Reclaim your life and live your dreams, with Hay House Joyologist Tricia Huffman
I was the last person I thought lived a life of ‘shoulds’. I was living my dream life! By the age of 25 I was on tour with the legendary Dolly Parton controlling what she and her band heard on stage. When I wasn’t touring the world doing sound I was traveling on my own. It wasn’t until my father passed away at the age of 57 from an accident that I decided to actually give up the word ‘should’. I was lost in grief and wanted to shake people up to living THEIR life while they still had one. His death made me hyper aware of how so many people seemed to just be going through the motions of life and looked unhappy. I saw firsthand how life is short and that even those people who had it all, weren’t fully enjoying the lives they had created. I didn’t know
what I would do but I knew I had to do something.
Swap shoulds for wants
I started with completely cutting the word ‘should’ out of my life and swapping it for ‘want’. After I exchanged every ‘What should I do?’ for ‘What do I want to do?’ I created a new path for myself as a touring Joyologist, keeping Grammy Award winning artists grounded and in integrity with themselves as they lived out the dreams they worked so hard for. But still to this day, the shoulds show up and try to stop me, limit me, have me doubt myself and feel I am not enough. I question them and look deeper within to see and own my wants. Overcoming the shoulds and choosing my wants daily helps me show up for my life with joy, purpose and fulfillment for the little stuff and the big stuff. Life is both long and short and I choose to not just go through the motions of it!
Now try something new
Choose your dream life
It’s time for you to say f*** the shoulds and replace comparison and shame with your real wants and desires!
1 A lot of our feelings of not being enough come from comparing ourselves to others. We see what they have or are achieving and feel we should be more like them, we should have that opportunity too, we should do what they are doing. When you find yourself in comparison, look deeper. Do you want what they have? If yes, celebrate that they are an example that it is possible not just for them, but for you too. Allow yourself to connect to your wants and nudge yourself to show up for them in any small way.
2 Move through ‘should have’ shame. It’s normal to wish you had done something differently, but living in that ‘should have’ shame and regret isn’t useful. When you find yourself feeling you should have done something differently, see that by being in a ‘should have’ you are proving to yourself that you have already learned, grown and evolved by seeing how you would do it differently if you could turn back time. Instead of beating yourself up for what has already happened, you can support your future self to make a different choice and show your present self some compassion. What already happened, already happened. You can’t change the past but you can change the future.
3 My favourite tip for overcoming procrastination – so when I feel like I really should be exercising, cleaning, working on that project and so on, is to ask myself these two questions to turn my ‘should’ into a ‘want’. I may not want to do the thing, but I do want the end result!
• WHY would I want to?
• How will it feel to do it?
4 When looking for advice, instead of asking, ‘what should I do?’ try this: ‘I am interested in your opinion. If you were in my place, what choice would you make?’ By taking the ‘should’ out when seeking advice, you show yourself and the other person that it is still your choice to make. You are collecting data to make the best choice for you, not giving your power over to someone else who knows which choice is best for you. You are allowing yourself to get suggestions and still make your own choice.
5 Unfortunately should-ing ourselves out of our feelings doesn’t work! Neither does pushing them down or pretending they don’t exist. What I have discovered is that meeting myself with love and compassion as I name what I am feeling actually supports me to move through those feelings. Try asking yourself these questions:
• What am I feeling? (Name the feelings.)
• Why am I feeling this? (It’s okay if you don’t know.)
• How do I want to feel?
• What can I do to support myself in feeling that right now and nurture myself?
Gain access to even more lessons and tools that this daily practice has gifted me for over a decade now with my new book F The Shoulds. Do The Wants. Get Clear On Who You Are, What You Want, And Why You Want It. and allow yourself to LIVE YOUR LIFE!
Tricia Huffman aka Your Joyologist, is a rock and roll roadie at heart and now Author of F the Shoulds. Do the Wants. Get Clear On Who You Are, What You Want, and Why You Want It. (£7.59, Hay House) amazon.co.uk. Visit triciahuffman.com and ftheshouldsdothewants.com
Set off on a joyride
Emily Milsom, Storyteller and Soul Guide (thejoyride.co and Instagram @emilythejoyfulnomad), shares her story about ditching the ‘should’
The first time I was ever challenged on my use of the word ‘should’ was during a therapy session back in 2017. This was after I quit my job, but before I started travelling the world. I’d been caught in a place of what I thought I should do with my life, constantly making choices which I thought were the smart options but ultimately failed because I realised when you live your life determined by what you feel you should do, you end up living someone else’s life. From this point, I was able to ask myself what I truly wanted from life.
Removing ‘should’ helped me to realise how unhappy I had been staying in the UK. I began to question so many things. From my choice of work to my location. Did I want to follow the more conventional path I’d always known or could I be open to travel? To live nomadically? To work remotely? Things ‘should’ had kept me from questioning before.
In my experience, ‘should’ has never led me down a path of happiness or joy. What has, is asking what I want, hope for and dream of. So ditch the should and discover what you really want!