Quit "Shoulding" All Over Yourself


Ever feel like you've been waiting for permission to live the life you've always dreamed of? Well, permission is granted on this week's episode with Tara Grieb. We're talking about giving up the idea of living up to someone else's, or even society's, expectations. Tara is an expert that helps people shed their "shoulds" and uncover their inner badass. Tune in for the powerful conversation, and you might want to grab a pen and paper for this one.

Some of this weeks episode highlights are:

15:23 I have to start all over? No, you need to change direction! You're making an informed decision to change direction and starting over implies that you're stripping yourself of all of your stuff. Whereas changing direction is you take with you your experience, your wisdom, your successes and your failures and what you've learned from them, your years on the planet, which brings a lot of depth.

22:10 I think as we age, we become more comfortable in our own skin, some of that confidence just happens naturally, whether we do anything or not, it's just living and experiencing life. You begin to be less affected by other people's opinions and expectations. You realize that the little moments and the little things are so much more important than the big things and the material things.


And that's confidence, you know! Look at your accomplishments and know what they are. I think that helps a lot of people realize all that they are, and all that they're capable of. I call it uncovering your inner bad-ass!

39:48 Giving yourself permission, I think, is one of the greatest acts of self love. Giving yourself permission to say this thing that I've chosen doesn't fit me anymore. Giving yourself permission to say whatever this that I have is, it's not that it's not good enough. It's not that I'm not satisfied with it. It has served me well, but I've outgrown it. And so it's time for me to appreciate what it was and now build what's next.

--- Full Raw Transcription Below ---

Tara Grieb (00:00:00):

You know, I think a lot of times when people say to you: 'you shouldn't', what they're really saying is 'I couldn't', and therefore, 'don't'!

Introduction (00:00:14):

Welcome to the Side Hustle Lounge . If you're looking for flexible ways to earn income, grow your mindset, and live the lifestyle you've always dreamed of, you are in the right place. So lower the lights. Grab your favorite beverage and join your host. Founder of NotaryCoach.com and Amazon bestselling author of Sign and Thrive: How To Make Six Figures As A Mobile Notary And Loan Signing Agent, Bill Soroka .

Bill Soroka (00:00:49):

Cheers and welcome to my guest today, Tara Grieb, she's the Chief Visionary Officer and host of the Should Theory podcast. She's also an author speaker consultant that moves people from "I Should" to "I am". Tara, welcome, and thank you so much for being on the show.

Tara Grieb (00:01:07):

Hi Bill. Thank you so much for having me. I'm

Bill Soroka (00:01:09):

So glad that we got to reconnect again. I have missed you as well, and so glad we can get together and talk about something that we're both passionate. We're talking about how a solo preneurs entrepreneurs, business people, humans in general can stop shoulding all over themselves. Yes. Before I asked my first question, I wonder if you could explain what shoulding all over yourself really is for people.

Tara Grieb (00:01:35):

I will. So generally I think we think of should with a negative connotation. It isn't always, right? There are motivational sheds. Like I should get off the couch and go to the gym. But for the most part, I think when we think about the word should it's written with guilt or remorse, I should have spent more time with them. I should have told them how I felt. I should just stay put because it's safe because it's reliable because it's what everybody expects me to do. And I think that we tend to do it to ourselves. I should work more. I should make more money. I mean, the list could go on and I think everybody's shoulds, are individual to them and their situation. Although there are like the ones I just mentioned, ones that we all can relate to and find our own 'Oh yeah, I do that' moment in them.

Bill Soroka (00:02:32):

Yeah. You led off with one of the biggest ones for me is I should go to the gym.

Tara Grieb (00:02:37):

Yeah. Yes. Just having the membership doesn't make things happen. You actually have to physically go there apparently

Bill Soroka (00:02:43):

I continue to learn that lesson every day. I love this because I think should wish that regret or that remorse or that shame almost attached to them. It's so disempowering that it doesn't make us step forward and change our behavior or our thoughts.

Tara Grieb (00:03:02):

No, if anything, it, it does the opposite and forces us to shrink into the corner.

Bill Soroka (00:03:08):

Yeah. Shrink into the corner. I love that. Why, why is, I mean, you've, you've got a incredible career. 22 years in education. Now making a shift into the consulting and the authorship. Speaking and the mastermind you got going on, podcasts you've got, why, why is this your thing? Why is people stop shoulding themselves so important?

Tara Grieb (00:03:40):

I think it's a couple of things. Number one. It's my thing, because it's what I have done to myself lo these 47 years. You know, I have always been a people pleaser. I have always been a person who worried what everybody else thinks, including the garbage man. Does he think my garbage cans too dirty? Should I clean it? I'm not sure. I don't want him to be upset. So that's just who I have always been. My parents were both in education and had very high expectations for me, but also had what I would call more traditional expectations about what makes a career what a responsible person does. And so it was never, will you go to college? It was, where will you go to college? And the path was, you get married, I'm sorry, you graduated high school. You go to college, you get your masters, you get married, you have children, you work for 30 years.

Tara Grieb (00:04:35):

And then you go right off into the sunset and enjoy your life. And why do I have to wait until that end part to enjoy my life? Number one. But that was the expectation. I always joke and say, when I went to college, there was no such thing as add drop. You know, it wasn't, you are in a course and within two weeks you go, Hmm, this isn't the right one. My parents were like, if that's what you have to take, that's what you take. And so, as a result, I got a D in Russian history, but anyway, terrible class. But so I have been that 'people pleaser' and part of the way when I finished student teaching, I remember saying to my mom, I hate this. It's not what I want to do. I started out as a theater and dance major.

Tara Grieb (00:05:22):

And it was not in the cards for me. It didn't help that at the age of 18, I looked like I was 12. I appreciate it now. But back then I looked like I was 12. I was five feet tall. I certainly wasn't going to be a Rockette. You know? So I was going to be that girl on 90210 that was like 32 and playing a high school student that would have been me. So anyhow, I just didn't have the guts to say, no, I'm forging my own path again, being a people pleaser and an obedient. And I spent a lot of years, I don't want to say blaming my parents, but feeling like, well, I'm here because this is the career my parents wanted me to have. They were educators and I think they viewed it as reliable.

Tara Grieb (00:06:15):

And with good benefits and retirement package, which it is. So you know, in hindsight now at, at the age of mat, you know, I'm 47 at this point. And, and looking back, I realize that blaming them doesn't make much sense because really I didn't have the wherewithal to say, no, I'm forging my own path. No, I'm, I don't want to major in what you're majoring wanting me to major in. And if that means you don't pay for college, I'll figure it out myself. I didn't do that. I just said, okay. And went along. So really I'm equally to blame if we're going to use that word. But it was just what was in the stars for me at that time. So I went into education you know, after I graduated, my dad passed away right after I graduated from cancer. And so I went to school full-time to get my master's and I finally landed a position.

Tara Grieb (00:07:10):

And I taught for seven years teaching elementary school and changing my grade level almost every year for my own interest to keep it fresh. And I got to a point where I said to my then husband I can't - this 30 years, there's gotta be something else. So I'm going to try administration. And I went back to school while teaching got my administrative certification. And by 2005, I was a high school assistant principal. And I've been a school administrator ever since. So with that said, I have found my niche in education. Is it niche isn't niche? I'm not sure.

Bill Soroka (00:07:50):

I'm not sure, I like "niche" (nisch) sometimes unless something rhymes with "niche" (nitch) and ithen i might use that.

Tara Grieb (00:07:55):

It sounds fancy. But I, I found my niche in that I lead with the heart. I am vulnerable when I lead, I put people before paper and I have made it a point. I've been a building principal since 2009. And I know every single student by name, I know what their interests are. I know what their struggles are. And that has been my forte for my entire career. You know, and so in doing that, it has, I have found a way to put things I love into it and get things I love out of it. However, I would go through this annual or at least biannual, I got to get out. It's not, there's something missing. I'm called to do something else. I don't know what it is. I know when you and I talked last time you were, you know, you called yourself a Multipotentialite I use that word all the time.

Tara Grieb (00:08:57):

Now I would constantly be having these creative ideas of side hustles that hopefully would be something I could transfer into. My favorite that gets a laugh was a continuing Ed course place where you could take courses and Fro-Yo place. And I was going to call it Yo-Self Institute and it was going to be the next sensation and go viral and franchise out. It was going to be great, but it never happened. It never happened. You know, so that was one. I had an online zero waste business where I sold things to help people live a more sustainable lifestyle. And I called it Zilch - Zero Waste Goods. I had that online store on the side for awhile. They were all okay. And they, they got my creative juices flowing, but they all would require me at some point to make them successful, to stop what I was doing and move on.

Tara Grieb (00:09:55):

And in addition to all the other things I explained about my parents, they also raised me, my mom, especially because my parents did get divorced when I was younger. You need to be able to do everything for yourself. You need to be able to financially sustain yourself so that when you meet someone it's not, "I need you" it's "I choose you". And so that's how I've lived my life. I was the breadwinner with, with my ex-husband. I'm financially, as far as comparing salaries on paper, I still am. And the years in between where it was just me. And so the idea of taking a risk, especially when it was just me responsible for my two kids was not something that I felt I could do or had permission to do. So I am the queen of 'shoulding' all over yourself, simply from, you know, that story that I just told you.

Tara Grieb (00:10:55):

So this year my youngest is about in a couple of weeks to go off to college. And my oldest is about to start his junior year of college. And so she has worked really hard and got this amazing academic scholarship to her school of choice, to the point that when I looked at what the bottom line boiled down to for my portion of what I'm responsible for her to go to school, I looked at my savings that I had accumulated for her college and realized that I had enough to cover all four years right now, today in that account. And I went, huh. Okay. and it doesn't mean I'm a really good saver. It just means she's a really good student by the way. But that was a freeing moment for me because I had enough to cover my son's last two years, I have enough to cover her four years and that burden of responsibility was lifted to some degree. And I have an amazing husband who said, listen, you do this every year. You go through your annual, I can't do this anymore every year. And I'd rather have a happy you and eat tuna fish every day than a miserable you and be able to do whatever we want.

Bill Soroka (00:12:17):

So it's time to 'should' or get off the pot.

Tara Grieb (00:12:18):

Right. So then it's just a matter of saying, okay, do I want to build a bridge or do I want to take a leap of faith? And currently I'm building a bridge. And so within that, there are little leaps of faith as you build that bridge. I think as you put yourself out there, I know for me a big step was back in February when I said, you know what, I'm going to start to do these things. I felt like I had a book in me. I felt like my forte is people and talking to people and interviewing I do it for a living. And so so I said, well, you know, let me start this podcast. And I'll write this book, which you know, is in outline form for sure. And that started happening. And then I realized, you know, I kind of "coach people", quote unquote, I'm doing air quotes.

Tara Grieb (00:13:19):

Every day, I'm the senior administrator in my district. So people in my district come to me and say, Tara, how would you handle XYZ? I'm second from the top senior administrator in my county. So amongst our organization, when we bounce ideas off of each other, I have people coming to me saying, what do you think about this? How would you handle that? And then throw in there, parents that you deal with on the regular kids that you deal with on regular teachers and having just gone through and not quite done yet, but God having just gone through COVID and what it's done to education, as far as how you have to shift and pivot and figure stuff out. It made me realize that I do this every day as part of my career. Why can't I do it, not in education for people who are just like me, who at some point in their lives said, I keep feeling like there's a hole and I need to fill it. And I'm not quite sure how. So I lead by example and I coached by example and use my own experiences. You know, I always say you need somebody who is just a few steps on the path ahead of you. So it can kind of take your hand and say, come on. This is the way I figured this part out. Let's go. And, and can speak to you from the trenches as it were.

Bill Soroka (00:14:43):

Yeah, absolutely. I love that. You said that. I think, I think people put too much pressure on themselves when making big choices like this. Like there's a lot of the validity and the reality is real. You get family to take care of you have your responsibilities. And then I think we also build up some false perspectives on what we can do. We think we have to start from scratch every time you make a shift, I love how you take what you're doing every day. So you're not totally tapping your energy or stretching or putting your energy in two different directions, just taking what you do and applying it to this.

Tara Grieb (00:15:21):

I say that all the time. In fact, I just wrote an article about this saying how we do such a disservice to ourselves when we want to do something new, or we know we need to make a change, think about what most other people would say. I have to start all over. You know, I'm, I'm 22 years in my career. I, I'm not ready to start over. I don't want to start over and start over to me… I always think about a video game. You know, I always think about it begins, you have to begin with nothing is the connotation that comes with it. And so what I try to say is, no, you need to change direction. You're making an informed decision to change direction and starting over implies that you're stripping yourself of all of your stuff. Whereas changing direction is you take with you, your experience, your wisdom, your successes and your failures and what you've learned from them, your years on the planet, which brings a lot of, of depth. And you take all of that with you, making an informed decision to change direction. That doesn't mean you don't have to learn new things to get that done, but you're also not stripping yourself of all of your life experience and knowledge.

Bill Soroka (00:16:36):

Yeah. That's, it's such a great point. There is… Everything that made you great before, because we've all been really good at something in our lives and we really enjoyed something related to a skillset or personality. All of that comes right along with, you don't get out the door and then start all over again.

Tara Grieb (00:16:53):

And I think having the idea of having to start over is something that it's a different way to "should" on yourself. Right. You know, I should stay put, I don't want to start all over again. I'm so I'm too far in to get out. I should stay, I should work until I get that magic number of retirement without penalty or the benefit package or whatever, when really, you know, what's to say that you wouldn't just maintain, nobody's going to take that away from you, maintain what you've already built and then just start building in another pile over here. And then when you're done, you have two piles and that's okay.

Bill Soroka (00:17:28):

Ok to have two piles!

Tara Grieb (00:17:29):

I have six piles. That's good.

Bill Soroka (00:17:31):

Absolutely. There is something else that you said, I'm wondering if you could possibly elaborate on it because it's going to lead us to how how we can relieve ourselves in some of these shoulds. But you said that you find ways in your current job or over the last 22 years to finding your joy and passion and kind of weave it into what you did every day. And it reminded me of a song. I don't know, who's sang it, but it's, if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with. And I think we can apply that to a job too, because sometimes we are, and we're just in it. We don't have the perspective. Maybe we're just like right there in it. So we don't have the perspective to, to leave, or we don't have the knowledge yet. We don't know what we don't know sometimes. So how do you how did you weave those moments of joy into a job that you knew? Wasn't quite…

Tara Grieb (00:18:27):

I think, I think that you know, it, I don't want to paint a picture that says getting rid of your shoulds and making a change requires a drastic life change. It could be something as simple as I want to be healthier and feel better, you know? And so I need to make a change in how I eat and how I exercise, you know, you and I talked about that. You know, the last time we talked and I think so to the point that you're, you're asking about, if there are reasons that you need to stay put in your relationship in your career, in your, whatever it is, then I think your next best step is to say where in here, whatever this is - can I make improvements to what I already have, you know, in, in the same way that you own a home and you choose to renovate or make improvements to your home, you chip away with, oh, you know, what's the most effective, beneficial thing in this house that I'm living in that needs improvements.

Tara Grieb (00:19:31):

Wow. If I upgrade the kitchen first, I'm going to get a lot of use out of it. It's going to, you know, be the thing that increases the value of the house, the most, whatever your reasons are. There's going to be a reason why you say the kitchen is the room. That is the most beneficial to go to first. Similarly, whether it's a huge shift that you make or something that needs to just be tweaked or slightly renovated, you do that same thing. You take a survey of what it is that you have, what it is that you feel like is missing. And is there a way to insert that into what I already have? You know, if my marriage is struggling, are there things we can do? And I'm going to be very superficial. Can we go, go on more date nights? Can we take more time with each other?

Tara Grieb (00:20:20):

Will that fill some of the voids? You know, what is it similarly? For me in education, you know, I went back to how I wanted to… Performing was sort of my first love theater and dance … we created a faculty talent show and that was a production that we put on every other year. And we built a TV station, a TV studio in our school and did morning announcements. And so there were little places like that where I could infuse joy. And then there were places that I found that I didn't even know I would enjoy such as helping others within my field and talking to them about you know, being a leader or, or just, I don't want to say how I do what I do, but you know, people that have the same career or the same job that you do saying this is the situation I have. What did you do? And then being able to offer that advice really fills the bucket.

Bill Soroka (00:21:22):

Yeah, absolutely. I think that's almost imperative for enjoying and happiness is when you can reach back, extend a hand, shine a light, watch out for that rock. Here's the stairs. You gotta hack a route over here for you. What do we do about living up to expectations other people's expectations, or they'd love for you to even go into, how do you live up to our own expectations? Sometimes

Tara Grieb (00:21:51):

Step one, don't give a flip. So proud of myself that I didn't say the other word right now. You know, that for me was the biggest struggle was, you know, not caring if the garbage man thought that my garbage can was too dirty. And I think as we age and we become more comfortable in our own skin, some of that confidence just happens naturally, whether we do anything or not, it's just living and experiencing life. You, you, you begin to… I don't want to say care less, but you begin to be less affected by other people's opinions and expectations. And I think it's a process of, and this part goes for yourself as well, realizing that the little moments and the little things are so much more important than the big things and the material things, and that's an exercise for self and for you know, the world and who else might be looking at you.

Tara Grieb (00:22:58):

More specifically, I think it's a confidence problem. I think that too often, if, well, I'll say it this way. If we are confident in who we are, what we're about and what our strengths are, then we tend to be less effected by what others think we are. And our strengths are, you know, if you are comfortable in your own skin, you know, you see it when you have someone rocking some outfit that they think looks amazing and they're walking down the street, like they designed it, let alone are wearing it. You know, they don't care if it doesn't fit, they don't care if it's not the right outfit for that setting, they are rocking it.

Bill Soroka (00:23:35):

It doesn't match … they don't care! They love it!

Tara Grieb (00:23:38):

And that's confidence, you know? And so one of the things I realized was looking at your accomplishments and knowing what they are and doing it in a way that they are compiled, for lack of a better word, I think helps a lot of people realize all that they are and all that they're capable of. So I always call it uncovering your inner bad-ass. And so that was one of the things that happened for me. I was, I was going into a Facebook group and, you know, when you join some sort of a discussion group and it's, so tell us about yourself and introduce, give us a little bit of your background. And I did the same thing that I think everybody does is I read other people's introductory posts. So I get a sense for where's the bar, you know, what is it that people are expecting that I share, you know do I have to talk about, oh, my child's an honors student and I own these two cars now, or are people being real?

Tara Grieb (00:24:44):

Are they being very surface level? Are they going deep because you don't want to post too much, you don't want to share overshare and you also don't want to be too flippant and not tell enough depending on the nature of the group. So all this pressure. And so I look through these other people's posts and post people's posts, and I realize that what they're sharing is sort of a triptych or itinerary of things they have done. And it's a pretty solid variety. It's not cocky and it's not annoying, but it's also not superficial. So I say, okay. And I dive in I'm Tara Grieb. You know, I live in upstate New York. I've been in education for 22 years. And you know, when I'm not in education here, some of the things I have done and I start listing some things, you know I've run two half marathons for charity and I have, I don't know.

Bill Soroka (00:25:48):

You've flown a bi-plane!

Tara Grieb (00:25:50):

Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. I have flown a bi-plane. I grew up working at a World War I airplane museum, and I was a damsel in distress and I'm listing all of those things. You know, one of my biggest milestones is my school was in a nationally televised hostage crisis in 2009. And I ended up having to be the incident commander and, and leading my school through a hostage crisis with an armed gunman that made national news now, to me, I'm like, oh yeah, that happened. I should write down like, oh, that was a thing that I did that I'm proud of. But it was like not even a whole sentence. And again, I'm like, and I was a single mom and I did this and I ran that and I started listing the things again, not trying to promote myself, but just to say it.

Tara Grieb (00:26:42):

And I looked at the list before I hit publish. And there was this moment of holy crap, you know, and yeah. And there were things on there, like, you know, led a girl scout troop. I, you know, I don't know it was, it was everything. And it, it was this really big moment where I looked at it and not only did I look at it for what was on it, I looked at it for what was happening in my life when I accomplished some of those things. You know, what struggles you know, parent dying of cancer, parent dying of cancer, again you know going through a divorce, trying times that you may have, and yet you, you do these things. And I had this epiphany of I've done all these things. I can really do anything I set my mind to.

Tara Grieb (00:27:41):

And that really was a foundation for me, of anybody can do what I just did. You know, anybody can make a list of their accomplishments. Because when else do you ever do that? You do them, you achieve the thing. You know, I ran a PTA fundraiser and then the PTA fundraisers over. And you probably don't think about it again. I, you know, I worked at an airplane museum. There's a lot of people around here that worked at that airplane museum. So I don't think much of it, but when I really do think about it, it's like, yeah, but that's local to here and outside of here, it's like, I'm sorry, you did what?

Bill Soroka (00:28:19):

That's pretty damn cool!

Tara Grieb (00:28:23):

So you know, I think I, it made me realize that anybody could do this and really not only look at it as if it was a different person that was being described and really having an appreciation for what's on it, but use it to build their own confidence, to realize, wow, look, it's not like, I don't think I could do this change I want to do it's look what I've already done to build that confidence to then do the thing, whether the thing is small changes to infuse happiness, where you are or big changes, because you're ready to make a whole shift like we were talking about before.

Bill Soroka (00:29:00):

Yeah, that's huge. I think what a reminder, I think it was Glennon Doyle who says we can do hard things or you can do hard things. And I think it's, I think that's great advice to remind yourself of what you are capable of. And we do, we tend to discount it. We don't celebrate. This happens to me all the time. I struggled with remembering to celebrate anything. I have to remind myself to make, to celebrate things. But when you don't, when you don't have those little lists or reminders, it's really easy to let the negative stuff (inaudible). And I read an interesting article or book, probably a book about the science of why negative things mean more to our brains because it's part of our our brains trying to protect us. So it makes, it gives more weight to the negative things in your life. And if you don't stop, hit pause, remind yourself of your inner bad-ass. As you said, it can, it can look like maybe you can't do hard things, or then you start losing your confidence.

Tara Grieb (00:30:02):

Well, transfer it back to education. You know, on the daily, during the school year, I'm talking to teenagers who could have this amazing run of accomplishments and it takes one negative comment from another person to wreck their entire psyche and their entire confidence. And I say to them all the time, 10 people could compliment you on what you're wearing today. And you could walk around and be like, yeah, this is a great outfit. I feel great. And one person has to make a negative comment and you will not think about the other 10 people's comments at all. One comment, then you're done.

Bill Soroka (00:30:37):

It is so weird how that works. You know, when you're branching into things like YouTube and Facebook and you start posting stuff and podcasts and books, you can have a thousand great reviews and one one-star reviews. And guess which one you obsess about - i speak from personal experience!

Tara Grieb (00:30:57):

It's true. You know, it's everything. It's not how old you are. It's not what the thing is. But yeah, one negative comment or thought can out wipe out 10, 20 positive years of positivity and you have one bad review and you're done, you know, or you're questioning your life choices because one person said I'm not, that's not for me. And I think that's the other thing is realizing that you aren't for everybody, Right?

Bill Soroka (00:31:27):

Huge. Right!

Tara Grieb (00:31:27):

I mean, put it on a simple, a simple level. How many people drink tea? How many people drink coffee? You know, both are equally beneficial in the wheelhouse of caffeine. They both have their place. You know, it's not for everybody. Coffee's not for everybody. Tea's not for everybody.

Bill Soroka (00:31:47):

If coffee took it personally, we'd never see it again.

Tara Grieb (00:31:50):

We never would see it again. And, and I think that's the other realization is you aren't going to be for everybody. Just like everybody isn't for you. You don't like everybody you meet,

Bill Soroka (00:31:59):

But that would be exhausting if we did. Right. How do you actually boost self-confidence to a higher level? Did you put into, I mean, in addition to doing the uncovering your bad-ass exercise you described, is there anything else that you did to help overcome? I mean, you have really strong family expectations of the regular societal expectations too. What else did you do to overcome those?

Tara Grieb (00:32:33):

You know, I think it's, it's a better question would be, what am I doing? And I think that's the other piece of this is I don't think you ever stop shoulding on yourself. You can be well-versed in self-development cause man, is that a vortex that sucks you down the hole and you read all the books and do all the things. You could be well-versed deep content knowledge about, about your psyche and your confidence and all the things. And you're still going to find ways to have doubt, self doubt, nerves question a direction. I don't think that ever goes away. And so to some degree it keeps us sharp to some degree, it keeps us motivated, but again, it can hinder us as well. And so you know, I made that list. I, I guess the biggest other thing I could say is I'm in the process now of giving myself permission to make those next steps and giving myself permission to be true to what it is that I want to do.

Tara Grieb (00:33:46):

And I think the other piece that's important is having the, and in your life and not the, or meaning. I said earlier about building a bridge, you know, you can stay in your place that gives you fiscal security for now and, you know, start learning whatever you might need to learn to do what you want to do. I mean, in the last six months, I've had to learn how to create music, use an editing tool produce a podcast, what microphone to buy, what platform to record on blah, blah, blah. You know, just that learning curve has been, you know, a lot.

Bill Soroka (00:34:33):

Yeah. And that's huge. And then you attribute to yourself that you can actually do those things.

Tara Grieb (00:34:38):

Right. So it's saying, and, you know, it's not, I'm going to be an educator or I'm going to be someone that helps people move past XYZ. I can be both, you know, in the same way that you might say, I can't be a mom and have a career. Yeah. You can, I can be both. And so the other piece besides, and is infusing in yourself, just that ability to shift and pivot and say, I thought this was the right direction, but Nope, I'm just going to shift over here. I'm going to change direction again. Meaning I've done this for 22 years. Let's say my podcast falls apart tomorrow and nobody listens to it. And I decided to shut it down. That doesn't mean I can't start something new after that. And I think that's the other, the other thing that we have to learn, and I say this to educational leaders all the time I think really educational and corporate leaders feel stuck often because once you are an administrator or a CEO or whatever, you are, you are expected to have all of the answers all the time.

Tara Grieb (00:35:46):

You're expected to remain, maintain your composure. You're expected to be able to come up with a solution. You're be able to it to be able to not show fear or frustration and have all the answers. Here's a secret. We don't have all the answers. We get scared as hell. We don't always know what to do. And the pandemic, I think really showed that to a lot of people. So that's the other thing that I talked to… about is, you know, being willing to be vulnerable and say, you know, I don't know. And I would even go so far as to say that some of my strongest moments as a school leader in the last year and a half have been some of my weakest, you know, where I'm talking to my faculty, going guys, this is hard. I'm crying at night. I'm stressed out. I don't know what to do. I'm worried about my own kids who are seniors in high school. This is a lot as a lot for you. And it's a lot for me versus don't worry, suck it up. This is what we're going to do. Here's the plan.

Bill Soroka (00:36:40):

I bet that was very much appreciated too.

Tara Grieb (00:36:45):

I find that people appreciate someone who is real and approachable.

Bill Soroka (00:36:52):

You know, that just shows the power of vulnerability. I think, I think it feels like people are craving vulnerability and authenticity. I think it ties right into that. We don't, although we do love to have a guy we'd love to have a leader that knows the way we also would appreciate knowing that they're a human being and they're experiencing or have experienced the same fears.

Tara Grieb (00:37:18):

And it goes back to what I do when I help other people be it students be it in my educational career or be it in dealing with, you know, masterminds or one-on-one. My purpose, my process isn't to say I'm going to tell you why you're a bad-ass, I'm going to tell you what direction you should take, because, who am I, you know, other than someone who has experienced many of the same feelings who you know, is doing the same type of thing, I view myself more as someone who gives you the pathway, you know, think about what I just said. I help other people uncover that they are a bad-ass. I don't tell them why they're bad-ass they figure it out for themselves. And I think that's the key is, you know, who am I to tell you what choice you should make or what your shift should be?

Tara Grieb (00:38:11):

Cause then I'm just "shoulding" on you instead of "shoulding" on myself. And so my job is better to help you build your own confidence, help you figure out what direction makes the most sense to you. You know, I talked about the kitchen earlier. It's no different than with your own thing. What thing that interests you that you feel called to would be the most beneficial to you in your life? If you did it right now of all these things, which one is it? Okay, great. That's the one, what do we need to do to get you there? You know, so I see myself more as someone that again, takes you by the hand and says, now you're going to go here and you're going to answer these, these questions that are looming in your head. Oh, watch out for this pitfall. Okay, you're done with that. Great. The next step is over there. So I'm more of the guide than I am the Buddha that has all the answers.

Bill Soroka (00:39:06):

That's way more real. And I think too, a lot of people put the pressure on us. Like you use the kitchen analogy, but sometimes if your budget or your bandwidth can't be the kitchen, it can be changing the curtains or …

Tara Grieb (00:39:24):

Paint the cabinets ….

New Speaker (00:39:24):

Or hanging a picture. Just something that is a step forward in the right direction. So I think with a lot of people or a lot of people, there is some shame that comes with the shoulds I should be able to. So I shouldn't be even in the situation. So it sounds like some self love and forgiveness plays into this. What do you think?

Tara Grieb (00:39:48):

Absolutely. You know, think about what I said earlier, giving yourself permission, I think is one of the greatest acts of self love, giving yourself permission to say this thing that I've, I've chosen doesn't fit me anymore. You know, giving yourself permission to say whatever this that I have is, it's not that it's not good enough. It's not that I'm not satisfied with it. It has served me well, but I've outgrown it. And so it's time for me to appreciate what it was and now build what's next. And, and, you know, I think that's something that we just don't do for ourselves. And, you know, you said living up to other people's expectations or worrying what other people think. It's interesting. The people who … I can think of two examples of this, but the people who I talk to and I've been slowly easing into this process.

Tara Grieb (00:40:48):

You know, I think I said it earlier, it was a huge step for me to switch my 'about', on my Facebook to just say, principal to principal podcast, host author, keynote speaker, and then I hit the button and then was like, oh my God, what are people going to say? They're going to wonder what I'm doing. They're going to think I'm going through a midlife crisis. And all I got as a response was awesome. Cool. That's great. Can't wait to see what it's all about, you know, so it's, it's having that courage to put stuff out there and then you're, you're so worried about what people are going to think. And then you end up being shocked to find that 90% of the people are going to be like good for you. And the 10% that aren't often it's not judgment, it's jealousy.

Tara Grieb (00:41:34):

And here's what I mean by that. When I was getting divorced lo these many years ago you know, people had their opinions and the people that I found when I look back now who were the most judgmental about the choices that we were making as a family were unhappily, married women. They were the most vocal to me or behind my back about the choices that I was making. And now, you know, 15, 16, 17, whatever. It's been years later. It's interesting to me, how many of them are divorced? You know, so similarly I would say, when I talk now ever about, you know, I might not be the principal of this building anymore. I might switch to another job in education. I might just become a consultant. I might, I'm not sure, but I feel like maybe I've, you know, outgrown my time here and it's time to move on to something else.

Tara Grieb (00:42:38):

And there are people who are like, that's awesome. But then there's people that are like, I don't want a new principal. You know, I don't, I don't want you to leave. You shouldn't leave you, you won't be happy because I don't want a new principal. Well, is that about me? Or is that about you? And so, you know, I think a lot of times when people say to you, 'you shouldn't' what they're really saying is 'I couldn't, and therefore don't because I'll feel bad if you do it, I'll feel worse about myself If you successfully do it', you know, there's some people, those people that they can't build themselves up, so they pull you down. So that you're at that same level. But yeah, you know, is it jealousy or is it judgment? And I think that's a huge question that we need to ask ourselves when we get all hung up in, what are other people going to say? If

Bill Soroka (00:43:29):

I think you've said a lot of things that I'd like to just revisit there. First, since you just capped it off there. I think we'd probably be surprised that there's a lot less people thinking about this in the first place. Would you agree with that?

Tara Grieb (00:43:44):


Bill Soroka (00:43:44):

The they've got their own lives going on. I think we project a lot of that. The other thing is that you mentioned is that how much love and support you got whenever you do make those changes. And I have found that that we're surrounded by people who love and support us. If we give them a chance to take a risk, when you update your 'about' profile or you share your podcast, or you mention you're starting a new business, I started a lot of them. So I knew that the other huge point here though, is this advice that you're giving is basically not, don't dim your light to make other people more comfortable.

Tara Grieb (00:44:26):

And don't dim your light because you're afraid that people will criticize your lights brightness. Again, because maybe they can't make their own light that bright. And so it's not, it's not judgment of your light, it's jealousy that they don't know how to make their light that bright.

Bill Soroka (00:44:42):

Yeah. I think that's exactly what it comes down to because I think they're going through their own should, right? They're shoulding all over themselves. I should be doing that. I should be doing that. There they go doing that is pissing me off, I love the crab story where the crabs are in the bucket. And this is have you heard this analogy?

Tara Grieb (00:45:02):

Tell it because it's so good

Bill Soroka (00:45:04):

When crabs are in the bucket, they'll constantly climb, climb, climb, trying to get out of the bucket. If one of them grabs the edge of the bucket finally starts to pull themselves up all the other crabs in the bucket, grab that crab and pull it back down into the buckets. They all just sit in a bucket no longer live the same life. So in a lot of ways, there are some human experiences that demonstrate that too. Absolutely people get intimidated by your greatness and you can't let that stop you.

Tara Grieb (00:45:37):

We, we don't straighten each other's crowns enough.

Bill Soroka (00:45:41):

Ah, love that. Tara… This has been an amazing conversation. We're 45 minutes into, I feel like I get, like last time, I feel like I could just talk to you. There's one question that I have, and I'm wondering if I'd love to hear your perspective on it is how do we balance out having big hopes and dreams for ourselves, but also how do we balance that with unrealistic expectations?

Tara Grieb (00:46:14):

I think the biggest and best answer that I could give you to that is first with a question, what connotates unrealistic.

Bill Soroka (00:46:26):

ya - that was going to be my followup question.

Tara Grieb (00:46:26):

So, or I should say what makes it unrealistic now? If I were to say to you, I want to be the number one quarterback in the NFL that is unrealistic. Why?

Bill Soroka (00:46:42):


Tara Grieb (00:46:42):

Know I am 47, I'm five feet tall. I might even be four 11 at this point in my life. Those are just two reasons why I'm probably not, you know, I was speedy back in the day, but again, 47 years old. So unrealistic in that regard, I think we can all set some sort of a goal that we know for a fact is not realistic. And I think sometimes we appease our need for change by doing things like that. Like applying for a job that you never, you know, you're not qualified for, or, you know, they're never gonna call you, right. I'm going to apply to this job at Google where I don't even have, I don't know enough about it, but I'm going to apply for this IT job at Google. Now I can say to myself, I know I need a change. In fact, I'm applying for other jobs. Yeah, you're setting yourself up to scratch the itch, but not in a way that's realistic because there's not going to be any accountability afterwards or follow up required on your part, but you can still satisfy yourself and say I, well, I applied for the job

Bill Soroka (00:47:55):

So we can set ourselves up as kind of a cop out- like oh i applied for a job. And then they get validation that life doesn't work out.

Tara Grieb (00:48:06):

All right, you, you satisfy, you know, gee, I really need to lose some weight. So for my health and my clothes don't fit, right? And then you get an outfit that is a size up and you look better in it, but maybe you still don't feel better and your health isn't better. So you're just doing a quick bandaid fix as opposed to really getting to the root of the problem or really addressing what it is. So I think that's one way that we set unrealistic. I don't know if I would call them unrealistic goals. I would call that more unrealistic solutions because it's not a real solution. You know, you don't solve your problem. You make yourself feel better about having one. And so I think that would be one way that we set unrealistic things for ourselves. Other than that, I would be, I would be willing to say that unrealistic goals are only unrealistic if you say they are.

Tara Grieb (00:49:03):

And again, I know my football example was a little bit outlandish, but you know, if I set a goal and say, I want to be like Mel Robbins, I want to be sought out. I want to speak, I want to have a book. I want people to come to me and really respect my opinions and what it is that I say, why can't I, I can't be Mel Robbins. I have to be Tara Grieb, but why can't I, that's not unrealistic. You know? And the other piece of it is I think we put too much focus on the goal and we don't take enough enjoyment from the journey, you know, and you said something about celebrating wins or not celebrating wins along the way. And I think it's actually, Gary Vaynerchuk says this all the time. If you are so focused on the goal and you're not enjoying the process, sometimes you're, you're missing the best part of it, and you're doing it for the wrong reasons.

Tara Grieb (00:49:57):

You have to enjoy what you're learning along the way and, and take joy from the little parts of the journey. And so if you can do that, then the goals that you set for yourself, aren't unattainable. It's just that you're setting goals that are too far out. So I think you can have an umbrella, you know, a big picture, but I think your goals, your actual goals need to be smaller steps along the way. Then you're having those successes. It keeps you motivated to keep going so on and so forth. You know, so I would say that's the bigger problem is that our goal is the end and not smaller goals along the way.

Bill Soroka (00:50:41):

I love that idea of the umbrella as well. And I totally agree with you. And I think even though we have amazing quotes that become cliche, that success is a journey, not a destination, those exist because they are absolutely true. And what I learned in life is that who we become along the way is really what this is all about. It's not about checking off accomplishments or having this much money or this many books published or this many businesses, whatever it is, it's about learning all the learning, the connections, the relationships, all of those experiences wrapped into one.

Tara Grieb (00:51:20):

Listen. I'm, I'm going to be a little bit selfish right now and say this, I started the podcast because I had this idea of something that I wanted to put out for the world, but it also fulfills that I don't want to call it performing, right. We're not performing right now. We're just having conversation, but it's still something that you put out that, that the world can see in here. And that was my original thought was I really want to do a podcast. I would enjoy hosting a show. It fills my bucket in that performance space. What I didn't realize was all I would learn from every single person that I talked to or the, the overarching messages that I needed to hear. You know, one of the questions I ask every person is what would you say to your old self back when you were completely dissatisfied or feeling like you needed more?

Tara Grieb (00:52:15):

And almost everybody says something in the wheelhouse of, I don't know what I was so afraid of, or I wish I would've started sooner, or I wish I would've done this sooner. And to hear that myself, you know, as I'm building my bridge and having myself doubts and 'shoulding' on myself along the way, which again, we will continue to do who knew that while I was trying to fill this bucket for myself in one area, I would inevitably fill other buckets for me for myself just in the people that I've met in the process.

Bill Soroka (00:52:49):

Yeah. That's the real gift and the real lesson of this. I love that. You dropped some really powerful names along the way. Brene Brown, Mel Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk. I'd like to, if what are your top three, if you can think of three top three books or speakers or teachers that you would recommend for somebody who was looking to relieve some of the 'shoulding'?

Tara Grieb (00:53:18):

Well, I, Brene Brown is my favorite in the sense of her admission and promotion that vulnerability is the way to go. And I think it's that one because it's hard because, you know, you want me to pick three and I would say if I could, if Mel Brown and Brene… Or Mel Robinson, Brene Brown could have a baby that's that person …. because Mel Brown … I do that all the time, Mel Brown, that's who it's…

New Speaker (00:53:51):

You're already marrying them!

Tara Grieb (00:53:53):

Mel brown. Now it's a combination of be careful. Don't ask me what I think I'm going to tell you, which to me is Mel Robbins and be vulnerable. And it, and, you know, be yourself, which is Brene Brown, that hybrid. If I could mush them to one person, I would say for that reason, especially as a woman that is a hybrid of people that I really identify with.

Tara Grieb (00:54:21):

I would say the next example that I would give is a book. You know, you mentioned Glennon Doyle. I just bought that book two weeks ago. I could not put it down. And we have talked before where I buy a book because it's like, Ooh, something new and shiny. And I get three chapters in, and then I'm distracted by the next new book that you know, or when the work gets hard, you put it down. I don't think a book as opposed to videos, podcasts, Ted talks, a book on paper has not talked to me like that book ever in my life. "Untamed" by Glennon Doyle.

Bill Soroka (00:54:59):

"Untamed" by Glennon Doyle

Tara Grieb (00:55:02):

I, you know, she's talking about her struggles, but the underlying message though, her pathway is different. Her underlying messages, she was living the life that she should, you know, she was married, had children. And you know, there was a lack of fidelity in her marriage and trying to work through that and underneath it all, she was a lesbian, you know, and, and giving herself permission to say, this is who I am, and I'm going to go this way. I'm going to change direction. You know, but through that overarching umbrella, there are so many relatable comments that she makes about giving yourself permission to be who you are, regardless of what that is for you. You know? It, that book has spoken to me more than any other. And then my third person would be definitely Gary Vaynerchuk, which is interesting because some find him vulgar some find him way too energetic.

Tara Grieb (00:56:07):

Don't know what to do with all of his, you know, in your face. I'm going to tell you how it is, but I really appreciate what he puts out there because one of my favorite things that he says, and I just heard this one recently was he was talking to a person who was, I don't know, 20 or 22 years old saying, my parents want me to be a doctor, but I really want to be an artist. And they are going to be disappointed with me. They're going to disown me. They're going to whatever. And he says, so stop, you know, if you're going to go live your dream, and you're going to talk about how they're not supporting you, then go move out, support yourself and build it yourself. You know, that's bold. Listen, I just said to you earlier in this podcast that I, I was compliant and was a good girl and said, okay, I'll do what you think is right. You know? So he, he, I think in short bites, tell it like it is, is really, really inspirational and his messages are strong.

Bill Soroka (00:57:10):

I totally agree. He is a lot to take in for sure. And I think there's a really good lesson here too, because you don't have to like everything about everyone in order to (inaudible) what they deliver. And I struggled with that too, because Gary, I mean, he's just so high, but his high energy, I don't know if he's high energy,

Bill Soroka (00:57:30):

But his his book crush. It changed my life whenever I was first coming into business. I mean, it's, it's kind of antiquated now, but it really helped me move into my current business as well. And I love that. I think I caught a separate message from him that said, if you are, if your parents are paying your cell phone Bill or your car insurance, and you're complaining about them having some influence on your life, that's on you. If you don't want to listen to them, then you need to over the time to be responsible for yourself and create your own dream. I think that's really powerful message too. I love that you brought that blend into oil again and untamed. I listened to the book as well, and I agree it was very powerful and what she went through it in a different way than many of us have to worry about, right. Hers was kind of public, you know, she was already an author that whole new level to that whole situation. So I was fascinated by that story as well. And I agree with you 100% on Mel Robbins as well. That five second rule when she wrote that book that helped me get out of bed in the morning I was doing the miracle morning…

Tara Grieb (00:58:40):

Ya - I used to be a night owl…

Bill Soroka (00:58:43):

Yeah. But I struggled to get out of the bed and weird five second rule.

Tara Grieb (00:58:53):

Don't ask me why it works but it does.

Bill Soroka (00:58:53):

We're going to wrap up here, Tara. I want to ask you the same question you ask all your guests, what advice would you give yourself back when you were shoulding all over yourself?

Tara Grieb (00:59:05):

Yeah. stand up for yourself and do the thing.

Bill Soroka (00:59:12):

Short and sweet, powerful Tara. Thank you so much for being here. Delivering so much value and great insight. I've loved seeing you again. I have this (inaudible). Let's do it again. And I can't wait for the next time.

Tara Grieb (00:59:26):

Me too! Thank you so much, Bill.

Bill Soroka (00:59:28):

If you're interested in learning more about Tara Grieb, you can visit www.sidehustlelounge.com/vip . That's the free VIP room and I'll have a whole section just with Tara, her links to her workbook called "The Breakthrough You" as well as you'll see some information on her small group masterminds that she offers, you can also just go to TaraGrieb.com directly or to the VIP room at www.sidehustlelounge.com/vip.

Bill Soroka (01:00:02):

Thank you so much.


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