s absolutely amazing. You go to your phone, it tells you where to tap on your body, what to say and it plays music. How much easier could this get? It’s easy to get caught up in life and forget about all these amazing things that we have.

I was going to mention the app too which is free. You have to pay for other things but it’s free The Tapping Solution app. It’s right on your phone. Since I mentioned how many people aren’t aware of how they’re feeling, I’ve noticed I am aware but one easy trick to do is regularly ask yourself, “What am I feeling now?” Choosing how you’re going to feel. It’s like, “Every time I go to take a drink of water, every time I sit down for a meal,” because we need regular check-in points too because we’ll forget. If you’re not used to paying attention to how you feel and what you’re thinking then creating how am I feeling? I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed and peaceful. Start asking yourself throughout the day, “What am I feeling?”

One of my favorite Triciaisms is on my mug which is, “Fuck the shoulds. Do the wants.” I’ve been imbibing many wonderful tonics and beverages from that mug for many years, Thank you, Tricia. Are we allowed to talk about your book or is it mom?

We can totally talk about it.

That’s also the title of your new book, isn’t it?

Yes, F The Should. Do The Wants is the title.

I want to break this down for a second because prior to having you on, I realized in word at a homology geekery. I didn’t know what the word should mean. In colloquialism, in everyday use, I understand how should is referenced but the origin of the word should. I wanted to break it down and I have a reason for this. I did a little digging and apparently, the word should derive from old English which is a sceal which means to owe. It carries a sense of obligation or necessity. In the context of wants versus should, it’s interesting. Sometimes, I’ll look at that mug and I’ll be like, “Fuck the shoulds. I agreed to this thing to do. I’ve got this stuff on my to-do list and not shit. I should keep my word but I don’t want to do it. Is it a should, it’s not a want but I don’t want to break my word to this person. That’d be a breach and integrity. Fuck, I’ll do it.”

In my mind, I get extreme sometimes in the sense that’s like, “I’m going to take Tricia’s advice and I’m only going to do the wants and I’m going to destroy all the shoulds in my life.” I get back to this point of is it even possible because I have a business partner, family and perceived obligations that I could lump into the should category. My question, is it even possible to eliminate the shoulds in our life? Is there a method you would recommend for somehow alchemizing or transmuting shoulds into wants? How do we handle this in our lives? I feel like there are a lot of shoulds in my life and I can’t seem to break away from should completely.

That’s why I’m writing you a sixteen-chapter book in April 2022. There are many chapters on the deep implications of the word should and it’s deep into our language and mentality that most of the time, people don’t even realize that they’re using it or they don’t pay attention to why they’re doing the things that they’re doing like, “That’s what we do. That’s what this article told me. You want to start a podcast, these are the five steps you should follow. You should meditate.” For me, I did take the word out of my vocabulary. I use it only as an example. In 2008, when my father passed away, I suddenly got this internal message like, “You’re done with the word should.”

It honestly made no fucking sense to me because I was working as a live sound engineer at nineteen, touring the world like, “I have a month off. Let me go to Bali.” I was not someone that lived a life of shoulds? I was a little confused by this inner awakening but I was like, “I’m done with the word shoulds.” I stuck with it. I wouldn’t let the word come out of my mouth. It was mind-blowing how often the shoulds showed up. Over ten years later, how much they still show up every day for someone who eliminates the word but I can still feel the shoulds every single day. Whatever it is, I have this obligation. I said, “I was going to do this but now I don’t want to, so what should I do?”

It’d be like, “What do I want to do?” I believe you’re alluding to what is chapter nine but I don’t want to. One is an integrity chapter. It’s always looking at the why. I like to give the example of, I do not like to clean or to do the dishes but unless I can pay for someone to come do all of that all the time, which is not in my budget. With having kids also, the house is always a disaster. Cleaning never feels like a want for me but then I ask myself, “Why would I want to do this?” That’s one of the things I asked myself and then how will I feel once it’s done?

Those allow me to change from a should to a want. Everything that shows up to you as a should that you have a choice. It doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to say no to it. The F should be transforming into what, “I should leave early. Do I want to leave early? No, I don’t want to even go. I do want to go because I love them. I said I was going to show up for them.” It’s seeing everything as a choice and it feels more freeing and empowering. It’s when you’re saying an obligation or something comes up. Originally, you did want to do it and you said, “You wanted to.” Now that it’s here, “I’m tired and I’ve got this and that.”

Weighing it out and also saying it’s your choice. It might not be the end of the world if you canceled. I don’t know how many times people cancel on me and I’m like, “Thank you. I was hoping you would cancel.” If you’re showing up honestly and from integrity and saying with them, “When I said I would but now I’m feeling this, is that okay?” It’s also how you communicate. Most of the time, it’s like, “I do want to go.” You’re able to get yourself into a place of want. Often, we feel things are should and then we feel resentful that we’re doing it or it’s not our choice. We’re being drugged through life doing all of these shoulds but everything is a choice.

It’s interesting knowing that the history of how you and Jason met each other because one of the first people that brought this subject matter to my attention was Mollie Engelhart. I was interviewing her when she had first opened up Kind Kreme back before Sage was even open. I still have the video of it and in that video, Mollie says that one of the big lessons in her life was around shoulds. She said she was raised by her parents to not should on to each other.

She’s like, “If you don’t should on me, then I won’t on you.” The way that she phrased it was life-changing for me because I never heard anyone say that before. The context was at that time, she had honey in some of her ice creams and it was this debate about should or shouldn’t have fully vegan ice cream. It was this whole controversy. I don’t know if you guys remember this. Vegans loved to knit-a-hick and find all the things that are wrong with food for better or for worse. Honey was a huge topic back then with the Raw Food Movement, which was incredibly helpful. It’s an amazing example of how one person can say something to you and that one line will stick with you for the rest of your life.

I love Mollie. She’s such a badass.

I felt the same way. She’s always been that way. You see her in this video, she doesn’t care what other people think. You could look at that and think, “What a bitch? She’s doing whatever she wants and she doesn’t care if she’s pissing people off.” You could look at that and think, “That’s inspiring.” It’s like we’re talking about the beginning of this episode, you’re going to do what you believe you should do. You’re going to post on Instagram because your gut saying that this is what you should post. You’re going to like the food that you want.

MGU 165 | Life Without Should

Life Without Should: We’re just being drugged through life, doing all of these shoulds, but everything is a choice.

That says what I want to post.

It’s fascinating too, Tricia, when you bring the reminder of conscious languaging and how hard to even be aware of what we’re saying because you caught me saying that. I’m used to saying it that way that I don’t even feel the awareness around some words. Jason and I are incredibly passionate about conscious languaging. This episode is going to make a big impact on me so I can practice not using should as much. I absolutely agree but I’m out of practice with being careful about saying it.

What I’m saying in the book is to eliminate not just the shoulds from your life but the actual word. I had a lot of interests from a lot of different publishers but in the end, they would be like, “I don’t know because it’s about this word.” It’s about so much more because there are sixteen chapters going deep into what this word represents. It was interesting to see the excitement and I’m like, “It is but it isn’t.” I’m using one word. If you focus on one word, you’re going to end up being mindful of everything because that’s the only thing that I can figure out what makes me mindful of what I’m thinking, feeling, doing and I’m saying. It’s because years ago, I decided to stop saying this one word and it made me mindful of what I was thinking, doing, believing and why. It’s from tuning into this one word because it runs our fucking lives.

I want to take a little bit deeper dive and a preview of your book in the sense that this word being as layered, deep and meaningful as it is, what it brings up for me is in examining the word should for myself. It’s usually been tethered to a sense of people-pleasing to a sense of, I have a duty to fulfill someone’s expectation of me. A layer deeper than that it’s almost like if I don’t do this should then perhaps underneath the people-pleasing and the idea of fulfilling someone’s expectation of, “There’s Jason, he’s the entertainer, joyful or whatever.” I’m going to risk rejection, disapproval, being ignored which is something that we talk about on the show, the Dual Basic Urges that on one side human being is condition human behavior is trying to avoid rejection, disapproval, being ignored, being cast out by the tribe or we’re trying to get approval, attention, significance and importance.

If I look at it, Tricia and I would love both you and Whitney’s feedback on this of underneath the shoulds in our personal psychology or cosmology, looking at the shit that’s motivating. If I don’t do this, I might get reprimanded. If I don’t do this, this person might reject me. If I don’t do this, I won’t get the carrot of the money, the approval, or the fame that is on the other side of it. That’s what’s entangled in those shoulds.

The fear of being judged is just us living in our own judgments of ourselves. Share on X

That’s what it is. Every time you have to work around a should or you choose to work around a should, intentional languaging, you have to face yourself. What is it that I’m saying and believing? Why am I doing this? It’s scary every time because you’re putting yourself into these fears of not being enough, not living up to someone else’s expectation, not living up to your own expectation of being judged. We’re craving, loving, to be loved, to be accepted, to be seen and at the same time, the fear of being rejected. We’re stuck in this weird place where we’re not living and we’re not being ourselves because we’re afraid of what would happen if we were to do that.

It’s fucked up but that’s what we’re doing all day long. By looking at this one word, I like to describe it as a speed bump that makes you slow down and think about, what am I saying? Why am I saying this? Why am I going to reach out to this person? Why do I want their approval? What is this mean? It gives you a little bit of a speed bump because we’re fastly going through life and the motions of the shoulds of what we were taught to do, be, say and look like. We rarely slow down and assess it. I’m saying, look at one word and it’s going to show you a whole lot. It’s going to be challenging. I’m not saying it’s easy.

That’s why there are sixteen chapters. One of the biggest things I like shining a light on is we’re often this fear of being judged. What will people think of me if I say this? If I say, “No, I make a request, I change my mind, I wear this outfit, I decide I don’t need to lose ten pounds, I decide I don’t want to be vegan anymore. What will people think of me?” We’re often worried about what would other people think of us. The reality is we’re judging ourselves all day long. We are stuck in our own judgments of ourselves. The fear of being judged is us living in our own judgments of ourselves.

Oftentimes, we’re not even putting it out there. We’re living in this fear of being judged. I had huge breakthroughs with that a couple of different times. I got like, “I’m still alone in my apartment right now. Nobody’s judging me. These are my own thoughts. That means these are my own judgments. Do I believe that about myself? Is that what I want to believe? Shit.” A big lesson I’ve learned is that a judgment can only have power over you if you believe it to be true.

That means whether someone is actively judging you you’re a terrible person because you did this or you’re living in this fear of being judged, it sucks when someone judges you but it can never have a hold over you, a weight on you unless you too believe that to be true about yourself. That gives you a magnifying glass to then look at that, did you work on yourself to heal that. By confronting those thoughts and feelings about yourself, you get to do work, heal, recover and free yourself but it’s ourselves that are judging us.

One of the things that I wrestle with, for lack of a better term. Whitney, I’d love your input on this too as I put this question out there is, we talk a lot about affirmations and deprogramming, reprogramming our brain, neuroplasticity on this show. We talk about trauma, depression, spiritual healing, psychology and therapy. We cover a lot of territories and between the three of us, certainly, we have danced around and swarmed around a lot of training, seminars, teachers, mentors and the whole damn enchilada of healing, consciousness and the things we’re discussing.

A roadblock that I noticed for myself, especially dealing with my self-judgment. When I was diagnosed with clinical depression, my mental health and taking a good look at it, one of the factors that I feel has contributed to my mental health struggles are repetitive, incessant self-judgment and believing it. Needing to unravel that and reprogram myself in that way. I’ve entered a lot of healing processes in my life of thinking if I do X, Y and Z, if I work with this therapist, do the EFT, take the Tony Robbins course. Do this person, do the affirmations, use this journal, douche myself in Sacha Inchi oil, put goji berries up my ass and whatever the fuck then “be finally free of this, I’ll be healed.”

What I’ve noticed with certain things about myself is I don’t know that there’s necessarily an end-point of I’m healed from this thing or free of it forever as much as it is. I have new tools, methodologies or frameworks to deal with it rather than, “This is the end-point. I’m going to be healed and free from it forever.” How do you both feel about that conversation? I feel sometimes in our community, things are framed that way of doing this and this and then you’ll be healed from it, you’ll be free from it forever. Is that even possible?

Absolutely not.

I would agree too. It’s interesting now because I start to cringe when I see content like that. I was going through Instagram accounts from amazing people. I’m trying not to be judgmental about it but it doesn’t resonate with me. I was going through account after account and seeing people say the same things over and over again like, “If you do this then you’ll get that.” It’s this formulaic approach to life that is also well-meaning but is there a lot of consciousness in it. it’s the cliché perspective we have now that we’ve also talked about a ton on the show, people will say, “If you follow my formula, you’ll get rich.” When the person that’s teaching you is getting rich off of telling you that you’re going to get rich because of taking their course.

It’s almost like this multilevel marketing strategy or something, we’re going to have to have this endless chain of people trying to teach one another how to get wealthy, healthier and find more joy. We’re all saying the same things and profiting or benefiting off of each other. Is it helping? That’s such a big question, Jason. Tricia, I’m curious because of your work. I’m sure in your podcast, you come across people with that approach and very well-meaning. What is your perspective on it? How do you feel about somebody who’s trying to present a formula? To piggyback on Jason’s question, does any of it work in the way that that person might be positioning it?

It’s such bullshit and it’s creating more self-hatred, self-loathing and more people feeling like they’re not enough. Whether you do these five steps and you make money or meditation will cure everything. I pick on meditation a lot. It does help a lot but it feels like it’s another should. “I should meditate longer. I should do trends. This person has whatever has this.” We’re constantly comparing ourselves and making ourselves wrong. That’s another point of my podcast and why I go through people’s journeys.

I’m telling people, “End with the now.” I’m clear with everybody. No one who has ever come on me with some formula or whatever because I don’t do that bullshit. People try to pitch me in a certain way like, “I will come on and talk about that.” I’m like, “No, you won’t. I find you interesting so we’ll have you on but this isn’t what we’re talking about. The top five ways to do this or how to heal yourself from that.” “I’m going to talk about your journey.” “How did you heal yourself? What do you still struggle with?” We’re all humans and another thing that I try to be a big voice for is we’re setting ourselves up for more self-hatred, self-harm and being mean to ourselves.

If we do all of these things and we’re going to be good, there’s nothing that’s going to protect us from grief, loss, harm and shitty stuff happening. To believe that if I eat this certain way, I exercise, I meditate and I do all these conferences, I’m going to be good, you’re lying to yourself and you’re going to keep feeling bad about yourself and lying to yourself. That’s why I’m trying to always be like, “Feel your feelings. You can have grief and joy.” People can feel like, “I suffered a loss but then I had joy. Is that wrong?”

How can we be grateful during this terrible time that you’re allowed to have all of the emotions and that you can live your biggest dream and you’re still going to have hardships? There’s not like you do this one thing and everything, you do this one thing or the twenty-step thing or you drink the celery juice, you do this and everything is going to be great. Do what works for you, it’s going to evolve and you can do everything fucking right, you’re still going to have hard days. That doesn’t mean anything about you. That’s life.

It is such a capitalist perspective too because many of us have been trained in the past years of like, “Offer somebody a formula. That’s how you can make money if you have a formulaic book or courses.” Jason and I have been down this path. We’re the first to admit that we thought that was the way that we should operate as business owners. We still have some unraveling to do. As I was talking about conscious languaging, it’s an ongoing thing for us to go back, look at our old courses and examine the things that we’ve said on social media because I’ve done all of those things too.

It’s not about being this perfect leader all the time. It’s realizing that we too have work to do on ourselves, languaging, marketing and positioning. We’re constantly experimenting and trying to figure out what works, what feels good and what doesn’t. Going back to your statement, Tricia, about how it’s easy for people to feel bad when they try something and it doesn’t work, it’s like the dieting industry. I think back to myself when I was a teenager and trying to figure out my body. Not only did I feel awful about it but I was desperately trying all of these different products from diet foods to equipment, gym memberships, watching videos, buying the VHS tapes, DVDs and all that stuff.

I’m constantly trying new things like makeup, clothes, on and on, I didn’t want to be doing any of that bullshit but I felt like I had to because I never felt good enough. If you step back and examine it, it’s getting us to spend more and more money and then that’s setting you up for your whole life. If you don’t become aware, that is the way your life is. We had a comment in one of our courses that I was trying to figure out how to address. The other side of this, Tricia, that I’d love your approach to is what do you do and how do you handle somebody who says something without that same level of awareness that you have?

A Life Without “Should”: Claim More Joy With The Life That You Want With Tricia Huffman Share on X

Let’s say someone comes on your podcast and they start getting into that formulaic thing. Certainly, you can ask people not to talk about something but they might be in the habit and they get into it. How do you steer them out of that? I would approach it gently. You don’t have to be gentle. What about a student or somebody on Instagram? For example, I didn’t know how to handle this person in one of our programs who was commenting about how she felt she should be exercising a certain amount.

She was beating herself up for not doing a certain amount of exercise. I made some comment like, “You need to be gentle with yourself or you could benefit from some rest, you can start over and do some more fitness in a few days or whatever, perhaps it’s time for a break.” She was attached to what she should be doing. She feels like she’s lazy. It was one of those moments where I thought, “Is my aim here to change her opinion?” There was this moment of almost wanting to get a debate with her about being more gentle, loving and not feeling she should or shouldn’t do something but I couldn’t figure out how to fully approach it once she pushed back on me again. I didn’t want to come across as some know-it-all coach that was trying to force her to see things my way.

My approach is always to guide them back to them. If she’s saying I should be exercising and then it could be looking at, “Why is it that you feel that way? Is it because you don’t feel that you’re enough or is that because of messages that you’ve received your entire life? Why do you feel you should be exercising more? Is that what your body wants? What if you tried giving yourself a rest?” I try to not be like I know what to do. I try to always guide people back to themselves. Even she’s like, “I want this result or something.” I’m trying to be gentle in that thing. She probably has no awareness of she wants to look a certain way, be a certain weight or whatever it is, which is all based on should conditionings.

If it was like, “Let me press a button. I feel fit when I wear this and I can put on all clothes with these.” That sounds great. Let’s all do that but it’s the reality of, “I also want to enjoy my life, not eat raw vegetables and exercise for fourteen hours a day so I’m going to choose this.” You’re not going to feel that great if that’s what you’re doing every day. I try to always guide people back to themselves. One good thing especially when it’s a should be coming up as is this coming from you or is this coming from messaging that you’ve been receiving your whole life? How do you feel in your body? What’s making you feel that way?

I’m realizing that many of my motivations in my life have come from a feeling of not-enoughness, just blunt. This belief system that, “I have fucking abs. I have a certain number in my bank account and a certain car and blah, blah, blah,” then I’ll finally be worthy of love but examining human psychology and how many people in the world, not myself, are motivated by some form of not-enoughness, comparison, lack and limitation. That’s the comment I made about high achievers who came from some substantive trauma in their childhood that is like, “I’m going to be rich, powerful, famous, wealthy and successful that I’ll never get hurt again. Fuck you all.”

It’s a giant chip on their shoulder to some degree. I don’t want to be motivated anymore by the chip on my shoulder I’ve had most of my life because I’ve had a huge chip on my shoulder. I’ve had a huge sense of not-enoughness from the trauma from my childhood that I’ve continued to work on. In taking ownership of it, I realized that a lot of my desire for success, notoriety, striving, some it has been to support people in their journey, help them eat healthier, help them with their depression, mental health and all that. A huge chunk of it was I’ve got to be this thing to prove my worthiness to the world. If we’re not motivated by that, how do we retrain ourselves to be motivated by, joy, service, generosity? How do we begin to recondition ourselves? I find that it is fucking hard to let go of this thing that’s motivated me for most of my life.

You’re not alone. Your situation is definitely unique to you but we’re all being motivated by the feelings of not-enoughness every day. Every day, I have to call myself out like, “Tricia, this is a version of you feeling like you’re not enough. This is that.” That’s why I was called out when you said it’ll magically go away. It doesn’t. We’re humans and we have wounds, stories and our minds are active. Our minds are built-in defense mechanisms like doubts, fears and worries. That stuff doesn’t have to be labeled as negative.

That stuff is there to protect you and you don’t have to be afraid of them but it’s like, “I see you doubt, fear, worry stress.” You don’t also have to buy into them. Being aware of what you’re thinking and feeling and then assess it. Do I need this? No. Is that true? No. A lot of should-want stuff goes into the book I will go into and looking at what is motivating your choices. You said a lot of the work that you want to do is because you do want to help people heal themselves and support them. That originally started with from your not-enoughness but that doesn’t mean that you still can’t serve people and it’s looking out, showing up and seeing that’s why you’re motivated.

Why did you want to record this show? I know you wanted to talk to me because I’m awesome. It’s looking at the why. In my book, I don’t have a lot of deep work. There’s work in every chapter but most of the work is questions to ask yourself because that’s what’s we’re getting curious a lot about what am I doing? What am I feeling? What am I thinking? Why? What’s motivating this choice? I did a video on calling bullshit, I’m being a good person. How often are we like, “I’ll help you out? I’ll send you this. I’ll have you on my podcast.” “Hopefully, that means they’ll have me on their podcast.”

What are you doing because you truly want to and it feels good? What are you doing? It’s because you’re expecting something in return. Expecting something in return could be, “They like me. They think I’m a good person.” That still can be a tricky, slippery slope because then you’re attached to some result. If I do this for them, if I say yes to this then they will like me. You can get it all in your head if they don’t send you a text message to say thank you or whatever it is. Being aware of what you’re doing and why. Why do you want to do the podcast? Why do you want to create the courses? It’s because you want to support people and you want to heal them. You show up for that want and that why not because I’m struggling with my enoughness so I have to prove myself.

Both can be true but coming from the, “I’m here because I want to make a difference.” People even go to shitty jobs around the country and the world. We’re lucky. We might be piecemealing money month-by-month or successful. There are people going to hourly jobs and they hate it. Every day it feels like, “Why I want to go to work?” You can be a checkout person at a store and you are still serving people. I want to go because I support people, I help people get their groceries, feed their families and that feels good. Whatever your job and your place in the world is, you can find joy in it and find a want in it.

If it’s terrible and you are forcing yourself every day to find the want, then look at what else can I do. Allowing yourself choices and changes but everybody can choose like I want to serve people. I want to show up. It brings me joy. Things can bring you joy even if now they’re not. It could be pulling these layers away and looking at where you’re stuck in comparison of not-enoughness and all of that stuff that other people might not be thinking about it. It’s you and your mind of, “I’m not enough because I work here, I wear these clothes, I’m twice the size of everyone else here.” Whatever it is. How are you judging yourself? It’s something to look at every single day because that is stealing your joy away from you for sure. I can go on real long tangents and rants.

MGU 165 | Life Without Should

Life Without Should: There’s nothing that’s going to protect us from grief, from loss, from harm, from shitty stuff happening.

It brings up an interesting thing that I’ve been noticing in 2020. Whitney and I have talked about specific examples of what I would call joy shaming or celebration shaming. I’ll get into a sub aspect of the two. Certain people online have been posting during this pandemic like, “We bought this amazing new house. I got a brand new Porsche. I got this new thing.” It’s celebrating something material success in their life. Digging into the comments that a lot of people are like, “That’s amazing. We’re grateful for your success.”

An equal amount of comments in some cases of like, “Are you tone deaf? There are 100 million people on unemployment, the economy is tanking, there are people waiting in bread lines, soup kitchens and the homeless numbers. Why would you post this new house, this new Porsche or this new thing?” I don’t know if joy shaming is the right terminology. I’m labeling it like that because I don’t know what the term is but it’s interesting to notice it.

Haters going to hate, always. You’re going to have people poo-pooing you no matter what online but it seems that there are different permutations of it amidst the backdrop of the economic downturn and people struggling of like, “How dare you to celebrate this thing publicly. Don’t you know how many people are struggling?” Whitney, you and I have talked about it but I’m curious, Tricia if you’ve noticed that. We’ll both have your take on it. I’m curious what you both think about this joy shaming that’s been going on.

It's up to us to claim our worth our value, our success, our fulfillment, our enoughness every day, sometimes every moment of the day. Share on X

I haven’t witnessed joy shaming because I don’t dig into people’s comments. I get both sides and I’m always going to be for support. I can get that’s a little tone-deaf but at the same time they work their butt off and they can afford that and that’s great. That’s why it’s part of the new Daily Intention, Connection, Reflections that I sent you that we mentioned earlier. I have a place in this daily template that says daily wins enjoy. For us to always every day be looking at what’s a win and what brought me joy. The fact that you bought a Porsche or a new car or I got a book deal, that’s huge. Celebrating the daily wins and joys in your life, no matter what your situation and income status are where can you find joy every single day?

It can be such small things like, “My kids ate their dinner, were occupied for twenty minutes doing their thing, I got to read a book, I reply back from this person that said yes to being on my podcast or I listened to my favorite song.” Me putting the daily wins enjoy in there is also with the hope that if you now are realizing that, I’m supposed to write a daily win or joy. You’re going through your days reminding yourself to celebrate things, to find joy or to prioritize your joy. I’m not joy shaming anybody about what they’re doing. That can sure be tone-deaf but instead of judging somebody else then go celebrate something for yourself. Maybe you saved $5 on something you’ve been wanting to order. That’s a win.

I love those small wins even when you said about how great it is when someone says yes to being on your podcast because I get excited when we have a guest like you on here. It truly is something to feel grateful for because it’s time-consuming to sit down and talk with someone in a while and you’re giving your energy, time, knowledge and you’re sharing so much. Sometimes, not “getting” much back from it. All of those small things are important and we talk about a lot how helpful it is to feel grateful each day and that builds upon our joy.

Going back to this shame side of things, I’m very sensitive to anything shame related because I’ve experienced a lot of shame in my life. I wasn’t even fully aware of that. I get triggered when I see somebody who’s publicly shaming. The cancel culture is incredibly challenging for me but anything of like, “Let’s all jump on the bandwagon and shame somebody collectively. Let’s embarrass them. Let’s put them out there and point out all of their flaws.” Even if somebody is doing something that I don’t agree with, I am strongly against publicly shaming anyone. It’s such an awful thing.

I have nightmares dreams reoccurring about doing something embarrassing because I have this deep fear of being publicly shamed. I notice it a lot. This reminds me of this note of shaming around joy. I don’t know if I have seen too much of it but one thing that comes to mind is there’s this new trend I’ve seen on TikTok called Eat The Rich. It’s all about shaming people for doing perceived rich things. However, you wanted to define that because it can certainly mean different things to different people. Somebody who doesn’t feel they’re rich, seeing somebody else who they do perceive as rich and they’re trying to shame them for that like, “I’m going to shame you because you have a car that only rich people have. I’m going to shame you because you did this or that. You bought this or you did this experience.”

I’m thinking why are we at this point where we are judging people, trying to embarrass them, put them down and drag them down because they’ve done something, bought something or got to a certain point in their life. The aim is trying to make ourselves feel better by doing things like that but it doesn’t make us feel that much better. I feel temporarily good if I see somebody I envy and something bad happens to them. A lot of people, myself included, there’s a moment of like, “Thank goodness, their life isn’t perfect. I see them as human beings and they’re making a mistake.” There’s this momentary pleasure that I felt. I always feel guilty about that pleasure because why should I feel good that somebody else is feeling bad or experienced a hardship that they don’t normally feel. That’s such a twisted habit that’s perpetuated. I’d love to see a lot less of it.

A big point of my should versus want thing is we’re looking outside of ourselves or what will we look to other people and what do people expect of us. One is bringing us back to us. It’s also looking at our lives and the people that are doing all of that shaming, they’re choosing to spend more time thinking about what other people are doing than themselves. It’s like, “Let me distract myself from what I’m feeling but let me make fun of this person.” If they had all the money then they wouldn’t have bought that car or that thing. Who cares that person worked their ass off or they inherited a bunch of money but that’s their life?

They looked out and let them do what they want. Why are you wasting your time that way? Something I wanted to bring up because you were mentioning shame and joy together and it made me think about how often we don’t allow ourselves to have joy about certain things or feel joy on things because of this fear of what other people will think. We allow ourselves to steal joy from ourselves. It can be something as stupid as liking a boy band. When I was growing up like, “That’s not cool. I’m not allowed into it. I’m not allowed to eat this food.” We’re so stuck on what we should be doing or what will everybody else think about ourselves that we don’t even allow ourselves to get joy from the things that do bring us joy because of what will people think if they knew that brings me joy.

That’s something that I started to see in my own life in the last couple of years. I’m still noticing things like, “What if people know I watch this show? What will that mean about me?” Who the fuck cares? The guilty pleasures of food and watching. They’re over that languaging. It’s like, “I like this. There’s nothing wrong with that.” That’s the fear of being judged and not being enough if people knew that I liked this. We’re constantly living in this fear of what other people will think so we’re not allowing ourselves to experience joy.

It also reminds me of there is an evolution happening and I do notice that some platforms like TikTok which tend to skew towards the younger generation. They are on the plus side a little bit less shameful. I am often amused at what people post on that platform because it’s such a place of freedom of expression and how people will admit to finding pleasure. In fact, there’s this hilarious trend there. It’s making me laugh hard thinking about this. Jason, I don’t think I’ve sent this to you.

It’s something my sister and I are always laughing over. It’s women talking about how they’re doing “hot girl shit.” In the video, they do the exact opposite of what they perceive as something a hot girl would do. They’re admitting the basic things that they find joy in but they would never normally admit to anyone. They’re often grotesque but amusing and relatable. The one immediately off the top. It’s such childish humor. To your point, Tricia, why do we associate certain funny things as being childish?

One of these examples is a girl examining dandruff in her hair. The number of comments in that video of women boldly saying, “I do this too but I’ve never admitted it to anybody.” It was all this bonding happening in the comment section of women being like, “I do that. We don’t associate, we think hot girls don’t do this.” It is amazing because what would happen if we felt more comfortable sharing these “shameful” embarrassing things that give us pleasure. It might be something like picking a piece of dandruff out of your hair.

Who would ever want to admit that but then you go on this platform and you’re like, “Thousands of people are admitting that? Maybe it’s okay that I find pleasure in this as grotesque as we’ve been conditioned to think of it.” The other thing that is amazing and it’s a little bit in the marketing capitalist type of realm but I still think it’s cool, more and more on Instagram, I’m seeing women talking about their sexuality and promoting sex toys.

This is a relatively new thing on Instagram. They might be trying to crack down on it but people are finding a way to publicly talk about the sex toys that they use. That’s something I haven’t seen a ton of until women talking about which toys they use and whatever and proudly talking about their sexuality. That is a pleasure, of course. It’s opening up these conversations about women feeling proud of pleasure and not hiding it away in their bedside table so that no one will ever know what they do on their own.

When you see somebody else talking about it, it somehow gives you permission to be like, “You like that show too. Not even that you picked him, you have dandruff too. You’ve pleasure yourself too.” For some reason, we feel so isolated and alone and that’s what makes us feel it’s wrong to do or like something or to be who we are. That’s why I try to be transparent about feeling the feelings and all of these things. It’s ridiculous to act everything is all this one way. It’s amazing. That stuff is being shared. Hopefully, it’s freeing up a lot of stuff and people that they didn’t even know that they’re living in shame about.

MGU 165 | Life Without Should

Life Without Should: What are you doing because you truly want to and it feels good, and what are you doing because you’re expecting something in return?

If you look it up, the meme is, “I can’t talk right now. I’m doing hot girl shit.” The hot girl shit is them doing something like picking their dandruff. I love watching those types of videos.

Is there hot guy shit too? Can I take this somewhere?

I have not seen it, Jason. Perhaps you can start a trend.

I feel like hot guy shit would be picking shit out of my belly button. Excavating stuff out of my belly button would be #HotGuyShit.

Girls do that too. It’s gender-neutral.

I’m looking forward to seeing how much my hairline has receded. That’s hot guy shit or plucking random stray eyebrow hairs. This is a gender-neutral thing. I’m going to work on #HotGuyShit. I’ll get back to you guys on this one. It needs to be born. In all seriousness, this brings up something interesting for me in reflecting on stereotypes for a macro category. Even though I crashed it, I had my motorcycle for a while. One comment that I would get from people buy-and-buy was interesting. This came up regularly enough for me to take inventory of it. It was some version of you don’t seem like the kind of guy who would ride a motorcycle.

That would inspire a lot of curiosity for me like, “What do you mean I’m not the type of guy that would seem to ride a motorcycle.” They’re like, “You seem like a feminine, sensitive and blob.” Whatever their answer was. I’d be like, “Feminine, sensitive guys can’t ride a motorcycle?” It’s so interesting how certain ways of being when we are doing things that make us joyful can elicit different responses in people. For me, that’s been a thing that I’ve dealt with my whole life. I remember being young, ever since middle school, people thinking that I was gay.

I don’t ever take offense to it. I’ve found it fascinating that, “You’re a dude who likes cats. You like singing Queen, you’re like Freddie Mercury, show tunes, you did musical theater,” and all this stuff. Whatever their thing is equals gay. I’m like, “I like kittens, show tunes and Freddie Mercury doesn’t mean I’m gay. I also like shooting guns, motorcycles and fast cars. Would you classify that as whatever hetero?” My ultimate point is there’s tremendous power in owning the shit that brings us joy and we like and not giving a fuck how other people interpret it. I want to go on record and I want to start some hot guy shit and say, “I can snuggle with kittens on my motorcycles, shoot guns, smoke weed, do psychedelics and driving fast cars. That’s what I like, God damn it.” All at the same fucking time.

Celebrate the daily wins in your life. That’s how you will find joy every single day. Share on X

Doesn’t it make you feel better saying those things out loud, Jason? I feel joy hearing you share that.

It does. It is claiming it, as you say, Tricia. This is who I am. You can think whatever the fuck you want about me. I am who I am. I’m not even sure who I am sometimes but I know what I like and I’m going to celebrate what I like.

My favorite word is and. You can like kittens and motorcycles. That’s all based on the should things like we’re programmed to believe this person does this so they should be gay. If he likes this, he shouldn’t like this. Owning it and claim it. Something I learned a long time ago too is that people might question you about taking time off, riding motorcycles or whatever the thing is. A judgment thing can overpower you if it’s something you believe to be true. If you’re happy with your choices and if somebody is like, “You ride motorcycles too.” You could go into self-doubt or what does that mean and be like, “I do this and whatever.” You’re stuck in this weird energy of shame or and they are like whatever.

You’re like, “I do love cats. I also love motorcycles.” If you are owning your shit, they sure can still judge you but it doesn’t have as much power, effect or hold over anybody else. When you’re owning what brings you joy and your life choices, you’re claiming it, there’s not much space for people to put their sense in. They’ll quickly realize, “That’s who he is.” They’ll go gossip to somebody else but who the fuck cares. All of this transformation in my life and me going from being a sound engineer to giving up the shoulds and creating myself as a geologist was because my father passed away very suddenly. We do not know what is going to happen tomorrow. It’s stupid that we’re living our lives in such fear of what other people will think.

I had a conversation with two dear friends of mine who live in Philadelphia. We had a little FaceTime catch-up and we were talking about this desire to blame things outside of ourselves for our misery or our chaos. In the middle of the FaceTime call, they held up the latest issue of Time Magazine and on the cover, it said, “2020, The Worst Year Ever.” I was laughing because I’m like, “There are some people who were around in the middle ages during the black plague that may debate that notion about the worst year ever.” It was interesting to me on two levels. It was interesting on one level of, “Fucking 2020. Fuck this year, it’s been such shit. All this bad stuff happened.”

Whatever our version of that is. There’s been so much of like, “It’s your fault 2020, fuck you.” The other thing I gleaned from it was this comparative thing of worst year ever. Without judging Time Magazine, it was interesting to notice this collective victim consciousness of blaming 2020 for all of this. It’s not 2020’s fucking fault. The other side of it is like, “This is the shittiest year ever. 2021 is going to be much better.” We don’t know that. I don’t know that I have a question in this as much as it is an observation as we get close to the wrapping of what do you think this is about of people blaming 2020 for how shitty life is or even thinking life is shitty? That’s another side of it. It could be shittier.

It’s fascinating because it sounds like it happens every year. I remember, Jason, when you and I were marketing our course, The Consistency Code in 2019 for the first time, we had that great video that you and I latched on to of the guy falling down the stairs and being okay. We are using that as an example of like, “Was 2019 a hard year for you? Was this how bad your year was?” It’s funny looking back on that now because we could use that exact same video to ask people, “Was 2020 this bad for you?” You could say that every year. It’s a cliché thing. It’s like forgetting pain. Tricia, you can back this up. I’ve heard that you forget how painful giving birth is. The brain is designed to forget. Was that true for you? Do you remember vividly how painful that experience was?

Yes, especially because my first was so much more painful than my second. I had back labored with my first. That analogy doesn’t necessarily work for me. I remember how painful the first was. 2020 did have some circumstances that we haven’t seen. I’ve been saying things in posts like, “What a year?” I don’t say like, “Fuck 2020 or 2020 is the worst.” I do mention like, “What a year it’s been.” You’re right. Every year at the end of the year, people were like, “I can’t wait to get the new year. Next year is my year.”

The fact that we are saying 2020 is our year at the beginning of this year. We all thought that this was going to be a great year. It’s a whole new decade. We had no idea what was in store for us a year ago before 2020 began.

I did even see something on Instagram somebody sharing like, “I’m going to need to see something about 2021 first before I declare it as my year.” It was making fun of that. I do think that’s funny. 2020 was a tough year for me but it also was an amazing year in some ways. No matter how much it’s affected you and your livelihood, it’s affected everyone in different ways. For sure, it’s been a challenging year. I don’t think blaming anything on a year because that’s also the mindset work, power of choice, show what they want and finding joy every day. I try to not be blaming anything else for how I’m feeling.

Some things erupted in my life and I was like, “Let me stay in bed all day.” Were tough but also even in those days, there were still moments of bliss or whatever. I was trying to reference I could blame someone. That happened because someone else said this or did this. I could blame it on them but I mostly come with the fact of, “That’s life.” The week that my book deal was closing and getting offers which is something I dreamed of forever my life was also blowing up in different ways. Blowing up like bombs dropping.

Blowing up like, “Look at me, I’m making it.” I laughed at it. I was like, “Why this week? This dream is coming true.” At the same time, I was like, “Of course, why wouldn’t it happen this week?” It’s life with the highs come lows, back to the and. A lot of us had a more challenging year in 2020. It doesn’t mean the next year is going to be great. We’re not owed anything. That’s why I’m intentional about celebrating daily wins, doing the joys, choosing wants over shoulds because we can’t control a lot in life. There’s a lot of things that are going to happen to us no matter how prepared we are, mindful we are, healthy we are, how much money we have, shit’s going to happen to us.

Enjoy your fucking life in any way you can by choosing the wants, stop judging yourself, allowing yourself to experience joy, not feeling ashamed for it and making the choices you want to make and not what you think everybody else thinks you should be doing. There is some control in your life. You can’t control everything. You’re going to have upsets but you can still have a lot of fucking joy at the same time.

MGU 165 | Life Without Should

Life Without Should: When you constantly live in fear of what other people will think, you’re not allowing yourself to experience joy in your life.

What a wonderful note to end on. It also ties back into this idea that we shouldn’t feel shame if we felt joy in 2020. To Jason’s point, this whole fear of admitting when things are going well when it feels like everybody else is struggling and knowing that it can be both at the same time is such an amazing message, Tricia. Thank you for reminding us as the host of the show but also reminding our audience of that as well. It’s a wonderful thing to talk about especially because your episode is coming out right as we transition from 2020 to 2021. Keeping this in mind as we embark upon a new year and whatever that might bring for us.

All of Tricia’s wonderful affirmation products I have on my desk right in front of me, literally. I don’t even want to call it a to-do list because that would diminish your creation. It’s an I will list and a Fuck Yeah, I got this list which I still use all the time, Tricia, I absolutely treasure you as a friend, someone in the world that constantly inspires me with your work and how real, human and vulnerable you always show up to be. Thank you for being with us, Tricia. This is one of our favorite episodes. I said to us because I’m speaking for Whitney but I’m going to hedge my bets and think it’s one of her favorite episodes too. Am I right?

You’re right, Jason. I would agree. Not because Tricia is still with us.

You agree because you feel like you should agree.

It’s been good having you, Tricia. Honestly, you are a ball of joy and I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. I’m excited. I’m thankful that you are releasing this into the world because I want to get my damn hands on it.

Do we have to wait until 2022?

You know that’s how publishing works. It’s going to go by fast, I promise you. Thank you both for having me. We don’t even know each other in person too much but I’ve always loved and treasured you both. I love that you still are working together. I’m grateful to have this real conversation, talk to you both and keeping it real.

Thanks for getting uncomfortable with us. Dear reader, we hope you dive into all of Tricia’s glorious work because it is delightful and has helped my life in many ways. Until next time, we will see you with another episode real soon.


Important Links

*We use affiliate links in our show notes. This means we receive a small sales commission if you purchase an item based on our recommendation.


 About Tricia Huffman

MGU 165 | Life Without ShouldTricia Huffman, aka Your Joyologist, urges you to claim your life and own who you are every single day via her empowering social media presence, Claim it! Podcast, YouTube series, affirmation based product line, daily inspiration APP, and everything she does. She is a rock-and-roll roadie at heart and by the first career who specializes in working with those in the public eye to keep them in integrity with who they want to be in the world and for themselves.



Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join the This Might Get Uncomfortable community today: