TGG Episode 105 – Tricia Huffman
Mon, Jul 24, 2023 6:14PM • 1:27:53
shoulds, people, life, realized, feel, living, talking, fear, love, judged, happened, tricia, give, day, book, thoughts, choosing, idea, read, choice
Tricia Huffman, Clint Murphy
Clint Murphy 00:00
Tricia, welcome to the growth guide. Where I’d love to start with you today is if you can give our listeners a brief bio about yourself if they may not know you yet.
Oh, a brief bio. I don’t know why anytime somebody asked me that about like, Oh, what am I gonna say there’s so much to say. Ah, so people know me as Your Joyologist. That’s the like, brand name I’ve gotten I’ve used for over a decade ago. And I my bio would be basically I’m all about being honest with yourself, and being real in your life, so that you then can be choosing your life every single day. So it’s not just about claiming joy, but like being really present to your thoughts and the realities of life. And then you’re alive today. So please, enjoy it. I don’t know if you want like background, but I’m like.
Clint Murphy 00:52
No, that’s perfect in lines. Interestingly, with a tweet I put out yesterday, which was, every day you wake up, remember, today is the best day to be alive. And so just being in that present moment. And so the your book that we’re going to be talking about today is F the Shoulds, Do the Wants and where I want to start on the book with you, partially because you bolded it for me was the quote, “when you are always looking outside of yourself for validation, you will always be chasing it no matter how much you get.” Can we start there and unpack that one for the listeners?
Tricia Huffman 01:30
Yeah. And you saying it is funny, even though it’s my quote, I got chills listening to it. Because it’s like, because it’s something again, like I think I also am very clear in everything I do and say like, nothing is like, Oh, I got this. And now I’m good, right? It’s like everything is this continuum so it’s like, Yes, I know that. And I’ve told myself and other people so many times, and then it’s this to like, right? Because I think we’re programmed to be looking outside of ourselves. And from a very young age, you know, I sort of give you I didn’t really give you a bio I gave you like my, I guess intention and to what I do. But I at a very young age realized that I was constantly like I didn’t want to fit in. But I also didn’t want to stand out like I really just wanted to be myself. But I wouldn’t let myself be myself. So I was like constantly seeking approval. Like I’m Vic talking like Junior High days, if somebody asked me like, not even like, what’s your favorite song? But what song are you listening to? Like, What song did you listen to on the way to class? I couldn’t just answer because I would be going through these files of what should I say that would make them think I’m cool. Or like, you know, like looking for approval, like of that sort of thing. So I’d be like, looking through these files of like, if I say this, is that good, I craved approval so bad. But at the same time, I wasn’t ever allowing myself to actually be who I was, or have my own opinion. So like, what did he even matter if I was getting these people’s approval, but it wasn’t true to me. And then later in life, I remember working closely with someone or just I really was like, how come like I don’t feel like I’m being seen and appreciated. Like I just want this person to like really acknowledge how much they do for them, like really feeling this deep pain of wanting to be seen. And then out of the blue with no knee prodding or trying to be you know, like, like laying clues or anything. I got the best acknowledgement, like from the heart deepest thing, and I couldn’t accept it like I was so like, no big deal. And not just me trying to be like, minimize it. I realized I still was like, I wanted it so bad. And I saw it myself. But then when somebody else gave it to me, it no part of it sunk into like, I feel seen. I feel valued. And I felt it too, like what I just got, I just got what I wanted, I just this person delivered it to me. And I realized that it’s never gonna matter unless I’m giving it to myself. And even in some way I wanted it because I was like, Why won’t this person that you know, value, but then once I got it, I still was like, oh, no, but I’m not enough where I could be better. There was still this clinging to not being enough. Even once I got the validation I was craving. And so that’s when I felt like nobody can ever give it to us. We do need it. I like I’m always like it, but it’s us at the beginning and at the end of the day that has to be like Oh, yes, I’m proud of myself. Oh, yes. I’m happy with the choices I’m making.
Clint Murphy 04:27
Yes. And it seemed in your writing that one of the pivotal moments for you was when your dad passed away tragically. And you started to realize this strong internal message of I need to eliminate the word should from my life, not just the idea of not living the shoulds or shoulding yourself, but you said to take it one step further and absolutely kick it out of your life. And then something that seemed to tie to that was this idea of the subconscious conditioning. So are our wants, actually our wants or has society and our upbringing influenced us to think we want these wants, when they’re really still shoulds? Yeah, what does that? What did that all look like for you at that point in your life?
Tricia Huffman 05:18
Because that’s what it’s funny. It’s like sometimes we think we’re going after what we want, but it’s really what we think we should want. It’s like, it’s so there’s so much to unravel. Yes. So, yeah, so I always talk about there’s two key moments in my life. The one happened when I was 15. And I sort of had a breakdown after I realized, like I said, I was like, analyzing everything. And at that moment, I chose to live my life, like I actually did often think about ending my life. And nobody would have guessed that from me or have known that. And so at that point on, I chose to, like, I’m going to try really hard to make my opinion of myself matter more than what I think other people think of me. And that really changed my life. And so I moved through my life doing what I wanted, like, okay, it was it’s painful in many ways to be like, but I want this Oh, but they might not like me, or they might this. Anyway, so when my dad passed away, I already thought I had been living a life of wants I had pursued my dream career, which was to be a live sound engineer, which was very challenging, but I made it happen and was touring with, like, icons. I traveled on my own time, like, I really was living a life of my wants. But when my dad passed away, it shook me up, and I just wanted to shake people on the street. Like, I basically felt like, Oh, I’m doing a great job. I’m doing a great, look at me living my life and taking care of myself and doing my life . But like, what about these people, it was no longer enough for me to just be living my life. So I really like wanted to shake people, like you’re alive today, like, are you living your life or just going through the motions. And I ended up giving up my dream career when I was meant to be on tour for another, like nine months at least. And I had no idea what I was going to do. But I just wanted to shake people up. And I got this message to give up the word should. And that’s where it started. And I honestly don’t know where that message came from. And it’s an I was like, Okay, I’ll try that out. That’s gonna be super easy, because I don’t live a life of shoulds. Like, yeah, why not try that? And it changed my life. Because just by paying attention, because yeah, because when I took it on, I stuck to the actual word, not just the idea of shoulds. And I was shocked at how much that word, tried to come out of my mouth. And then was like, in my thoughts, in my feelings. So when I got so tuned into the actual word, and not just the idea of shoulding on myself, or doing the shoulds, that’s when I realized, whoa, I have no idea. We have no idea how much we are doing the subconscious things that we’re not actually asking ourselves what we want, do I want to do this or not? It’s just like an automatic should and I was so committed that I would be like, what should and I would sit there and be like, I don’t understand what else do I say? Wait a minute, like, what do I say? If I’m not going to say should and that’s where I ended up realizing the best choice for me I felt was swapping it out with wants and that then brought me back in like driver’s seat of my life, like, Okay, what should I do? What should we eat? We should do this, what should we do? It’s like, we’re constantly looking outside of ourselves. And like just going through these like databases of shoulds that we’ve collected from society from growing up from what we’ve seen. And so we think we should be doing as humans, as people, to get success to be happy, all of these things to be well, right. Like, we’re just collecting this information, and then not really like, huh, how does this feel to me? So by me, just focusing on that one word, I realized and so I gave that word up over a decade ago, I commit to it so strong lead even when I’m reading my kids books, I don’t say the word I substituted out, because I’m afraid if I just start saying it, then I’ll lose this awareness. I have like that’s, I hear you how dialed in I am. So that was over a decade ago, but I still feel and overcome the weight of shoulds every single day. So I’m not saying it, but I feel it in my body that like oh, I should be doing this. I should do that. Oh, I should have said this. But I’m so mindful of it that now even though I’m not saying the word I’m tuned into that energy and like hoo, okay, what’s going on here? What am I thinking? What am I feeling.
Clint Murphy 09:28
That’s a key I want to zone in right there is that energy shift. Because for you when you first said, if I take a step back, you first said that I don’t want to use should anymore. So you sound a little like me. I have a banned word list. There’s certain words, certain phrases that I don’t allow myself to say they’re eliminated from my vocabulary. And should is one of them. So it was it was interesting to read it and you went through a lexicon of what can I replace should with? I ended up going with choose so that was that was where I landed, what do I choose to do? You landed on what do I want? And when you did, you felt an energy shift. What did that look like for you and what were some of the other words that you were trying before you got to, before you got to want that left you feeling a little wanting, if you will.
Tricia Huffman 10:21
Yeah. Choose never came up for me. And I love that that’s what you landed on. Because I do now realize that, like, it’s sort of seeing that every should that comes your way is a choice. So that’s what I like. And in the book, I’m constantly going back like, yeah, it’s your choice. Like, it’s your choice to not have to see when you see the word should, it’s like a yield sign to slow down and then like, look at it. So I love that you landed on on. Like, I was like, Oh, I love that that fits for me, you know, I was just like, you know, must, you know is should, must and but that didn’t feel that felt sort of like pushy and not like it was my choice. Like if I were to swap should out for must, it was like I get that there is an energetic boost to it. And it is sort of your choice, but it also kind of felt like this is being pressed on me. It’s not mine. Could is like a nice gentle one. Like, oh, I should take a walk or I should go take a walk. I’m not feeling great. I could go take a walk. Could gives you this like option and it’s open, but it doesn’t really feel like very pressing to me. It’s like, Yeah, I’m good. I could do that, meh. So that didn’t work for me. I can’t remember, you know, I should, I can again, that’s like seeing Okay, I have an option that don’t. For me, I landed on want. And it’s not always but I feel like for me the majority of the time the best swap is want because then I am coming back to it is like you’re saying I’m choosing it. And it’s also the I am choosing it. And with that and then with my steps. And in the book, I go through that I’m usually like asking myself questions like, Why do I feel I should do this? Why would I want to do this? Like I am coming from it from an it is my choice and like my choice like, I want to do this and like I said, most of the time it is getting clear on like, Well, why? Why do I feel that? And so then it will be like, Well wait, maybe I don’t want to. That’s just what society has told me that I should be doing. So for me that energetic shift the shoulds that can like, it’s like, oh, should for me feels like more heavy. It’s being pressed on me like my shoulders are cringing. And then when I go to want and with want, I realized I’m allowed, like that was a big freeing thing. Every time I would go from a should to a want to me like, Yeah, I’m allowed to do it this way. I’m allowed to say no, I’m allowed to do that instead of this, like, whatever. So it just, want always feel so much more empowering. And like me remembering Yeah, this is my life. This is my choice. And the reality again, it’s like, we don’t know how much longer our life is going to last. And so I’m always very driven and sharing that like, right now I want to do this, why do I want to do this thing.
Clint Murphy 13:03
And you had a very good point, right there and that this is your life, this is what you want. Now the interesting challenge that brings up and you and I both call bullshit on this one so so I’d love you to share it with the reader is a lot of people out there will say well, Tricia, Clint, like if you’re living the life you want, you’re being selfish. Why is that so far from the truth and why is living the life we want aligned with our values, our purpose? Why is that the right way for us to live and the opposite of selfish?
Tricia Huffman 13:37
Yeah, I’ve definitely heard that many, many, many times over the years about how like, oh, well, I can’t answer that selfish or even, like, how dare you do what you want. And again, coming back to this is your life. And I don’t know how much longer we’re gonna be here. So like, please, you know, live your wants but it also it changes like I will often say like, it’s the least selfish thing that you can do is to take care of yourself and to be doing things from a place of want. Because when you are doing things that light you up, that fulfill you or just even when you’re choosing to see it, you know, like Okay, wait, take it because sometimes I’m also clear in the book, it’s not that you’re like, not doing anything, that’s a should but it’s really looking at it. Do I want this so sometimes it’s cutting through procrastination saying, Oh, I really hate running errands, but why do I want to run errands and like okay, so how can I make this be enjoyable for me? So okay, I want to run errands because blah, blah, like getting this. So it’s not like you’re not doing yours like so you’re responsible. It’s a really clear way to live. You’re being very clear and intentional at all times with what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. So you’re showing up from a place of want and not resentment or like things are a burden. But so when you’re moving from that place, it doesn’t just affect you. It affects everyone like right so I have young kids, if I was constantly Like, obviously, they’re my kids. And so I am putting their needs before mine. But at the same time, no, a lot of times I’m like, no, no, Mommy needs us. Like, let me take some time. Okay, we’re gonna leave at first I need Mommy needs some time to like reset like that, because I realized when I on the weekends time disappears, we’re gonna have a lazy morning. It’s awesome. And we need to go to the house and I’m rushed, and I haven’t done these things to take care of myself, then I’m like, so much more short tempered. I am not as patient with them. Like, I’m not the mom that I want to be when I am not prioritizing myself and putting myself first. So that doesn’t mean like, again, it’s all about me. But that also doesn’t affect them. Like when I’m like, even just take a couple minutes. And I’m like, oh, like, let me take care of myself or when I’m doing the things I want to even if let’s again, with being with motherhood, I haven’t always done the things that were, oh, this is what you should do as a mom, I be like, Well, I don’t want to listen to kids music. I want to listen to music I like so whatever. You know what I mean? Does that hurt my kids? No, they didn’t even understand that kids music existed and they listened to what about rock and roll? Like, my kids love Queen when they were three and five. So even those traditional ways of like, okay, I’m a mom. So I should do things this way. Right? So I’m like, No, I don’t want to listen to that music. I want to listen to this music that can be a way of I’m right, I’m choosing my own needs over them. There’s no they love the music or whatever. But anyway, when we’re living our wants, we’re being intentional in this way, it doesn’t just affect those people in our direct bubble, your co workers, your family, even if that means you’re taking some time away from them or something, who you are, when you are with them is different. You’re more present and you’re more engaged. People want to be around you. But also that affects me when I’m like, Oh, I’m driving Oh, go ahead car, like oh, you want to go ahead of me. Like it doesn’t it affects me how I act to strangers too when I’m living my wants because I am lit up and content and just like happy to be alive. And that affects everyone who my energy comes into contact with. So it’s not selfish.
Clint Murphy 16:59
It should be calming. I mean, you look at you talked a bit about something that I’ve seen and it blows me away is how much shoulding there is for moms. You know, when you talked about having young children, the Pinterest, the Instagram, what you have to do for birthday parties Valentine’s Day, it just seems like a never ending list of impossibility to be a mother in today’s social media age. And I partially say that because you don’t see any of that as a father. Like as a father, you coach one of your kid’s teams, great. You’re the best dad ever. It is like all I know if I do nothing like I’m useless. But like the difference between the shoulds and the expectations. It’s massive.
Tricia Huffman 17:51
Yeah, it’s it isn’t it’s such the difference between Yes, like what the mother is and then the father is it’s like, Oh, if the father is like, I’ve taken the kids out for ice cream, what a good dad. But if the moms taking the kids out for ice cream, like have how much sugar did they eat? Or like? I mean, like, there can be like so much judgment for the exact same thing too. And that’s, you know, it’s just an I realized early on once I had kids because I had dreamed of being a mother. And of course I Loved You know, I wanted to take care of this thing so much. And so I did fall victim to like, oh gosh, what should I should this? How should I do this, I was breastfeeding and how many times should be feeding in this and whatever. Like, I was like reading a million articles, blah, blah, I want to be the best, you know, how can these things work? And honestly, me trying to just take in information from all these people stressed me out so much that I wanted to like learn from all these people. But I was just overwhelmed because I realized I was like internalizing all the shoulds instead of like, okay, what’s working for him, even though this is my first time being a mom, and I don’t know, like it was much better when I decided to block all that noise out and like, listen to my child and me and my body.
Clint Murphy 18:59
That section of the book was It was super hard to read for me because I remembered back to the birth of our two children, and my wife having challenges with breastfeeding. And the nurses were just so hard on her it was you know, this woman just gave birth. She’s exhausted physically, mentally. And what should be the most joyous moment of her life is our little child right there. And you’re like browbeating her, because her body’s not doing what you think it should. And I’m like, by the second baby, I was like, listen, like you can’t, don’t say anything to my wife. Just give me the bottle of formula. I’m feeding my baby like this isn’t like you can’t treat a mom who just gave birth like that. It just felt so wrong. So when I read that in your book, it really, really hit home. How inappropriate that shoulding is that we do to new young mothers like it just so bothered me Sorry for the long digression.
Tricia Huffman 20:04
No, it’s great to hear that, especially as a father that that part resonated too because yeah, like I yeah, I struggled to make enough milk for my first baby. And it was such a like, I was doing every thing, right, all the herbs, low water, blah, blah, blah, like this that, you know, had the lactation consultant. Yeah, the latch is good this, that whatever. And it was really, I’m so glad the message of fed is best is being shared more, but at the same time, I realized to that too, and then I said in the book, like, I never judge anybody else for using formula too, so it wasn’t even I think even that message of Fed is best. If I had been really fat have been really been drilled into me, I probably still would have had those same struggles, because it was like, oh, no, I, I’m ready, I was ready to feed around the clock and to take on the the hardships of breastfeeding, and my body just wasn’t up to it. And that was like, a really hard thing to grasp. And that I didn’t really have the support of these people that were like, No, this is the best Nope, you got to keep doing it. Nope. If you’ve, if you supplement, then you’re then you know, then you’re never going to recover in this and whatever. And that like, I feel like I was starving my child for a couple of days there. Because I felt like yeah, I was listening to these people that supposedly knew better than me. And it was yeah, it was really, really challenging. I mean, it taught me some lessons, of course, but But yeah, and that’s, I think, too, like, I’m glad that sort of resonated with you. And then I hope it resonates with more people because it’s too it’s like something like that. It’s like, my body should be doing this, this should work. I’m doing everything right. And yet, it’s not working. And so sometimes we have to make peace with like, sometimes that’s a big part of the shoulds is like this should be working, this shouldn’t be happening. Like that is also a big part of life isn’t like, oh, how can you make peace when things aren’t yeah, going your way,
Clint Murphy 21:56
And the thing that that brings up? Because what you’re going through there, you’re starting to doubt yourself. So I thought it was really relevant that you said that we need to learn to doubt our doubts. And two key things that tied to that are we need to be curious. And we need to even recognize that we’re having doubts, in order to be able to doubt the doubts. So very inception-like on that one. What does that look like for the for the listener or the watcher? And how do we recognize Wait a second? That’s a doubt. I need to question it.
Tricia Huffman 22:38
Yeah, I mean, that it’s such a, I mean, first of all, it’s like seeing I think a lot of the book is is me like getting myself and getting you the reader to be curious with yourself. And to not just believe everything that comes into your mind, everything that you read, everything because there were in taking so much information at once, and not everything is going to fit you and so but also like realizing your own thoughts. Like, they’re not always telling you the truth, you know, and so when you really start to pay attention to what you’re saying and be like, wait, what? What did I just say? Like, oh, and I’ll catch myself, like, out of nowhere, I heard myself like, recently was saying something like, Oh, I hate this or I hate like, like, I hate my life or something like that. And I was like what, like, but I caught it. If I hadn’t caught it, then who knows? I could have gone down that thing. And I was like, I can’t even believe that that thought came out of my mind. Like, yeah, there was something hard happening. But at the same time, there was also so much amazing happening. But like me being able to tune into like, Wait, what did I just what just happened in my head. But I think a big part of it too, is I have so much compassion for myself. And it’s sort of seeing that all of those thoughts that are happening in your head, they don’t necessarily belong to you, you don’t have to take ownership because what I think can be really hard about recognizing these slots, and why people don’t want to even realize they have them is because then we’re going to feel like I’m a terrible person. Because I had that thought, Oh, no. And instead of doing the work to question it to heal it to see wow, is that really what I want to think? What do I want to think? Because I take you through all those steps in the book too, is that we’re so often then feeling like shame or oh my gosh, I must be a terrible person or there’s no hope for me if I had this doubt if I said this thing. And so we ended up going down like a deeper spiral instead of just like holding that and like oh, wait, what was that? Oh, really? And then just the ability to question it, to doubt that do I want to believe that? Is that really the truth? And so yeah, being able to recognize it can be a challenging thing. For me, focusing on the one word “should” ended up making me super mindful, like just tuning into that one word makes me really mindful of my thoughts of my feelings of my actions of everything. So I don’t do realize it’s like that gave me like this huge life hack. So feel free to take that on for yourself and see how to change. But I also don’t realize that millennials are gonna like, yeah, that’s nice, but I’m not going to take it on. For me journaling was a huge thing. And I was like most people Oh, journaling. yeah, that sounds great. But ugh and when I discovered the morning pages style of journaling, which is from Julia Cameron’s artists way, it was just like, right on the page for three, you know, set three pages. Don’t edit. Don’t make sense. Oh, did I brush my teeth today? I should have eaten, blah, blah, this did I do I need to go to the grocery store. I’m worried about this, like just letting yourself jump around and letting those thoughts dump onto the page. For me, that was a huge breakthrough. And that is also where I started to recognize these thoughts that I had, because even post should giving that up, I do realize a part of me was like, oh, no, only think positive, you only think positive, I was still sort of stuck into that mind frame. Like to be a person. And I was known out in the world as a Joyoligist already touring with artists keeping them grounded. So this happened after like, during that time, but I realized I would go to like, write things things honestly on the page and stop myself, go, Oh, God, I can’t write that. Like a doubt, a fear, a worry would start to come out and I would No, don’t write that. If I write that down, then that means it’s real. And then I don’t want to like manifest these doubts or fears or blah, blah, if I write them down, that makes them real. So I was trying to protect myself from these thoughts. But what I realized then I was just ignoring them, shoving them down, trying to pretend that I didn’t have these thoughts. And that didn’t help. It was just like, like, I really was just more living in this fear, but not allowing myself to see the fear. Doubt and so I started to let those thoughts out. And again, meeting myself with compassion and love. And once I then was able to see what was really in there somewhere. Even if it wasn’t like a very present thought, but it was part of me some are these doubts, these fears these worries, shame,, regret all of it. Let myself to make friends with those things. We’re so afraid. Oh, no regrets. Don’t have any regrets. No, like, no shame. No, we are humans and I am sorry. It’s okay to have regrets. Like, it’s okay to have fears, to have doubts. Like that’s part of your humaneness. So for me accepting that all of that is part of being human. But again, I am not that shame. I am not like that regret just saying, oh, yeah, you know what, if I go back in time, like, I wish I hadn’t done that, but sure, I’ve learned from that. So you can learn from something and also be like, wish I hadn’t done that. And that. So for me, it was really making space for these thoughts and feelings to come out. So then I could question them, meet them with love. How can I support myself through this feeling that apparently I do have.
Clint Murphy 27:53
So much to unpack in that, there’s three directions, we can go and I definitely want to tackle them all. So we’ve got fears, we have the journaling. And then and then we’ll get into the should haves. But let’s start with because the main one that was really jumping out at me, in eastern psychology, they call it the monkey mind. In stoicism, they say question your thoughts, only give permission to the that are real. And that led to cognitive behavioral therapy, where they have the concept of thought auditing and the way you’re going about it and even doing it through journaling. It ties a lot to thought auditing, which was possibly the greatest life change I ever went through was was that process of I had a thought, Wait a second. Let’s let’s put that down on paper. Let’s write down some more logical thoughts right beside it. Let’s come back in five minutes and see which one is real. Hey, wait 98% of the time the original one was crazy. And so I should stop. I choose to stop listening to the to that one. So see the banned word list in action right there. So you talked about a lot of us feeling shitty, because that inner voice is or inner critic, if you will, is almost never nice. So it just constant negative thought loops and so one of the ways you deal with that is and I’m wondering if it’s journaled or if now, maybe it was journaled. And now you just say it to yourself, you ask yourself four questions. What am I feeling? Why am I feeling it? How do I want to feel? And what can I do to support myself in that feeling right now? What is it? Is that a written journey to go from one to four? Or is that an internal dialogue that you have?
Tricia Huffman 29:48
For me, that’s more of an internal dialogue. But yeah, I definitely, you know, and I definitely take like clients and stuff with it to writing because I do think everyone obviously is different and unique into how to grasp. But if you but if you’re not like used to stopping and assessing things that way, in many ways, it can be more helpful to do pen on the paper and write it out. And then you get more used to it. And it starts to be like, Okay, wait a minute, what am I, what am I feeling here? And then go through the questions yourself. Yeah. And I realized, too, as we were talking, that I think, you know, with that inner critic, and that how you said, it’s mostly negative, what I’ve realized is over the years, you know, I talked about a lot of times, like a lot of compassion. And like, I will say, like, I do think that radical self compassion is sort of like a superpower of mine. But what that looks like is, so again, that voice comes up in my head, but I no longer villainize that voice or be like, Oh, there’s the mediator critic. I’m sort of like, Oh, hey, honey. There you are, again, what’s going on? This is you thinking you’re not enough. Okay. Like I really like instead of, and I think that that changes a lot instead of because we can go to here I go again, like I’m sabotaging myself. And we, like get mad at ourselves for this part of ourselves. And instead, I’ve sort of accepted that it’s part of myself, but that I don’t have to villainize it. It’s just like, Oh, I understand. You think you’re protecting me? I understand. You know, this is, you know, you have you’ve been listening to a lot of noise, like and like, okay, like, so I do. It’s like, sort of like, I’ve befriended it. It’s like, Oh, I understand. Let’s, let’s talk about this.
Clint Murphy 31:28
And the last two steps in that one going from, okay, it was throwing something at me, or I was feeling something. How do you make that shift to this is how I want to feel and now I’m proactively going to cultivate that?
Tricia Huffman 31:45
Yeah. And I’m also, you know, obviously, situation by situation, you might not be able to go like total. So this would be you know, how I said, I’m really tuned into my feelings and stuff, because of paying attention to this one word, or even noticing the shoulds, even if I’m not hearing it, so I can notice that sort of funkiness in my body, and be like, Oh, hey, okay, what’s going on here? So that will be like, What am I feeling? And actually being able to just name it like, Oh, I feel frustrated, or I feel, you know, disappointed. I feel like, you know, what, I think I’m in a real comparison mode, because things happen so quickly, like, it could be oh, I was on social media, saw something, it triggered me. And then I closed my phone, went to meet, you know, answered a call, did this, whatever. So it can be hours later. And I’m realizing like, What is this feeling in my body? And so for me, like naming it, and then like, sometimes you don’t have to track it to that, but I’ll be like, Oh, I think that my body clung on to I saw that so and so got this opportunity, or something that I wish I had. And so I’ve been living all these hours with this, like frustration, and then like, okay, so then what do I want to feel instead? You know, so then switching and like, Okay, how do I want to feel I want to feel content, I want to feel myself like deserving or I want to feel abundant. I want to feel peaceful. I want to feel grateful, like asking myself, I’d want to feel that. And so then okay, well, what can I then do to help that? Like, if I want to feel grateful, then great. Let me like name five things I’m grateful for, let me send a message to someone I want to feel. So it’s sort of like trying to find something tangible that you can actually do right now. You’re stressed about something? How do I want to feel? I want to feel calm, you know what, I’m gonna go like, lay down for five minutes, something. So and I’m really big about nurturing myself. Like, what can I do to nurture myself because I’m, obviously I’m about joy, as a joyologist. And sometimes Joy doesn’t feel like they’re like, Oh, right. Like, let me just pump it up and like, have a dance party, move it out. So someone Joy doesn’t feel or when you don’t know how you want to feel? You’re just like, in a little place, then I usually will resort to Okay, well, how can I nurture myself right now? Won’t feel nurturing when I don’t have like a answer. But I was like, Ah,
Clint Murphy 34:01
So let’s pivot back because I wanted to make sure we didn’t lose track of fear. Because that’s an important one for our listeners to understand. And there were a few different things that you talked about that that I think could be very beneficial for them. The first was the idea, the Eleanor Roosevelt quote that said, No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Can we start there and then and then we’ll keep on that path. And what does that quote mean to you? And how do you use that in your life?
Tricia Huffman 34:37
Yeah, and you know what? I’m really glad you brought that up. Because even at the very beginning, when you read the quote from my book about like, seeking approval. Years later, that’s something that I related back to that quote then so that quote, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. I found when I was probably like, 19, and I was like, I want to be a live sound engineer. I don’t know what you guys are doing, but I want to do it. And I really didn’t like I was like, I ended up being helpful. But to begin with, I was just in the way. So I was like most people did not want me to be there just whatever, you know, like it was like, oh, yeah, well, I want to learn what you’re doing. They’re like great help, can you do this? And I’d be like, what’s that? Okay, great. Can you do this? I don’t know how to do that. Like, like, so I was very much like, people were like, What is this girl doing here, like, get her out of the way. And there was a lot of like, judgment, and like, whatever coming at me. And so I saw that quote, and that made me no one can make me inferior without my consent. Even though I did not know what I was doing. I knew that I wanted to be there. And I wanted to learn. So it’s like, these people can be like, you know, throwing shade at me and like trying to whatever they eventually like, fell in love with me. And they were like my big brothers, but like, I still, then people would be coming in daily like that. Anyway, so like, no one can make me feel inferior without my consent. They can try to judge me, they can say these things. But like, It’s me believing. And again, even if I know I’m not the best yet, I don’t even know what I’m doing. But this is I want to be here. And so I feel like I believe to be here. And I deserve to try and so obviously that, you know, I was kind as I was doing it, but so that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. I later brought that into everything in my life. Like, wait, no one can make you feel love without your consent. And like going back to that validation. I was craving at the beginning. And the person gave me it, right. No one can make me feel that without my consent. Even I got it. And it just like, there was still a part of me like, no, okay, I can’t accept it, though. Like, you have to do the work yourself. That’s what I’m saying, other people are important in our lives, right? And you need somebody to believe in your idea, usually to get a yes, and this and that. But at the same time, no one can do make you feel anything without your consent. And so that has been like such, like guiding like light for me throughout my life. And so this reminder that when people are judging me, when people are telling me you can’t do that, that doesn’t make sense. Who do you think you are? That’s not going to work? Are you sure that’s the best choice? No one can make me feel inferior without my consent. What do I believe? Do I believe that this is possible? Is this what I want? And so would continue on that journey.
Clint Murphy 37:10
And such a powerful frame. And as a parent, a really hard one to also teach our children and the one that jumps out the most is when one of our children may say about their sibling. Well, he made me angry, or she made me angry or you made me angry. It’s like, whoa, wait a second son. None of us made you angry. You’re choosing anger right now. There’s a difference between those two things. And as a mom, is that a conversation you have with your kids about choosing their emotion and choosing the state they want? Versus well, you made me angry mom, you upset me.
Tricia Huffman 37:58
Yeah, that’s funny, because my like, youngest will be like, You made like, if she tripped over my foot, you know, then she would be like, you made me trip. Or like, if like, like she won’t even like it’s not even an emotional thing. But like, I’m like, Honey, you gotta have to take some ownership of the fact that you walk into my leg like about anything. She’s never like, I got hurt or I drifted like so and so did this to me. And I’m like, Oh, honey. So but yes, and also I gave both my daughters the middle name rose to represent that quote. So I like so want that instilled in them. But yeah, the path with motherhood, it’s like validate the feeling is like I understand Oh, that’s hard. And like this. So I do I’m always trying to explain something when they come home and they’re upset about you know, something a kid said or did this or whatever. And so, it’s like, like, okay, like, I’m trying to do the work of let me hear you. Because I was very much in the like, oh, no, this is what I’m saying. You know household like shut up, this is it. And so I’m like, Okay, well, let me hear you and then okay, let’s look at it this way. Okay, and let’s look at this way and one thing that really helps my kids understand seems to be how you would treat especially with themselves because they will two daughters? Yeah, they’re getting a bla bla and I’m like, can you imagine if a friend did that to you at school or said that or treated you that way? So I try to always take that into what would that feel like if somebody did that to you? And I like but like trying to do it in this very like again let’s gentle calmness that space and not like the aggravated but I can only do that when I’m taking care of myself. If I’m not taking care of myself, but I’m coming from the ahhh.
Clint Murphy 39:50
Yeah, why is mom yelling at me like. So staying on fears for a minute. I thought this one was is a really relevant one. So I’ll read you a section that you wrote and then and then let you color between the lines for the listener, is we try to push our fears away, to bury them deep down, we fear that acknowledging them will make them come true. But really, when we turn the lights on them, we begin to break free of them. What does that look like? Because even earlier when you were when you were talking about the journaling, you were saying, when you have the fears, oh, I can’t write that down. But how does it actually free you when you instead say, well, no, I will write that fear down.
Tricia Huffman 40:38
Yeah, so back in the day, I would be like, No, I can’t write that down. I can’t acknowledge I have a fear because I am strong, determined, you know, positive Tricia so I can’t have fears. But the reality was once I started to, oh, wait, what? Okay, let me look at this. Then I was able to like, question, the fear and even going deeper, like, so one of my practice is practices is to like, let’s look at the worst case scenario, like, Okay, you’re afraid to do something. So everything goes wrong. If like, let yourself instead you don’t, Oh, no. Again, if I, if I go down that path and try to play out that the fear really comes true, and anything goes wrong, like, am I then putting energy into what’s gonna go wrong? Like, that was a fear of mine, in looking at my fears, like so. But then like, okay, like, let’s look at it, then like, let’s really, like look at this. And if I usually every time I have a fear, like, and I’m going, like, let me go through these steps, when you look at the worst case scenario that I’m still like, end up being like, yeah, and it feels worth it. But still, I want to do it, but like, okay, but is that going to really happen. Like it takes the power away, when you actually let yourself to dig into the fear from again, like I’m coming from from this like, alright, let’s look at the data. Good. Like that. So for me, it really takes the power away to question the fear to then go, so let’s all right, then what if everything absolutely goes wrong? And usually, when you’re doing that again, then it’s still like, I don’t think I’ve ever gone through those and then decided not to do the thing. It usually is like, okay, and I still want to do it like, Okay, well not like that’s really gonna happen. Or like, right, if that happened, then I’d still be happy. I tried. Like, never. And this is just not even for me, for people have taken it through never, ever, ever had somebody gone through the worst case scenario. And that is not to do the thing.
Clint Murphy 42:29
Yeah, there’s almost always an asymmetrical upside to doing that thing, relative to the worst case scenario and one of the easiest ones we highlight, I had a guest on, he highlighted this for me, and it stuck in my head wonderfully is the idea of content creation. And so if you look at social media as an example, the worst case that happens if you write a tweet that doesn’t land is no one reads it, gets buried in the algorithm, as long as it’s you know, we’re not talking about a tweet, that’s cancelable. Which in that case that’s the downside, but you just write a bad tweet, no one reads it. And if you write a good true tweet, it goes viral, and it changes your life. Like you look at the upside and downside of that situation. And so many people are afraid to just put themselves out there, when the upside is through the roof. And the downside is practically nothing. Yeah, in so many of these situations we look at.
Tricia Huffman 43:28
Yeah, cause I think some of the biggest fears are and in like putting yourself out there, making a request, sending an email about a possibility, or can you consider me for this? The worst case scenario is usually getting a no or maybe not hearing back. Depending on who you are not hearing that could be worse than getting a no, but it’s also like, if you’re already leaning into I’m probably is gonna get a no. And what does it hurt? Like you probably you wanna switch your attitude before you press send or do that, but it’s a possibility. But also, if you already you’re like, one’s gonna get a no then like, so then go ahead and shoot. Why not? Go for it. You’re already prepared to get a no like, what if you got a yes, maybe.
Clint Murphy 44:08
And Tricia, as a podcast host who interviews authors. That was the most freeing realisation I could ever have was the worst. Like, it’s not even it’s not even bad. Like the worst answer is, you don’t even get an answer. The second worst is you get no like, who cares? If someone says no, it’s like, okay, well, you’re busy. You’ve got a big life. Sure. You said no. And a huge proportion of people actually say yes. So it’s just amazing the conversations you get to have if you’re just willing to let go of well someone might say no.
Tricia Huffman 44:46
Yeah, no, I’m the same to when I first started my podcasts and would put myself out there and like another person who’d had a podcast for a longer time, they had a bigger platform, whatever, like oh my gosh, how did you get so and so. I can’t believe you got so and so on your podcast like how did you figure that out? I was like, I sent them a DM. Like, they were like what? You sent them mid DM. I was like, Yeah, I figured why not just put it out there? And they replied. Like, you never know. Sure there are a lot of people I have not heard back yet. Yeah. But I’ve gotten a lot of yes’s that I’m like, I can’t believe this person said yes to me. And they wouldn’t have said yes, if I hadn’t have asked.
Clint Murphy 45:29
100% 100%. And so let’s pivot now to we’ve been talking more present based and forward looking. And one of the biggest areas we should ourselves, though, is the should haves when we can’t stop thinking about the past, instead of using the past to learn, collect data, and move forward in life. So what does it look like for you? And what is the phrase what can I do right now? How does that play into it?
Tricia Huffman 46:02
Yeah, because should haves are no fun. And I do think there’s a lot of shame and should haves, and I feel like she might be one of the like most challenging things to like live emotional wise. So when I notice, I’m in a should have that in that can be about anything, it can even be like, I shouldn’t have sent that text, I should have waited, why did I say that? You know, it could be something about super small to then look at all of a sudden remembering a memory from 20 years ago, and like, I was so immature, I can’t believe I acted like, you know, there’s all sorts of ways that this should have or you see that I see the dishes that I didn’t do last night, I should have done the dishes, I’m so lazy this that whatever so should haves can show up for all sorts of reasons. And they’re never fun. So when I notice myself in that space, or feeling like I should have done something, then I like, again, I sort of look at it as collecting data. That’s the thing that feels helpful for me. And that’s whether like, you’re looking for opinions on something you’re researching, not saying like this is the way things should be done or must be done. But like this, okay, that’s information. So looking back and seeing instead of I can’t believe I wrote that text and just hit send, I really wish I’d taken more time with that I don’t even know I’m even responding to that person. They’re never going to understand whatever. Like they just see things, whatever train you’re going to on the thing already happened. What already happened already happened. So that’s a big reminder for me, first of all, like, I can sit here analyzing it and giving myself this like whole, you know, dissertation of what I should have done differently. But what already happened already happened? I am here now. But then why not? Look at it as okay, well, how can I like so I try to again, instead of punishing past self, how can I set up future self and make present self feel better about this? So it’s looking at it like, okay, that doesn’t feel good that I sent this message. So in the future, how about I give myself a rule when when I get a message that unsettles me, triggers me, whatever, I don’t allow myself to reply for like at least 30 minutes. Would that make me feel better? Do I feel like if that’s what I had done in this situation, do I think that I would have handled it better? I do think that would have helped. Okay, great. So even though that thing already happened, I feel better about okay, this is what I can do in the future. You might still be like, but like, there’s some it’s like, okay, what can I do right now? You know, it could be do I want to send another message and be like, Hey, I don’t know if that came off the right way. Can we talk about this later, you know, that like it could be actually like going to the person that it happened with and being like, Can we do this? It could just be like, again going to this? What can I do to nurture myself? What can I acknowledge myself for you know, like, I feel like I messed up right now. Okay, I’ve set myself future self up for I have a plan for what to do on this occasion again, but like, I’m still feeling pretty bummed. So like, okay, what can I do? Like, how can I acknowledge myself for being a good friend, for trying for wanting to be a better person? You know that so it is like, processing it? How could I do this differently? Instead of how could I have done this differently? If I got to redo this, what would I do? Okay, and then use that for future and then like I said, if that doesn’t already make you feel better, there’s still some lingering then what can I do right now? To support myself calm my nervous system down, go for a walk, call a friend, it could be related to that thing or just like, oh, let me get some joy. Let me let me take care of myself. Let me attend to my heart.
Clint Murphy 49:38
And what I love about that is the different layers of mindfulness that are layered into it. what’s already happened has happened. I can’t change it. The past is the past. being compassionate with ourselves and nurturing ourselves in the present moment in saying what can I do? Right now, recognizing right now is the only thing we can actually change, we can’t change. what’s already happened, though there is that nuance of, well, if that happens again, how would I handle it differently? Knowing it won’t be the exact same situation, but how will I handle it differently? That’s, it’s a beautiful way to look at it. I love that.
Tricia Huffman 50:25
It does give some like, again, even though it can’t change what already happened, it does give me like, some relief for like, oh, look, I’ve learned from this, you know, this does feel better than like, instead of punishing yourself, punishing yourself and beating yourself and living back and that is never going to really help you or really create change in the future. Like, it’s not really that great to punish yourself into change. But what if you loved yourself and to change in this like, Okay, I don’t like how I handled that, or I don’t like how this went. So again, even if it’s not changing that, but just allowing yourself to see, okay, this is how if I got a replay, this is how I would have loved to do it.
Clint Murphy 51:03
If when we think about that, another area of mindfulness that you that you talk about is and we both landed on on ones that are similar and slightly different is the idea of forgiveness practice, in our forgiveness, practice, recognizing we can be forgiving others, but we also need to learn to be forgiving of our of ourselves. And for me, what that looks like is when I have one of these situations where, you know, really hard situation with someone, there’s anger, there’s che whatever the emotion is, is when I’m doing loving kindness meditation, I’ll picture that person is one of the people that I’m offering loving kindness to, may you be well, may you be safe, may you be loved, may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be peaceful, may you be protected. And if I say that about them, and over and over while picturing them, and then end it with, and I forgive you. And each time and I forgive you. And if you say that 10-20 times, while picturing their face, it’s really hard when you see them again, an hour later, to be angry. Like you’ve just wished this person, so much kindness. And now, it’s very hard to say, well, I’m still angry, you’ve just eased that out. And then also being able to do that to myself. For you’ve landed on your own forgiveness practice. What does that look like for you? And is that something that you also offer yourself?
Tricia Huffman 52:34
Yes, yes. And it’s funny because you know, this forgiveness practice works. And it’s so simple that I like had a hard time even like calling it a forgiveness practice for years, or like sharing it with people because it’s like, this is too simple. But it basically what we want it to be. Oh, yes. Good choice. What we choose? Yeah, so it basically and it came just from an in the moment of like, so wanting to not be, like hate someone, you know, for something and just be like, so upset and not and it doesn’t again, it doesn’t feel good to be in those emotions. And you can try to like, oh, okay, I understand I’ve had a talk with this person, blah, blah, I can try to whatever, they’re human, they’re doing your best. Like, we can try to contextualize and you know, intellectualize all these things, and forgiveness and all of that, and it’s still like, ah, but I just really don’t like this person, or whatever, was still like living in my body. And so I just then like, started saying to myself, I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you. Like, I just was saying it in my head, because this was I was like, out at a busy place, and this person was there. And I just like was, you know, just kept saying it. And as I was saying it, the energy started to dissipate, and it started to move away. And then I also started to, like, laugh at myself, like, who am I, to even be like, be in a position of I forgive you as if I’m a holy mighty person who has never, you know, done anything wrong or you know what I mean or been immature or whatever those things. So like, in just the practice of repeating of simple mantra of I forgive you, then the energy dissipated, and then allowed it to just like, the whole thing to dissipate. And again, that didn’t mean I needed to best friend be friends with that person again, that the relationship needed to change but it was the releasing of the energy and of the anger and all of that. And so then Yeah, and so that like how was it started and then I have use I do still use it for myself and for other people. Because again, when we get upset with ourselves and shame and I can’t believe I did that and blah, blah, and I Well, I haven’t managed my money well, or this I thought it was better, whatever the things are, where you’re beating yourself up, to then say it to yourself and that it’s really powerful to you can go say it in the mirror or you can just, you know, close your eyes and do it, whatever works for you. But just again, just repeating, I forgive you, I forgive you. For me, it just kind of like dissipates that energy. So when I can sort of come back down to earth and like, talk to myself on a calmer level and then be like, okay, so what can I do about this? Like, that’s like, sometimes you might get those should have moments that you can’t even get through it because you’re just so in the heightened shame. So it’s like, you might want to do the I forgive you practice first and then be like, who? Okay now? All right, so that every happened, okay, this that. So like, for me, it really just lands me back to I’m a human on this earth, doing the best that I can. And I don’t want to admit that, how could that be my best or whatever. But I was like, that was what happened. And I’m here like, again. So it’s sort of like takes me out of judgment mode for others. And myself.
Clint Murphy 55:52
It’s even as you were saying it. There’s a cathartic energy shift when you were saying it calmly the way you were, that I was starting to feel both forgiven but but almost, like almost like a tearing up. Like there’s just that emotion of Oh, like, oh, it’s releasing something. I don’t know. I don’t know if I want Tricia to say that three or four more times, I might have an emotional outburst. And you know It reminds me of one of the books I read that the author said we’re all four or fiveare you okay’s away from an emotional breakdown, right? Because we always it’s just that superficial level of, hey, how you doing? It’s, well, no, really, how are you doing? And so it’s when you when you start to have that level of self forgiveness. And I could imagine being in front of the mirror and saying it to yourself, just really pouring out the emotion that, especially as adults, as partners, as parents, like it feels like so much of life just gets locked away, for what has to happen, versus just living, if you will.
Tricia Huffman 57:26
Totally. And that’s I mean, the whole original, you know, idea of like the should, you know, F the shoulds was that the realization that I had no clue how much as me, someone who was living a life of my choosing, that I loved was still subconsciously, many times like going through these motions of how I should feel about myself, well, it’s like, different things like that to it. So it’s just, our lives are so busy, and so full. And who knows what’s really happening in that hot that mind of you and like what you’re feeling. So yeah, you could probably do the forgiveness practice. To start your day, you could end your day, you could take a midday break, even if you have no idea what you’re forgiving yourself for. And I bet it would resonate with something like yeah, we’re like, Oh, I’m getting emotional here. Just like, make that space for like connecting to yourself and giving yourself that love.
Clint Murphy 58:20
And what jumped out is you’re saying that, and I can’t believe I hadn’t made this association yet. But part of the shoulds is also the shouldn’t’s. I shouldn’t show emotion, I shouldn’t cry, I shouldn’t do this. And really, those are shoulds in a different form, that shape how we behave and that may not be who we want to be as our whole self. Does that make sense or resonate?
Tricia Huffman 58:52
Yeah, absolutely. I mean that in Yeah, it’s a whole. Yeah, you should, what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, how you should move for life, what you shouldn’t like, like, there’s so much of the should, shouldn’t, should nots are a huge part and in many ways, they might be more punishing, because if you have gotten the information from somewhere, you know, based on how you’re raised based on media, whatever, I should not do this, I should not like this, then again, you end up carrying a lot of shame. I have carried shame for the silliest things like for reading, because I like to enjoy novels and listening to pop music, because I believed I shouldn’t like those things. I should like, you know, more educational things or something like that. Like that’s what I was believing. So a lot of the students create so much shame for us. Let me think why. But I like this. It brings me joy. What am I talking about? Like, like, the students are very punishing and like I said, can have us really living with a lot of shame for even small things? Because it is it’s a lot of what will that mean about me like I shouldn’t cry? Because we’re unknowingly going to because what is that going mean about me? What are people going to think about me? Does that mean I’m weak? Does that mean a block? Like, I don’t know why I’m crying, I don’t have a reason to cry. So I shouldn’t be crying. Like we’re living by all of these rules that don’t make sense. And we don’t even really most of the times know where they’ve come from. Sometimes we are like, oh, yeah, because when I was little, you know, somebody said, Don’t cry in public, like, so sometimes there are, but sometimes it’s just because we’re trying to be somebody that other people will approve of, and trying to like, again, like, gain this validation. But then it’s like, we’re looking for validation, when we’re not even honoring ourselves to be validated, like validate this version of me that I think you might like, Oh, you don’t like that part? Okay, how about this one?
Clint Murphy 1:00:38
Tricia Huffman 1:00:40
It’s all meaningless.
Clint Murphy 1:00:41
We’re gonna get into that. We’re definitely diving into that. It’s the you know, I always laugh because people tell you all the things you can’t do to be successful, you can’t watch Netflix, you can’t watch reality TV. I mean, I binge watched the entire season of Selling Sunset yesterday, and I had a pretty productive successful day. So you can do these things. They aren’t impossible. The But what that brings me to because you also talked about media, and I’ve started to label it. So I want to use it as much as possible. So it can end up on a Wikipedia page. But I call it the Kardashian effect. And why I label it the Kardashian effect is not because I have anything against the Kardashians absolutely love them. Fabulous, what they’ve done with their lives and what they’ve created. And it’s led to, I feel as if they were the ones who popularized the front of stage, social media, living your best life, showing your best life, no one seeing the bad and creating this world, where we have this paradox of always comparing ourselves to something that isn’t real. And that leads to a massive amount of shoulding and what you wrote was having so much access to information, can have us looking outside of ourselves more and more, instead of looking inside and trusting ourselves. An important concept that you tied to that was this idea that, wait a second, what works for them, doesn’t have to work for us, and what works for us, doesn’t have to be for them. Can you take our listeners through that because that felt like such an important concept. In today’s social media age?
Tricia Huffman 1:02:32
Yeah. And I just hope that by hearing that people like got a little sense of freedom. Nothing, you know, we’re all so different. It’s, it’s funny, because when you really think about it, it was like, yeah, do we really think that like, everybody should be doing the exact same things, and that it’s always gonna, like, look the same to everyone else to know it. So that’s an insight back when I was growing my way into the live sound engineering world. That was one of the gifts from that lessons, because I was just there learning showing up. And so I would end up like, supporting different sound engineers every day. And I got to see that a lot of these guys it was mostly guys did it differently. They, how they set the things up, how they did sound, hey, that was different. And so that one was great for me, because I then be able to learn to like do things many different ways and whatever, I figured I was like that, but like that really imprinted on me a different way. Like, they were all good. And yet they were getting the end result from a different way. They were doing things and they would each one of them would be like, this is the way you do this. The next day, this is the way you do this, like so I was getting them very firmly. This is the way you do this. My way is the best way. Right. So I saw like dozens of my is just like uh huh, uh huh. Uh huh. So that really, I think was helpful to really see like, sure is. I’ve seen it done another way, but I’ve never like fought them on it. But like, I think that really did have an imprint on me of like seeing that. But it’s just yeah, like it’s, we’re all unique and different. So why do we think that there is this one way for things? And I think it’s interesting too, because when you look at usually the people that you’re inspired by, that have made a difference, that have the success, you’re like, that’s awesome. They likely never didn’t follow somebody else’s. Like, this is how you should do this. Like pretty much all the people I think we look up to it’s because they did things their own way. They did things slightly different. They went out of the box, they trusted themselves, they believe in themselves, but then you’re like, why should I do it that way? Let me model my life after that. So I think that’s also another like freeing thing to remind yourself because it can be so easy and important. And there’s a ton of people out there selling you this is the way to do this successfully. Just follow these steps. And that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have the actual same results as that person, they’re going to give you a lot of information. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to get the exact same results as someone else. So I think it’s so powerful to listen to yourself, to trust yourself, to allow yourself to try things on, to not see that changing your mind is a bad thing. Or like even like failing is a bad thing. Because it’s like, we have to all figure out what works best and feels best for us. And sometimes you don’t know that until you start to play with it. But yeah, like, your way is your way. It just, it doesn’t feel good, right? Like, if somebody is telling you, this is the exact way that you have to do this. It’s not going to feel good. And so then also thinking of that for other people. So that’s even with my kids, it’s like, there’s not like one way to do things. And this is the way you have to do this. And I think that’s a really, yes. It’s been a fun way to parent that way. So far. I mean, they’re still there, five and seven, almost six and eight, but to like, even with like homework and stuff, or like their grades. It’s okay, honey. Yeah, my one of my daughters had a meltdown the other day, because she had a project and her handwriting is messy. And she was like my handwriting is just a bunch of scribble scrabble. And she, like, kept repeating it and like, melt down. And I was like, did someone say that to you? Like, where did you get that term anyway, but I was just like, honey, but it’s okay. You’re young, you’re learning. And it’s also that’s not the end of the world. Like, you’re, you’re so creative, you’re like this, it’s just like, it’s, we’re all like just seeing that. You don’t have to be the best at everything. And that different people learn and that you’re she’s still learning, I don’t know, just to even be like, it’s okay, honey. You’re learning and also, even if your handwriting stays messy, it’s gonna be okay. I was like, I can’t read my own handwriting a lot, hon. Like, and I’m an adult, I can’t really read my handwriting. Do you think that about mommy? And that’s the truth. You know, like, so what does that how does that feel about yourself? Like, it’s like, i Honey, I can’t even read my own handwriting right?
Clint Murphy 1:07:05
Now, you’re making me remember, when my oldest he turns 15, next month, and when he was in kindergarten, or grade one, we got called into the school to meet with the teacher. And they had this like, almost like an occupational therapist, because his pencil grip was wrong. And it was like, hey, we’ve got to get some nice special tools to improve his pencil grip so that he can have good writing. And I thought, isn’t he’s he’s in kindergarten, like, who cares how he holds up? Who cares how he holds a pencil, like it was, it was, I don’t know what the world’s changed since I was a kid. I don’t think any occupational therapist came in to change my pencil grip back when I was a child. So pivoting on that, one of the reasons we get a little bit afraid to try things on or do things our own way, is that fear of being judged, that people are going to think a certain way about us. And there’s a couple things that jumped out at me there. One is the spotlight effect. So we too often think that other people are actually thinking about us when in reality, we’re a side character in their story. And the second one is you have a three step process that I thought was wonderful that I’d love to take the listeners through, when it comes to these judgments is three questions we can ask ourselves, What am I telling myself? Do I believe that or want to believe that? And what do I actually want to believe? Can you take the listeners a bit through that, and let’s help them get over this fear of being judged, when in reality, it’s not a reality.
Tricia Huffman 1:08:54
I think the fear of being judged is one of the most limiting things that comes up continuously, all day long, in so many different ways. And it sucks. So yeah. And, again, you know, this is again, like going back to childhood and realizing that most of that was it was like I was the fear of what do people think about me. So it’s the fear of being judged, which by the way, I’m just going to plant this in here. I also say that I don’t think the fear of failure is real. Because what if you’re not afraid of being like, I think the fear of failure is still the fear of being judged. Because why else would you be afraid of failing? If you weren’t worried about what other people thought about you? Like otherwise what would it matter? Right? So like is the fear of failure, even real? If you’re not worried about what other people think of you? So I think the main fear in life is the fear of being judged. Even bigger than the fear of failure.
Clint Murphy 1:09:55
Tricia Huffman 1:10:05
so that’s all like, okay, so yeah, so when I realize, again, this is a lot of times happening, subconsciously, unknowingly, we are living out our lives in this. What will other people think of me instead of Wait, what do I think of me? What do I want? So when I realized when I’m in this, what are people going to think the fear of being judged miss? So yeah, the like, what am I telling myself? And this could be, you know, oh, they’re gonna be like us, Tricia, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, or, Oh, why is she wearing that or whatever. So it’s normally like, you can feel like, I can feel this like, like smallness come up in my body, sort of like, Oh, I’m afraid to do this thing. I’m worried about being judged in some way. If I say this, what are they going to think whatever, if I, you know, even pitch myself for something like, you know, that’s the thing we’re afraid of getting to know. But if I were going to think like, How dare she or just whatever the thing is, so what am I telling myself? And then like, just being honest, like, Okay, what am I telling myself? And then simply asking yourself, Is this what I want to believe, is one of the biggest game changers for me? Because even if you don’t get to that third question of what do I want to believe? It’s just being able to question that, like, Oh, I’m afraid that they’re gonna say this, or they’re gonna bla bla, or people are gonna think this about me. Is that what I want to believe? Just even that is so freeing to be able to question that like, right, that’s the thought that is coming up. But do I want it? Do I want to take that as a belief? No. And so then asking, like, what do I want to believe and that’s really fun, it can be scary. Also, because we’re not you know, a lot of times you’re not used to allowing yourself to like, have this different choice in possibilities. We’re so used to shooting ourselves down and just living into that fear of what other people think of us and other people want from us. So that’s one thing for some people, they might not even be able to get to that next question. So just being able to say, is that what I want to believe now? Yes. What do you want to believe? Like, I believe that I’m allowed to have a chance, I believe that I would want you know, if I was talking to my best friend, I would tell them like, yeah, you got this. Even you know, for things wearing things like, oh, I don’t know, is this too flashy? Or does this look like women body image stuff? Like I still, unfortunately, can have this detangling of like, oh, I want to wear this dress? Oh, never mind. Oh, I don’t know, I don’t, whatever. And so I will like, stop myself from wearing something I want to wear because, Oh, am I you know, I’m not thin enough. Not my arm, my arm is not fit enough to be shown in public like that. So it’s like really telling myself what am I saying here right now that I’m not allowed to wear this dress? Because my arms aren’t as toned as I’ve been led to believe they must be toned. My like, is that what I want to believe? No, what do I want to believe? I want to believe that what I would tell my daughters my best friend, when I see people on the street, I don’t criticize them. But for some reason, I’m criticizing myself for what I’m wearing. Like, I want to believe that I am allowed to wear what I want. Because it makes me feel good. And that what matters is how I feel and not how I look, whatever. So it’s like, really being able to and again, this can be very confronting, because it’s feels easier to not acknowledge these thoughts that we have about ourselves. Because really what’s happening when we’re in that fear of being judged. We are judging ourselves. When you’re afraid of being judged for doing something, being something, wearing something, seeing something when I am in that moment of oh, no. What are people gonna think of me? I am judging myself for that thing. And when I first realized this, I was like, no, no, no, that can’t be true. Because I love myself I’m so sick, bla bla bla, I’m sure she’ll enjoy. I’ll just, you know, here’s, here’s all my information. So I don’t think that about myself. But then again, it’s like realizing, Oh, these thoughts that I have about myself aren’t even my, my, my my like, It’s not my fault. That’s the conditioning from society that I’ve been taught to hate my boss that I have been told to keep myself small that I have been taught how dare you put yourself out there, how you don’t know what you’re doing, like we have taken in so much information that makes it easier for us to say smaller to stay in some sort of box of shoulds so that is the what I’m telling myself is really noticing I’m judging myself here. I usually you’re like alone having that thought. You have not stood outside and there was a roomful of people going, Yeah, this You’re terrible, like these thoughts that we’re thinking that people are going to have us this fear of being judged, is not happening. We’re not standing in a room with people shouting things at us. We are usually alone and is ourselves. So realizing it’s yourself and then again, being able to ask yourself, is that what I want to believe and then allowing yourself to have some other choices? I want to believe I’m awesome in my body. I want to believe that I get to that I am capable of giving myself a chance. I want to believe that You know, whatever the things are, it’s really it can be confronting. But then it’s really enlivening and exciting that I don’t have to believe those thoughts.
Clint Murphy 1:15:09
Well and that brings us almost full circle, because when you go back to the beginning, we were talking about chasing validation. But we can only validate ourselves. And then we get to the end, and we’re talking about self enoughness. And that feeling of enoughness, which, for me, really resonated, because not feeling enough has driven my entire life. And the realisation you had was that you were afraid of being rejected. So in turn, you were rejecting yourself, which is what we’re talking about here. So that ties if I’m not off on this, the question we started with to now full circle, I have to be the one who recognizes I’m enough to move forward in the world.
Tricia Huffman 1:16:07
Yeah, and it’s like constant. And so it sneaks into all these different ways. But yes, it’s really like all the same, that we are looking outside of ourselves to be accepted. Putting, like, that’s what the shoulds are to, like, here to make my choice for me, tell me what to do. Tell me like, you know, well, what should I do? What should I eat? How should I look, whatever? How should I be successful, blah, blah, we’re going after things based on how we think they look what we should do. But really, it’s then coming back to, oh, it’s me. What do I believe about myself? What do I want to believe as possible? How do my life choices feel to me? Because I do think that’s a big other part of it that we’re not aware of, we’re chasing the feeling of being enough, being fulfilled, being successful based on what we think that should look like. What does this look like? What is being enough look like? So and that’s not our fault. Again, that’s the conditioning. So remember, just like that, but like, Oh, right. I don’t feel enough. Because I think I should look this way. I should have a five step morning routine, I should go to bed at this time. I should have this much money. I should vacation like this, like whatever the things are that you don’t even realize you’re thinking, but it’s like, what does it feel like? And what does that feel like to you in your life? And so again, it’s like this constant coming back to yourself. Because there’s so much that we’re just constantly looking out. Where are my answers?
Clint Murphy 1:17:36
Yes. Do you have time for for rapid fire questions that we ask all our guests? Yeah. All right. Well, a slight pivot away away from the book. What is one book that’s had a massive change on your life?
Tricia Huffman 1:17:51
Oh, why am I forgetting the name right now, I’m gonna have to send you the name of the book. It’s like punk rock and the art of I don’t know, it was somebody. It’s like, a sort of personal development book, but it’s more a memoir of this person’s life. And he did everything like he became I think like a monk. He wanted to work at this Japanese animation studio, like he was a punk rock musician, whatever. It was his story of like chasing everything that would bring him peace that would bring them success. Like he was in Japan living with the monks. He got his dream job, he got everything. Everything that he worked so hard for came true, and he was still miserable. And that was one of the most inspiring I ever read. I love it.
Clint Murphy 1:18:41
We don’t even need the name. We got the message. So what’s on the bookshelf right now?
Tricia Huffman 1:18:50
What am I reading? Another similar one is what is it After the Ecstasy, the laundry is another one I love to which is a bunch of short stories. And so it’s the same sort of thing. And even these people that were straight striving for, like, the ecstasy of like meditation, like meeting the this, like peak, and then Oh, but I still have to do laundry. So it’s like, the reality of life, like those books, so much piece of like, and life goes on and life is gonna be hard and life’s gonna be challenging. And it’s not like you figure it out, and you have everything and then everything’s easy. So those are the books that have inspired me and brought the most comfort in and sort of like, acknowledged the humaneness. What’s on my bookshelf right now is I pretty much I love only read novels and memoirs. And that’s like, I when I talked about earlier that I sort of had shame about reading novels. I wouldn’t admit it for some reason, because I felt like I should only be reading educational learning, learning from my peers all of this and I will still get those books and I like page through them. A part of me too, doesn’t want to read them because I’m afraid I’m gonna like take their content as my own or something which I know it’s kind of a BS thing. But really, I just love one of the biggest self care things for me is reading a novel and getting lost in an amazing story. And I also think How rude of me that I told how rude of me to feel shamed for liking those things, but also for not feeling that novels are not educational. Like I even if I’m reading a summer romance be treated, I am being captured into somebody’s like, I’m really read, you know, like playing into some sort of humaneness. Like I get inspired from the stories and stuff like to but it also is the biggest act of self care for me because watching a show, I can tune out, I can’t tune out when I’m reading a book when I’m reading a novel. I’m like, so lost in the story. And I can’t be like, well, let me just check my phone real quick. No, I need to like, be on that page.
Clint Murphy 1:20:36
Yeah, and a lot of people don’t realize that novels improve our emotional intelligence, that idea of being put into other people’s shoes, seeing life from different people’s standpoints. That gives us the opportunity to get exposed to other people’s points of view, which creates empathy. And so there there is power to novels. So it’s yeah, definitely we need to not feel we want to read them and not feel that it’s not a reasonable choice to do it. That’s a really hard one. That was a hard one to switch shit out on. The What is something for under $1,000 that Tricia has bought in the last year that you’ve said, Wow, I should have bought that sooner. Oh, you wouldn’t say I should have. I really want to have bought sooner?
Tricia Huffman 1:21:29
Oh, I would have? That would have been a smart choice to not sooner, less than $1,000 in the last year. Oh, I feel like there was something that I pulling a blank. But I will say I can’t think I’m like, I feel like there really was something that I was like, oh, man, I Yeah, like that. That was a great choice for my life. But another one was like a wireless speaker. thing. And that’s another thing that I actually want to get another one like finally getting like a Sonos speaker, something to like, it’s so much different, because I would just like, oh, play music on my phone or headphones or something like that. And it’s been such an even for my kids to like a joy. If we ended up putting it outside, I’m gonna have and it just like it is like now I like go out there and have a dance party or something like it’s something like, Oh, I could use my headphones, I can just use the TV speakers, I can just use my phone speaker. It’s like there were other ways to hear music, but like having that speaker like really did create this more joy and like nurturing and like fun in my life.
Clint Murphy 1:22:31
I love that. And I bought a couple Sonos speakers that could travel earlier this year. So this will be the first summer where we can stick them in the backyard while we’re you know, having a barbecue or whatever it is, and have the music outside. So I definitely look forward to what you’re saying there. I definitely appreciate that one. Because the show is about growth. What is one habit, mindset shift or behavior change you’ve made in your life in it can’t be switching should to wants that has had an oversized impact on improving your life?
Tricia Huffman 1:23:09
Hmm. Yeah, my obvious one is definitely eliminating the shoulds. There’s so many and even the talk or the quote that I highlighted on but you know, what was the one that came up to when you’re saying that until me I could not use the should have once, which is for a while I had had this craving to get tattoos on my fingers on my hands. And I was like, Why? Why am I craving to get tattoos on my hands? Like, what is it? What is it? What is that about? Like? Why do I want that? And I realized that I wanted it for me, it was a reminder that I am here to be me. Like I am not here to be anybody else. Like for some reason that that that was like a marker to me that like you are here to be yourself. You’re not here to be anybody else. And so like along with all this other stuff, it’s this constant reminder that we’re going into this default of what we should do, what do we want from people what works for me like not allowing ourselves to do these things differently that might work for us in their money? Like I’m here to do things my way. I’m not here to do be anybody else or do anything else. So I don’t know if that’s it is a mind shift set shift for me to like bring myself back to again because I will start to resort to Oh, but this way or that or this bla bla bla and then it’s like, Hmm, I’m here to be me.
Clint Murphy 1:24:30
Yeah, it resonates with me a lot because as a CFO by day I often find you can get put in a box will you are this because you’re an accountant. And I like to think well no, that’s just I chose that as a career. That is not a definition of me. And so I do have a half sleeve on one arm and tattoos on my other forearm. And for me, those are no I’m not in your box, you want me in a box as a CFO, I’m me, these are for me to show you in a way, I’ll never be in your box, whatever your box is. I’m living my life for me. And so they are for me. So I absolutely 100% resonate with that, even though I hid it for a number of years until I got the role. And then it was like T shirts to wear. So we went pretty far and wide on the book. Is there anything that we didn’t cover that you want to make sure you get across to the listener today?
Tricia Huffman 1:25:38
Oh, yeah. I mean, yeah, we hit a lot of nooks and crannies of the book there from the book. There’s more in there. And like I said, there’s even ways of like figuring out how to deal with the times that are like, wow, this shouldn’t be happening when life sucks, or procrastination. So how that you can like, make things so I go into all the different angles so that you can’t be like, Oh, but some things have to be assured. I’m like, Okay, well, let’s look at it differently. But you know, I think I mentioned this at the beginning. And it’s one of the last chapters of, you’re allowed, like, I really, like want to, like, drive that into, like, you are allowed to be yourself. You’re allowed to do things your own way, you’re allowed to change your mind like this to like, take that with you today. Like, I am allowed and what shows up for you when even say that?
Clint Murphy 1:26:24
Yeah, it’s beautiful. And how can our listeners find you.
Tricia Huffman 1:26:27
I’m at yourjoyologist.com I, you can get the book, you know, wherever it’s available, you can also go to Ftheshouldsdothewants.com for links, and I’m most active on Instagram and Tiktok @_TriciaHuffman. Oh, and I also have a podcast, Claimit podcast. Oh, and I also I have if you want to, if you want to download the chapter one of the book for free and I have like some like from the heart talks, you can go to your joyologist.com\gift, I forgot that I have that. So that’s a good way to you can like, you know, see, by listening to this episode, I’m sure that you are like I’m gonna get that book right now. But if you’re still on the fence, go download chapter one for free.
Clint Murphy 1:27:10
You definitely should get it right now it’s it and it’s not only want to get it right now, right interior. It’s a beautiful cover. And, you know, if you’re going to judge a book by its cover, then this is one you should pick up and read and you won’t be disappointed. So definitely do it. I loved it. And Tricia I found it because I went into the bookstore, it was turned out and I took a photo and sent it to my wife and said, Let’s talk to Tricia. So you did a great job on your cover art and I love to read and really enjoyed our conversation today. Thank you for joining me on the growth guide podcast.
Tricia Huffman 1:27:50
Thank you so much for having me.