Meet the Should Monster: How she’s getting in the way of your authenticity

Whether you’ve seen it in the flesh or not, the truth is pretty indisputable: We’ve all stood up against the Should Monster ( at least once or twice in our lives). 

Not sure you know who she is? Lemme give you a formal introduction. 

She’s the hairy-eyed beast more fierce than Grendel’s mom in Beowulf

The one whose voice carries the strength of the sharpest swords and whose very presence can twist you up tighter than any Palomar knot. 

And day after day, she hovers over you like a vampire who ate one too many garlics the night before, breathing down with her rancid breath as she sucks the life out of you one SHOULD at a time. 

>>You should be making more than 6-figures. 

>>You should be more established by now. 

>>You should have it figured out. 

>>You should feel more significant. 

>>You should (go ahead, fill in the blank ______).

The dangerous power of lil’ miss Should Monster is that because she speaks to you in your own dadgum voice,  she’s SO. INCREDIBLY. BELIEVABLE. and even more INCREDIBLY. RESISTANT. to being silenced. 

>>Tell her to hush, and she shows up when you’re in the middle of a dead sleep. 

>>Try to ignore her, and she manifests her twisted truths through someone else’s success. 

See, they’re doing it right. What’s wrong with you? You should be doing it right, too! 

But here’s what Should Monster won’t tell you: When you’re building a brand with Should Monster leading the way, you become a victim to diseases like 

✅ imposter syndrome 

✅ comparison

✅ entrepreneur fatigue

✅ wheel spinning

✅ and harmful mental narrative loops.

This week, I watched (with a bit of horror) as someone in my industry fell from grace. And y’all, she didn’t just FALL from grace. She slammed into the hard, cold cement in a “I’m not sure her biz will ever recover from this” sort of way. 

Short story version: She stole someone’s lots of people’s words for her OWN website. 

That’s a no-no in ANY business, but when you’re in the business of writing words, stealing other writers’ words and using them as your own is sorta like stealing mama’s M&M’s from the pantry. It. Just. Isn’t. Allowable. 

As I watched the terror unfold and people’s righteous anger turned into a bloodbath, it all made me incredibly SAD because I’m guessing that the REAL reason this has all happened is because this sticky-finger biz owner short-changed herself on the deep and messy work of finding out who she really is. 

I’m guessing she got so caught up in the lies of the Should Monster that she decided to fast-track her way to success through other people’s templates, other people’s formulas, and other people’s WORDS. 

This is what listening to the Should Monster turns us into. 

>>It makes you justify cutting corners. 

>>It invites you to take unethical risks. 

>>It convinces you that doing business their way is more important than doing it your way — because their way is faster + proven + never second-guessed. 

But always, always, always, the Should Monster leads you to a dead end, and you wind up with a brand (and a life) that turns its back on you simply because it wasn’t really yours to begin with. 

If you’re tired of living with the Should Monster, try this: Grab a piece of paper and draw two columns. 

In column #1, write “I should.” 

Underneath that column, write down ALL. THE. THINGS. you believe you should be doing. (I shared a few of my own above.)

When you’ve poured out your heart to that column, head over to column #2 and write “I want.” 

Here’s where you get to be really honest and set yourself free from that Should Monster. 

My column #2 included thoughts like. . . 

I want to be financially comfortable. 

I want to be balanced. 

I want to explore thoughtful things.

I want to be a helper more than a thought leader. 

I want to awaken hearts and minds.

When I compare my want column to my should column, I can see pretty clearly where I’m chasing the wrong things. 

And in that clarity, I discover exactly what is feeding my frustration, my discontent, and any misalignment between who I am and how I’m growing my brand. 

Friends, entrepreneurship is a hard and lonely work, and if you’re in the midst of the hard and lonely, please know that this isn’t always a sign that you’re doing something wrong, and it certainly isn’t proof that your Should Monster is right. 

It just means you’re in the thick of it. 

So keep focusing on that want list, and keep moving forward, and when you’re ready to work with me, let’s chat.