Full Episode (Right-click to download)
If committing to a year of no was me planting a seed, I can now say that some very exciting (and pretty unexpected!) developments have taken root! I’ll get you caught up on how my Year of No is going, share what’s surprised me the most, and talk about my confirmation that a “Week of No” or a “Month of No” would never have worked for me.
I also re-cap last week’s Bake-Along experiment, my delicious live chat about trying something new while simultaneously trying something new! So meta. Oh, and this whole episode is a great reminder that life is so much more delightfully exciting when you proceed in faithful surrender—without knowing the outcome.
Tune in to hear what I learned, and all that’s coming around the bend!
Questions for you to answer:
Tiffany Han: Hey, Hey, welcome back to The Tiffany Han Show Podcast that will teach you how to transform your life from black-and-white to full, radiant Technicolor so that you can show up to all of it from a wildly-creative place of Radical Self-Belief.
For show notes, archives, and access to my free private podcast, the five-day Radical Delight Kickstart, visit tiffanyhan.com and make sure you're following me on Instagram @thetiffanyhan. Thanks for being here. Now, onto the show.
Tiffany Han: Hey, Hey everyone. It's Tiffany. Welcome back to The Tiffany Han Show. Today, I am giving you a Year of No update. And, I will say I wasn't planning on doing this update because I was like, ‘oh, there's not much new to report.’ And, then all of a sudden, da, da, da, Tiffany Han had a breakthrough. And so, I'm going to get to my breakthrough.
I'm going to get to what has been coming, what maybe we've all been waiting for, maybe, but before I do, I want to get into; Number #1, something that's come about from a Year of No, that has been completely unexpected, and honestly, a massive surprise. I feel like it's, in a little bit been rocking me to my core. I also want to let you know how my Bake-Along experiment went.
That is the experiment that I mentioned on our last episode, where I baked something that I've never made before, Chocolate Mini-Rolls from The Great British Bake Offs technical challenge, while talking about new things. So, it was a very mattered while I tried new things with an audience in conversation.
I was going to record this episode yesterday, and I purposefully waited to record it today because I was having my Bake Off today. So, I did my Bake-Along, my Bake Off-- I did my Bake-Along and then I took a 90-minute nap. And, now I am back to tell you all about it. My only little quick tidbit housekeeping this week is to put in a plug for my newsletter.
Y'all, one of my goals for this year has been to get back into my newsletter-writing habit. I am sending my newsletters nearly every week. And so, especially if you are missing the podcast every week and you want to see a little Tiffany Han in your inbox, if you are not already getting those newsletters, you can sign up for them over at tiffanyhan.com.
And, I try to make them really fun. Okay. So, the completely unexpected thing in my Year of No; y'all, I have given up alcohol, I've given up social media this year. I've given up clothes shopping, but the one thing that I did not expect to drastically cut out of my life, I have not given it up completely, but honestly, we are moving in that direction is probably going to happen before the end of the year.
Ready for it? Caffeine. What? Yeah, yeah. Let's back up. So, in case y'all don't know, I love my coffee. I quite enjoy my coffee. And, for a long time, I have talked about-- Whenever someone tells me that they are giving up caffeine, they're not drinking coffee anymore, I've always thought to myself and probably said out loud, “You know, I don't have many vices. And so, I just want to be able to have my coffee.”
I've actually felt great along the way about my coffee consumption. I have maybe three cups a day. And, I drink my coffee from, you know, six o'clock in the morning until about noon. It gets lukewarm, who cares? I just like having my delicious sips of coffee throughout my day. This also has come into play when I've worked on becoming a morning person, right?
And, I've been that person who is like, ‘oh, I just need my coffee now.’ When we go camping, you know, you can bring coffee camping. It's kind of messy, blah, blah, blah. And so, I've actually been able to, on camping trips, not drink coffee and instead drink Extra Bold English Breakfast Tea that we get. Sure.
And, in those times when I've gone camping and had my Extra Bold English Breakfast Tea, I've often wondered, do I actually need the caffeine or do I like a warm, delicious beverage in the morning to keep me company, right? Is it about the actual, like chemical going into my body or is my love of this more about the ritual and the routine?
Yeah. Okay. Just good to know, right? Like, good, let's just tuck that away. And, then it's like, Tim would maybe say to me, “Maybe you don't even need coffee.” And, I'd be like, “Don't take it away. I need my coffee.” Maybe I didn't need coffee.
So, probably about February, I started noticing that some mornings, depending on how my morning goes, I might sip a cup of coffee kind of slowly over the course of the morning, or depending on what I'm doing, how busy I am, I might have like two cups of coffee within two hours. And, I was noticing, early February, on these mornings when I drank a lot of coffee that I was getting really shaky.
Like, literally my hands would be shaky and I would feel myself be like, ‘oh, I've had too much caffeine,’ but/and, [laughs] and I suspected that-- Y'all are going to be able to relate to this, I didn't want to have to accept. Even though, yes, acceptance is one of my pillars of Radical Self-Belief, of course-- Of course, I know I need to accept it, but I just felt like I didn't want to. I was like, no, no, I'm going to pretend that this is not happening.
And, I didn't mention it to Tim. I didn't tell anyone. I kept it to myself. And, those days when I would notice myself getting shaky, I would just like not have my last cup of coffee. Well, then, because in our house we drink coffee out of coffee pot, like just a plain old coffee maker; and then, more and more Tim was noticing that there was coffee left in the pot at the end of the day.
And, we always try to make exactly the amount that I would typically drink, that we would typically drink, right, what I wanted and what Tim wanted. And, he was noticing that there was more and more left in the pot at the end of the day, and kept saying, “I think I'm going to make less coffee.” And, I was like, “No, no, no, don't make less,” you know?
I had this like total attachment to my coffee, even though I wasn't drinking it and I was fine. I wasn't getting headaches. I wasn't being cranky. I wasn't getting fatigued or anything like that. And, I kept noticing myself getting shaky and I kept not doing anything about it until finally I told Tim.
And, I told Tim probably late March, where one day I was getting ready and he was in the bathroom with me. And, I looked out and noticed my hand was shaking, and I showed him. I was like, “Look at my hand, it's shaking.” And, he was like, “Huh, what do you think that's about?”
And, I said, “Oh, I'm certain it's about me and my coffee. I think that I'm--” What did I say? “Like, I think that I'm developing this caffeine sensitivity. I think that it's starting to affect me and starting to make me shake.” Interesting. And, I knew there's this thing, right? We know sometimes if we say something out loud to a specific person, then that person is going to hold us accountable.
And, this is why Life Coaches exist, right? This is why people come and work with me. And, with my husband, it was like, I didn't want to have to tell him until I was ready to do something about it. And so, I told Tim, and I said, “Yeah, you know, I think it's time that we introduced some Decaf.” And, I'd given this a lot of thought.
And, I realized that I wasn't ready to eliminate coffee altogether because of the ritual of it, because I was going to miss my warm, delicious beverage that was like my morning companion. So y'all, this is so funny. Like, we started-- And, I was really nervous though, about getting a headache and about being in the way that you hear people talk about when they cut out coffee.
And so, I decided to really ease into my Decaf experiment. So, I started with mixing, making a blend of regular coffee and then adding in probably about 20% Decaf. And, I did this and I was like, ‘yes, now I can drink my coffee freely.’ And y'all, it made me shaky.
And so, over the course of probably a week, I just kept adding more Decaf into the mix until this mixture became, I find this so hilarious, 70% Decaf, 30% regular coffee. So, it's like no caffeine, right? Do I still get shaky if I drink it too fast? Yes, I do. [laughs] Which just cracks me up.
And, but, at the same time, because of like, Tim will buy extra coffee when it's on sale when he does to grocery shopping. So, we have like six bags of good, strong Peet's French Roast in our pantry. And so, we're just going to keep making our, probably at this point, we're probably up to like an 80% Decaf blend, 20% caffeinated, but I'm not getting the shakes. So, that is great.
Now, what does this have to do with the Year of No, because I've not really said, no, to caffeine, right? I've said, yes, to paying attention to my body, but I've not really said no to caffeine. So, what does this have to do with my Year of No? Well, here's my theory, y’all.
My theory is that I'm not on social media this year. And, my theory is that social media and really like the pace at which I operated prior to my Year of No, which was like doing a lot, keeping up with a lot, holding a lot of things, right?
And, social media was one part of that. But when you think about, for me, all of the things, when I was active on social media, all of the little bits of information about other people or things that I would see or read or witness that I was holding in my brain, along with looking at my own life through the lens of social media.
Like, I would wake up in the morning and think about things through like, as Instagram captions; or I would experience something and try to think of a clever way that I could write that to post on social media. So, there was a lot of energy, mental energy being taken up by this Social Media app. And, even as I say that, it's like, oh, y'all, it just really-- It feels so gross to me because I don't feel gross in that I was doing it.
I tried to use social media as like a connection point. So, that part doesn't feel gross, but what feels gross about it is that I honestly think for, we are being actively manipulated by social media companies for their own enrichment, right? Like, all of that mental energy that I was putting forth for social media was like making Mark Zuckerberg richer.
And, that is really, it just does not feel good to say out loud, but I've eliminated, right? I eliminated that mental psychic energy pull, drain, energy drain from my days when I cut out social media. And so, my theory is that my nervous system is a lot more calm, that I'm not so jacked up all the time. And so, I don't need as much caffeine to keep myself regulated.
Now, that was my theory, but I am Tiffany Han, #NotADoctor, but I went to the doctor last week for my annual checkup, and my doctor is awesome. And so, I was asking her about this and I was like, “Can I tell you my theory? This is my theory.” And, she said, and I was expecting her to say, “Well, maybe, but as you get older, often people become more sensitive to caffeine. So, it's probably not that.”
But y'all, instead, she was like, “I bet you're probably right.” And, I was like, “What? Holy Moly, Dr. Chan.” She's like, “I bet you're probably right. And, if it's not about your nervous system,” she said, what it could be is that actually in my treatment of my ADHD-- So, quick, like backstory on ADHD, if you don't know, stimulants are a really common treatment for ADHD.
There's something about the ADHD brain where stimulants actually have an opposite effect on people who have ADHD than they do on like neurotypical people, right? So, for neurotypical people giving them a stimulant or caffeine would make them jittery and shaky and kind of amped up.
But for people with ADHD, it actually does the opposite. It calms them down. It helps them focus. It gets them like in the zone. So, the medication that I take, it's not a stimulant medication, but she was like, “You probably used to self-medicate.” People with ADHD often self-medicate with coffee.
She was like, “You were probably self-medicating your ADHD with the caffeine. And now that your treatment, now that you've gotten a grasp on it with your treatment and habits and all of that, you don't need as much caffeine. And so, it makes sense that then you would be like the caffeine doesn't, right, it's not affecting your brain in the way that it used to, so it gives you the shakes.”
And, I was like, “Oh yeah, that's really interesting.” Now, the thing about that, y'all, is that I really like, it was like last fall when I got my medication to the dosage that I'm at now, where it felt like everything was kind of flowing and working and feeling really copacetic.
So, here's my new theory on this, because I've given it since I went to the doctor and I've been like simmering on it in preparation of recording this episode. And, it feels so obvious too once it occurred to me, is that the social media exacerbated my ADHD, right? Like, that feels very, social media, the internet, I think that it makes people, [laughs] who don't have ADHD have an Attention Deficit.
But so, for me, where I have the ADHD, it is like just a slot machine for my sweet, little distractible brain. I don't think anyone is going to argue with that, right? Like, I don't think that anyone in the world would be like, ‘that doesn't make sense,’ because, of course, that makes sense. It makes complete sense. And, with me walking away from social media, all of a sudden, my ADHD isn't this raging thing.
And so, therefore, I need less treatment, so I don't need the caffeine. Yes. Yeah. Do you see it? Do you see? It feels good, y'all. It also, I'm still kind of shocked, completely unexpected. If you had told me in January that by the end of this year, my Year of No, that I would probably be only drinking Decaf; honestly, I would've called you ‘just completely bananas’.
And, I would've also thought that you were being so mean to me by taking away my caffeine. Like, I'd be like, ‘why, why would you do that to me?’ And, now I'm like, ‘yeah, probably.’ So, that was the unexpected, the unexpected thing. Number two, my Bake-Along, how did it go? I had my Bake-Along today. Thank you to those of y'all who joined me live.
If you missed the announcement last week, or the last episode, what I did was, I want to do something in my work where I get to talk to people about life stuff but while we bake something, because I really like baking. Like, when I'm baking and talking and in conversation, I'm so happy. I love it when people come over and hang out with me in my kitchen and drink coffee or tea.
And, I get to bake, and you know, we have like a bar in our kitchen and they're sitting on the other side of the bar and we're talking and tasting, and it's really fun for me. So, I decided to do as an experiment, a free come either watch me bake and have a conversation or bake along with me.
We made Chocolate Mini-Rolls from The Great British Bake Offs previous season technical challenge. And, I was talking about trying new things, which was super meta. How did it go? And, you might also be wondering, what does this have to do with your Year of No, because this is really like trying something new?
Yes. So, here's how it is a, no. For me, one of the things that I decided to say, no, to this year was the like “traditional way” things are done. And, the way things are done for a podcaster, for a coach, for a solopreneur, there are a lot of formulas and paths that have been laid out by other people who then typically start selling their formula and path as the key to success, which is fine.
There are a lot of those. And, for me, right, I've tried to take those classes, y'all. I've tried to apply those formulas. I've tried to read the blogs and do the thing and follow the swipe copy and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But what I know is that it doesn't work for Tiffany Han.
And, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with the formula, but I know for myself, as soon as I start trying to follow a formula, it really pulls all the magic out of whatever I'm partaking in. And, as soon as my energy leaves a room, nothing connects, nothing resonates. That is what I know to be true about my business and about my work.
That if I am not feeling it, or if I'm feeling at all wobbly, or if I'm feeling disconnected to the method that I'm using to put it out in the world, if I'm following somebody else's template, somebody else's formula, especially if I've convinced myself that this formula is the answer, which is all about attaching how I feel about something to the outcome, which also does not work for me.
As soon as I start going down those paths, things start to feel not great super-fast, right? Like, that satisfaction in my work line just drops sharply down. And, it's not good. Not only does my satisfaction start to drop the stuff, doesn't connect with people. Like, if I'm trying to do it for sales, it doesn't “work”, right?
What work, it's proven to me over and over through the years that like, this is not my way. And, what is my way is when I am enthusiastic and lit up about something and in my zone. So, I tried my Bake-Along because I really, for me, it was this example of saying, no, to the rules about online business, the rules about being a coach, the rules about getting to invite people into my kitchen and bake with them.
Even though I'm like a life coach and not a food bloger, whatever, right? It was like, can I do this and try it because it sounds fun? And, even though I still don't want to start a food blog, the answer, of course, is like, ‘yes, you can try whatever you want.’ And, I say that, and part of the reason that I did this publicly was because we know the answer is like, ‘yes, you can do whatever we want.’ ‘Yes, Tiffany Han, you can do whatever you want.’
And also, that actually following through on doing whatever you want, can feel very wobbly, can feel very vulnerable. There are so many unknowns. There are so many different variables to juggle that it's very different to think, ‘yeah, yeah, do whatever you want.’ And, then to actually go through with doing it.
And, I think that's a really, really important distinction because what we expect when we're thinking about going against the grain or swimming up-stream or doing that thing that feels like radically different and radically new, but also like radically unknown, Radical Self-Belief.
That's a good time for that Rad Sel Bel. What we think, we think that the actual moving forward into it is going to feel as obviously smooth as thinking about it. And, it never, ever, ever does. The experience of it never matches our perception of what we expect the experience to be. That doesn't mean we're doing it wrong.
That is just how all of this works. So, I want you to keep that in mind for yourself the next time you have this whisper of like, ‘I want to do this differently.’ Yeah. Hold onto that, and know that diving into ‘the doing it differently’ is going to feel like you have cannonballed into the deep end of a cold, cold pond or something, right? It's going to feel like, ‘oh my God, what have I done?’
That's okay. You can do it, keep going. And, what happens is you get to the other side, and then you've got perspective. And, then you evaluate, ‘how did it go? What worked, what didn't?’ It's not about demanding that every single thing you try works, it's about moving through an experience and then being able to collect data and evidence; and then use that data and evidence to inform your next step, and then your next, and then your next step.
That's what we're doing here. I also, how this was a no, y'all, is just quite simply, I said, no, to a sure thing, right? I said, no, to like, knowing what was going to happen next. I did this really curious about, ‘is this something that I want to do regularly? Is this fun for me? Is this something that works and feels fun or does it feel overwhelming? Like, is it even worth pursuing?’
And, I didn't think about, is it worth pursuing? Right? I just tried it. And, honestly, like we can think about if something is worth pursuing. I mean, y'all, for years, for years, we can think about if something is worth pursuing. So, for me, for this, it felt like very low stakes. Just try it on a Tuesday. And, I tried it, and you know what? I survived; it was super-duper fun.
It was super fun to get to bake Mini-Rolls that actually ended up like not looking great. It was after, at the end, when I was cleaning up and thinking about this and looking at what I created, I was like, I would be really good on Nailed It!. [laughs] Like, I would be really good on a baking competition where things don't have to look beautiful, but they can taste really good.
It was a lot of fun. Am I going to be doing it again? Not in that way, I will say that. I had a ton of fun doing it. It was a lot for my brain because I was pulled-- Like, once I got into the conversation with everybody who is there live, I mostly just wanted to stay in the conversation. So, good to know, right? Like really, really good to know. I kept forgetting to look at the recipe. [laughs]
I kept getting distracted and like losing my place; like, where am I? Good to know. And also, right, this is just more evidence that, you know how they tell us you can't actually multitask, that is true. But the other piece that it really, really solidified for me is I like doing experiments publicly.
I also really like being in conversation with people, which I know, right, that is not a surprise, but there was something about being in conversation with people just in a different environment. So, I wasn't just sitting at my desk where I'm always sitting when I'm teaching or whatever. And so, it actually made me excited to play around with some different environments.
Maybe go sit in a chair if I'm talking to like-- Go, maybe I'll just hang out in my kitchen or whatever, right? Like, that feels actually really fun and feels like it could contribute to a feeling freedom for me in a way that is surprising. Am I going to be doing more challenging brand-new bakes while talking with people about something completely different?
Probably not at this point, but we'll see how it progresses. Do I have dreams of like interviewing people while I'm baking with them and we're in the same kitchen? Yes. Like, I think that would be so fun, y'all; and if anybody out there wants to help me produce a show where we do that, I'm just going to say that out loud and say, “Let's do that. I think it would be so super fun.”
I do have a lot of dreams of having like my own cooking show, but where I'm not teaching, we're just kind of cooking in the background. So yeah, that would be super fun. And again, thank you to everyone who came along and baked with me. It was just so-- Everyone who was there live was fantastic. And, it was so fun to get to do this, what I felt like a wild experiment, with you.
Also, y'all, for anyone listening, right? This is another one of those times where we get to look at what we think it's going to be like or what maybe you are listening to me, describe this and building a story around versus what it was actually like. I woke up this morning. I had a full morning course then I did my Bake-Along.
It started at noon in my time zone; and I woke up and I was like, ‘what have I done?’ Which, I ask myself that a lot, you guys. Like, I ask myself that a lot; ‘What have I done? What am I doing? Is this even going to work? What have I done?’ I was like, well, let's find out. So, I didn't go into it being afraid. But I went into it being a little bit skeptical. [laughs]
A little bit like Tiffany Han, but what have you committed to? I am known, y'all, to bite off more than I can chew. And, I think it's fine. I think it's part of what makes me, me. And, I'm just going to go with it. Okay. Finally, the thing that maybe we've all been waiting for, have we all been waiting for this? My third Year of No piece of the puzzle to give you an update on, and this was the thing that I didn't, it just showed up late last week and now it’s happening, y’all.
What in the world could she be talking about? What I'm talking about is my book. What? That's right, everyone. Hold onto your britches. I know that I've been talking about working on a book for a very long time; and I've been simmering and thinking and trying and wondering, and thinking and trying and wondering, and thinking and thinking and thinking.
As of the Friday past, I have started, in earnest, working on my book. Now, yes, please get excited on my behalf because it feels real good, y'all. It feels so real good. I have the strike of inspiration. I'm writing. Words are coming together for my book. How is this unexpected, you might be wondering?
Yeah. So, part of what I wanted to experiment with in bringing in my Year of No, was I had a hypothesis. We always start with a hypothesis, right? We always start with a hypothesis and then test it instead of like demanding that something is right.
Anything that you try, allow the outcome to be unknown. I promise y'all, life is so much more delightfully surprising when you just eliminate from your brain, the concept that you could at all know what's going to happen. If something happens that you could have predicted, great, then it's comforting; but not knowing, letting go of that certainty, it's a practice you get to practice.
But as being someone who has practiced that for a lot of years, I will tell you, stuff shows up and it just feels wild to be able to look at and be like, where did you come from? Like me drinking Decaf and being completely okay with it. Like this wacky Bake-Along idea and like my book. So, here's what's what?
Is that I thought I come up with a book idea back in March, and then I started thinking about it. And, then I started wondering about it and trying to write, but like, not really. And, then I was like, ‘that's not the book idea. It's not the idea.’ Then I realized last week, ‘oh, this is the idea. Here's the idea. This is it.’
And, then I talked to a couple friends about it and they were like, “Yeah, I thought that was your idea all along,” was what they told me. They were like, “Of course, we talked about that back in November and December.” But here's the thing y'all, I have ADHD, right? We know that. Which means that I have a poor working memory.
Like it means that literally, unless something is like in front of my eyeballs, I forget it exists. I am like those babies with object permanence. If you hide my Cheerios, I forget they exist. That is how my brain works, which is why I'm a piler, which is why I've always got all this clutter around me is because I need to like build these mountains of reminders for my brain to work.
Listen, that piece right there, y'all; once I just accepted that is true for myself and decided to not feel bad for it, my life opened up in so many beautiful, glorious ways, but anyway, I digress. So, I'd have this whole idea for a book. And, then what did I do? I forgot about it and thought that I needed to come up with a new book idea.
I cannot tell y'all how many times through the years I have done this, where I found like Google Docs, where it's like, ‘oh my God, that's like 15 pages of a book right there.’ And, I just literally forgot that I had done it. Yes, there are treasure troves in the depths of my Google Drive, but my friends were like, “Yeah, I thought-- I thought that you remembered that.” And, I was like, oh my God.
And so, on Friday morning, I started working on my book. I woke up early on Friday, remember early morning person, right? That whole thing, I woke up at 5:15, got up, got my computer, started writing. I wrote 850 words before my kids got up to go to school. I was like, what is happening? So, it is now five days later, I have worked on my book. I have a tracker now. I have a tracker.
I have worked on my book now for 215 minutes, which is, you know, approximately three and a half hours. Now, even as I say that, it doesn't sound like all that much time, but listen, three and a half earnest hours of working on this book when I've just been thinking about it for years is tremendous progress. I’m in 2,716 words, and I feel great.
Like energetically, I am so aligned and so lit up. And so, but like calmly so. Like, I am like both lit up, but also feel completely at peace about this. And, it's really, it's this beautiful gift to be able to hold both of those things as true at the same time. It's really beautiful to be like, ‘feels so fun,’ and also really grounded, right? It creates that tension between the two.
And so, it's not just this up and down; and I'm not having to be like, ‘this is amazing.’ And, then I crash. So, I'm integrating this bookwork and into my day-to-day; and y'all, it just feels so good. So good. OMG, so good. So, here are three little takeaways because y'all know that I like to think about my life or my things that I'm talking about.
And, then like, ‘what does it mean for you? What does it mean for you in your life?’ And, I've got three things that all of this means for you. Through the lens of my Year of No, through the lens of Radical Self-Belief and the lives that we are working towards, that really feel as good on the inside as they look on the outside.
And, for me, working on that book and feeling both the enthusiastic lit-upness and the peace and calm groundedness, is how it feels good. Right? It doesn't like, Ugh, y'all, it's so in the zone. I'll let you know if it stops being in the zone. I have no idea, really, I'm completely like, huh? I am just wondering so curiously.
I'm like Alice in Wonderland over here, like, ‘oh my goodness, what is going to happen when I try this?’ So, number one, what all of this means to you that I want to point out is that it's taken me three and a half months to get to a place where I'm like excited and inspired to be creative. So, I started my Year of No, January 1st and I kept waiting. I kept being like, ‘okay, clearing the space.’
And, I kept waiting for these burst of inspirations to come in, like, ‘where are my new ideas? Where is the energy? Where is the inspiration?’ Same thing happened, y'all, when I quit drinking, is that like I expected that I would quit drinking and then like bound out of bed in the mornings; did not happen. I still don't bound out of bed in the mornings. I'm just way less grumpy than I used to be. But my inspiration kept not showing up.
Now, in those instances, right, where we clear some space or we cut something out or we try something new; and we think that it's going to bring the inspiration, what can often happen is that the inspiration doesn't show up right away or what we're expecting, the success or the money or the praise or the blah, blah, blah, fill in the blank, doesn't show up right away.
And, what we do in our very logical, excited, ambitious, enthusiastic, high-achieving brains is we take that to mean that the thing that we did, didn't work. And so, we go back to the old way or we dig that seed up and plant it somewhere else. Or we beat ourselves up for getting it wrong, blah, blah, blah. We can all relate to that.
But what we know is really going on underneath the surface is that we just need to give it more time because we are impatient, we want things to happen right away. This is just part of having a brain, right? Part of my Year of No is saying, no, to immediate gratification, which is so annoying.
I will point out; it's annoying, and I'm doing it, right? When we don't get the results right away, it's just easy to think that the method isn't working, when, in fact, often not getting the results right away, can be a sign that we need to give it more time, that we actually need to go deeper into it.
And, that was what happened to me with the first, really, three and a half months of this year. I was feeling fine, I was dealing with some things. We had different things pop up. I was going through the motions. I was doing my work.
I was starting to write newsletters following through on things, noticing what I'm not doing more than I am, but it would've been really easy for me; like mid-February to say, “Well, the ideas aren't coming for the book. So, I'm just going to get back on social media.” And instead, this is part of why I committed to doing this for a year, right? Is that I knew my own tendencies.
And, I know that I need to give everything more time than I think it should take. This is also, y'all, just really quick connection, why my Grown-Up Gap Year program is a year-long is because I know in these short six-week, eight-week, three-month programs, it's really easy to try to like expect or garner these instant results.
And, then if we don't get them, we feel like it's not working. The other thing that is easy to do in shorter programs is like put all of life on hold or just be a little bit burnt out to get the thing done. But then when we go back into our regular lives, we can't maintain it, right?
We can't maintain all of that, and so then something has to give, and this is why I feel so strongly about wanting my Grown-Up Gap Year program to be a full year is because it gives time for things to open up or blossom or unfold or simmer. It gives you time.
Like for a year, you can't put your whole life on hold for a year. You just can't. So, what that means is that we get to walk through this experiment within the scope of the life that you have instead of needing that aside in order to step into how you want to feel, right?
It's this integration rather than a separation. So, as I was doing all of that, going through the motion, following through noticing, dealing with whatever showed up, getting back into habits; along the way I was keeping the faith. I knew and I held onto that faith, even in the moments where I felt wobbly, I was like, ‘Nope. Tiffany Han, keep the faith, keep the faith, keep the faith.’
I knew that I was planting seeds; and really, the whole time, y'all, I was trusting that something would grow. What is that something? I don't know, wildly curious, right? I was waiting, trusting. I was doing what I needed to, to take care of myself in the meantime.
Does anyone know what maybe I was doing to take care of myself? Has anyone heard me talk about little DFSTAG? Right? Those five pillars of Radical Self-Belief. What I was doing was my spirit-tending, my faith, my discernment, my acceptance, and my grace.
I was accepting that wild inspiration wasn't showing up. I was giving myself grace that it wasn't showing up, right? I was having faith that something would come. I was able to discern, ‘is this an idea that's worth following through? Is this wild inspiration?’ Tending my spirit the whole time, really going deeper into myself.
And again, this is why I quit social media, why I did my Year of No for a year. It's why back when I first quit drinking, I decided to, as an experiment, give up drinking for a year, which quickly then proved to me that I needed to give up drinking forever, over five years sober, over here. So, it can be done.
I tried the social media, no social media for a month in the past, just like with my drinking, I tried the sober for a month; and it like wasn't long enough. And, I always went back into the old way, right? But a year, it gives roots the time they need to grow and take hold. A year means I can't help, but stay with myself and figure this out. The year is the gift given in faith and grace and anticipation and wonder.
And yeah, I don't even-- Like, if someone were to ask me, be like, ‘I will give you a million dollars if you tell me exactly what you're going to be wanting to do,’ not doing, but like energetically aligned with doing and thinking about and working on, come December of 2022, I don't know. Right?
Because this year has already handed me so many surprises, so many like wonderful-- And, when I say wonderful, I don't just mean like good, fun. I mean like full of wonder, right? These wonderful surprises that who knows what things are going to look like at the end of the year.
I have no idea. And, people like to be like, ‘After your Year of No, what's next?’ You know, we always love, like, ‘what's next?’ I don't know. I don't know. And, I say that with like a lot of, that feels great. It feels so great to be like, I have no idea, and what a beautiful, beautiful gift that is.
So, for you, some questions that you can ask yourself, do you need to give the thing you want or the life you want or the way you want to feel, or maybe some idea that's simmering. Do you need to give yourself more time? Are you trying to just rush to the end, right? For me, like, did I want to write a book or do I want to have a book written? I mean, right now in this moment, I'm actually really enjoying the process of writing the book.
Also, do you have faith in your ability to figure things out when the time to figure them out arrives? I should probably do an entire episode on that question. Do you have faith in your ability to figure things out when the time to figure them out arrives? Or are you trying to pre-plan every step of the way to give you that sense of certainty?
Because trusting your ability to like figure it out when it's time to figure it out is y'all one of the most freeing gifts you can give yourself. I promise. Number two, thing for you to think about is, are there forces in your life where you're expending a ton of energy to manage them that could be eliminated, right?
And, for me, this is like the coffee and the social media and the nervous system and the ADHD. It's just so interesting to me that my body needs less stimulant when I take this other thing out of my life, just like one of my huge, massive, duh, revelations, when I quit drinking was like, ‘oh, when I'm not regularly consuming a depressant, I wake up happier.’
Isn't that interesting? Of course, it's obvious. But, at the time, I was like, whoa, like blew my mind. Are there things in your life where you are just having to like put so much energy into managing? Could be relationships, could be commitments, could be committees, could be habits, social media. I decided this morning that between now; so, I'm recording this on April 26th; between now and I think June, July, we'll see, I'm taking a break from the news.
And, this doesn't mean that I'm taking a break from knowing what's going on in the world because my husband is very informed and will tell me what's going on in the world. And, I also get a daily news summary from the Pod Save America people, which is a great newsletter, but like reading the news to pass the time.
That is a very unfun way to pass the time, y'all. I decided it today and then practicing my Radical Self-Belief part of that is staying accountable to that for myself. So, a few times today when I've had this like, kind of transition period, and my hand has wanted to take me onto my phone, open Safari and go to Newyorktimes.com; no, I'm not doing that. It's been great. It's been great.
Can I still be an informed citizen of this world? Yes, but I don't want the news to entertain me. I don't want to look to news to quench my boredom. That is not what I'm looking for here. So, the third thing that all of this means to you or something to consider is; for the things that you want, do you have a plan for the moment when things start feeling uncomfortable? Right?
Do you have some ideas of what you can try when your nervous system starts to be activated? Because the thing about our nervous systems being activated when we are in that cortisol; fight, fight, flight, freeze on response, we aren't able to think logically. We're not able to think rationally. Our bodies go into almost survival mode, and instincts take over.
So, this is where having a strategy of like, ‘yes, I'm going to call this friend’. And, I'm, ‘no, mm-hmm.’ That doesn't work, [laughs] because in that moment, y'all, know, right? Like, in that moment, it's like, ‘no, I'm not going to call the friend. I'm going to freak out.’ Now, what I suggest for your strategy to be, and you are going to--
Promise you're going to think this is way too simple, and you're going to want me to complicate it, but I won't. Just try it, please. What I want you to do in that moment, when your nervous system starts to be activated is breathe. Like, actively focus on your breath consciously, bring more oxygen into your body. Take longer to exhale, right?
Like deep breaths, because what that does is it calms down your nervous system. It gets you back into your body. Breathing is fundamental to being a human. It helps you reconnect with your humanity. It gets you out of that activated place.
And, it gets you back to the place where you are able to discern, where you are able to show up from a place of faith and grace and groundedness and acceptance and spirit-tending Radical Self-Belief. You have to breathe. Do I also like-- Right?
This is where people are like, ‘but what else should I do? Should I also do this, and then jump through these hoops and do this kind of like tap dance over here and da da?’ No. [laughs] Listen, if it feels too simple, I want you to try it.
Be willing, to be surprised, be willing for this to be easy. Something doesn't have to take a lot of effort in order for it to be useful and effective and important in our lives. I will be getting that one tattooed on my left cheek. Let it be easy. Try it, breathing.
And also, I say, let it be easy, but in the moment, it's harder than we think, harder than we think. So, there you go with my Year of No update. This was a fun update because again, completely took me by surprise, but there you go. What is next in my Year of No?
I'm going to keep working on the book. I'm sticking with my nose. I'm going to be doing a note to the news for a while, and then we'll see what else comes. You know, I'll keep you posted. Thank you for being here. You're amazing. And, I'll see you in a couple weeks.
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