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How to Decide if You Need to Stay or Leave a Difficult Situation
Episode 2012nd January 2024 • You Are Not A Frog • Dr Rachel Morris
00:00:00 00:53:35

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Faced with a difficult situation, we often ask the question “should I stay or should I go?” It could be about work, a relationship, or something more personal. We all face this question at various times in our life, and it can be overwhelming to make a choice when we’re scared of the unknown.

This week, we’re revisiting a discussion with Corrina Gordon-Barnes, about how to tackle the decision-making process. Instead of relying on traditional methods like pros and cons lists or seeking advice from others, Corrina suggests a different approach, which involves noticing the difference between facts and thoughts, and recognising when we have the power to leave rather than simply tough it out.

When we keep ourselves trapped in the limbo of indecision, when we’re neither fully committed nor able to make a decisive choice, this can leave us frustrated and angry. Those frustrations can boil over into our home and work lives, or make an uncomfortable situation even worse.

But by taking a moment to reflect on our current situation, we can start the process of questioning and gaining clarity, therefore revealing the choices we do have.

Listen to this episode to

  • Learn how to make difficult decisions when facing a dilemma of staying or leaving a situation, whether it's work, relationships, or friendships
  • Understand the importance of questioning your thoughts and beliefs that may be causing stress and hindering decision-making
  • Discover a fresh perspective on decision-making and a simple technique to gain clarity and make informed choices

Episode highlights

  • [00:04:13] The importance of belonging
  • [00:06:42] Making a difficult decision
  • [00:13:31] Separating fact from thought
  • [00:16:26] Counteracting the "That's just the way it is" story
  • [00:21:57] Questioning your stories
  • [00:28:58] Acceptance
  • [00:33:05] Shoulds
  • [00:35:36] You have a choice
  • [00:44:33] What are the consequences of not doing what we "ought"?
  • [00:49:03] Corrina's top 3 tips

About the guest

Dr Corrina Gordon-Barnes, CPCC, coaches new managers in time management and giving effective feedback. She’s passionate about seeing workplaces where colleagues speak honestly, give and receive feedback gracefully, and act with integrity. She believes these environments make it much easier to be innovative and effective, hit deadlines, and create the most powerful impact.

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Transcripts

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As you hop into 2024, some of you may be making a new year's resolution

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to sort your life out and by life.

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I mean work for many of us, the pan of water has been getting hotter and

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hotter, and now it's near boiling point and we're near breaking point,

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but we have no idea what to do.

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Now a frog only has two options available, jump out of the pan

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or stay and literally burn out.

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But as you've heard me say once or twice on this podcast, you are not a frog.

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You have so many other choices, but how do you know which one is best?

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How do you know when it's right to stay in 10 down the heat,

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or even if that's possible?

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And how do you know if you just need a different work environment, or a different

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practice or an entirely different career.

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And even if you did know, how do you go about sorting it out when you have no

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time, no energy and certainly no Headspace to even start to explore your options.

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In this replay of one of my favorite interviews of 2021 Corrina Gordon-Barnes

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helps us to tackle one of the fundamental questions we may be asking

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ourselves, should I stay or should I go?

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And this applies to all sorts of decisions about relationships,

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roles, jobs, friendships, Corrina brings a very fresh and novel way

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of looking at this tricky question.

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And talks us through a very simple technique to help you get clarity.

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I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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If you're in a high stress, high stakes, still blank medicine, and you're feeling

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stressed or overwhelmed, burning out or getting out are not your only options.

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I'm Dr.

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Rachel Morris, and welcome to You Are Not a Frog.

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It's fantastic to have with me on the podcast today.

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In fact, back on the podcast, 'cause I think Corrina, you,

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you, you did one a while ago.

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Um, but we've got Corrina Gordon-Barnes, and Corrina is a coach and trainer,

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and she's got specific expertise in how to make relationships easier.

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So welcome Corrina.

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Such a superpower, isn't it?

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I can just make your relationships easier wherever I go with this magic wand.

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Yeah.

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Will you, will you come over to my house please?

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Sure.

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Just sprinkle a little bit of

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magic.

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Yeah.

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Anywhere,

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You know,

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I'll go

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With teenagers and two cats and, and everything.

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We could, we could use it.

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Um, yeah.

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So.

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First of all, it's brilliant to have you with us 'cause I always find your wisdom

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and your insight really, really helpful.

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But secondly, how on earth did you get into this whole thing

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of making relationships easier?

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Because I'm thinking as a coach you maybe could have picked an easier,

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easier topic or an easier specialty,

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But what could be more fun?

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Um, I do, you know, I found that there was a theme running through

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all the work that I did as a coach.

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I've been coaching for 16 years.

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And I was helping people with their careers actually to start with, helping

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teenagers find what they wanted to do, help women find their passion,

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all these different areas, marketing and, and actually at the, at the

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heart of all of it was connection.

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It was this belief that we all want to feel connected.

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And so many things get in the way of connection.

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And then what happened was, as a certified coach, I then found the work

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of Byron Katie, which is another approach that I layered on top of the coaching

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I already had, and that was suddenly the how to of how to clear anything

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that got in the way of connection.

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Because I think that's our default.

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I think our default is connection.

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And then on top of that, we have all these thoughts, beliefs, assumptions

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that never get questioned, but if we can question them and clear them,

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we are just left with connection.

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So that's what we want.

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And so it's the most fulfilling work that I can imagine.

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Uh, it's interesting because the work I've been doing recently talking very much

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about the amygdala and how that puts us into the flight, fight or freeze zone,

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how it is your threat detection system.

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I'm starting to read a lot about the fact that the amygdala is

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not just looking for threat.

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It's not just moving us away from threat.

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It's actually seeking connection, seeking belonging.

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So it's this deep, deep rooted physiological neurological response

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where we are moving away from people not liking us and seeking

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connection and deep connection.

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So is this almost like this reflex that we've got?

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Yes.

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And that desire for belonging can sometimes get in the way of authenticity.

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So that desire to seek approval, to be loved, to belong, to fit

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in can sometimes mean that we go against our own true nature.

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So that would be, I guess, the flip side of, of that desire for belonging.

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So you're saying that because we want to belong, we then make ourselves into

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something that we are not in order for other people to accept us or we

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don't have those conversations we should have or we don't speak up or

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say if we disagree, things like that.

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? Exactly that you know.

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How many times has someone asked you, oh, would you like to do,

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I don't know, would you like to, um, come to this party, let's say.

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And no part of you wants to go to the party.

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I mean, it's funny imagining parties in the middle of, you know, the covid times.

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There's nothing in you wants to go and yet you want to be part of the

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gang and belong and everything.

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And so you say yes and you go along to the party and you spend

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the party feeling completely like you don't want to be there.

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In your head you might even tell the story, they made me come.

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'cause that's like the way of kind of putting blame on them

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for us doing something that we didn't actually want to do.

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Um, so yeah, that's, that's the, that's the dark side of wanting to belong.

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I guess another dark side would be sort of staying in relationships for

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too long that are, that are toxic or not feeling that we could leave a job

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that, that, that we really should know that we should be leaving because of

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the relationships that we've gotten.

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Because of the belonging.

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Yes.

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And what will, you know, what will happen to that, that kind of feeling

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of community, if I, you know, if you, if you broke up with a, a partner,

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a marital spouse, potentially losing the entire extended family you've got

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in-laws, you've got parents-in-Law Sisters-in-Law, cousins, and all of that.

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There's such a strong, um, urge to want to stay, to keep the status

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quo, to stay belonging to a community that you are already part of.

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Absolutely.

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A job, a team of colleagues, maybe a project that you're working on.

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It could be a, a house that you feel like you, you've been

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in a while, you belong with.

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It could be a, a city that you've built up lots of connections with.

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So often then we're not being very truthful about what is our current

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inclination and desire because of that, that de that, that need to belong.

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Mm-Hmm.

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And that is, it's a very tricky one then.

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So how, how do you help people when they've got these dilemmas, when

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they've got difficult relationships, when they're not quite sure what

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they should do because of their drive for belonging Is, is so, so strong?

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Mm-Hmm.

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Well, the very first thing is to be incredibly compassionate with anybody

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who feels caught in that should I stay or should I leave Dilemma.

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Because it can just be exhausting.

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It can be a constant dialogue.

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Should I stay, should I leave, should I stay, should I leave?

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That kind of limbo feeling of, um, never really having quite,

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um, both feet in somewhere.

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So you're not, you're not wholeheartedly in something, but you are also,

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you don't have the clarity and the decisiveness to leave, so you're

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flip flopping back and forward.

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And so when, when clients come to me, whether it's, you know,

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normally a relationship, that's my position is, um, God, this is hard.

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You know, it's so hard that you are in that Should I stay, should

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I stay or should I leave place.

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Um, so we start there, uh, and we really look at what often people do

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to try and get outta stay and leave.

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There are two things people often try and do.

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One thing is that they do a kind of pros and cons list.

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Uh, I remember when I, I actually had a, a place at Oxford University when I was 17.

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And I, I made my list of what, like, reasons to go and reasons to leave.

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And I remember I had this like long, you know, long list of reasons to, to

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go and then this one reason not to go, but actually that one reason ended up

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winning for right or wrong reasons.

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But we kind of, we make this pros or cons list and we're kind of weighing

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up very logically and very almost mathematically how many things

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are on each side of the equation.

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And I, I would argue that that's not a great way of making that, um.

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Making a decision.

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The other thing we do is we poll our friends.

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You know, we do a, a little kind of informal poll.

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You know, what, what do you think?

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Do you think I should stay?

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Should I leave?

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What about this?

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What about this?

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And then that's not great because you end up with lots of other

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people telling you what, what to do.

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And again, you are distanced from what your, what you call it, your

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heart, your soul, your spirit is saying is the right thing to do.

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So they're the two ways I wouldn't suggest making a decision

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about whether to stay or leave.

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Yeah.

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And I can see, in fact, there's a decision I need to make the other day

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and I, I very nearly drew up a pros and cons list and then I thought, hang on,

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there's no point, 'cause I know the pros and cons are, I'm still just as stuck.

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Yeah.

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Because it, a lot of it is, is on an emotional level as well, um.

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Yeah.

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And I know people talk about using your intuition too.

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I don't know where I stand on intuition.

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'cause sometimes mine is completely wrong actually.

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Yes, yes.

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Yeah, I think you make a really good point about that.

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List, you know, you already know the pros and cons.

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They're already there.

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That's why you haven't made a decision yet.

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Because you know there are reasons on either side.

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So just writing them down isn't necessarily going

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to really help that much.

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Mm-Hmm.

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So the way that I do work, um, it's going to look a tiny bit like a pros and cons

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list to start with in that it's two lists, but they're completely different lists.

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Okay.

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So the first list is all of the criticisms, judgments, complaints

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with whatever the thing is that you're thinking about leaving.

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So if it was a person, it might be he doesn't listen,

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she doesn't pull her weight.

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He's not on the same page as me.

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Um, she doesn't care about me.

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So you just make that list of all the things, all those kind of things

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which just come up, those thoughts which come up in your head, and you

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take dictation from your mind and you write them down all your problems.

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If it's a job, it might be things like, uh, my manager doesn't respect me.

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My colleagues are cliquey.

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Uh, there aren't enough opportunities for, for growth.

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It doesn't pay enough.

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Um, they don't, there's not flexible enough working conditions.

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So that is your list of all the reasons why it's really hard to say wholeheartedly

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in whatever it is you're staying in.

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You then make another list of all of the reasons, all of the fears about leaving.

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So if I leave, then.

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So let's say it's, say a person, if I leave, um, the family will be

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decimated, devastated, broken forever.

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If I leave, um, people will judge me.

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If I leave, I'll never find someone else.

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If you haven't yet had kids and you want to, if I leave this one, I'll never find

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someone that I can have children with.

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I'll, I'll have left it too late.

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So really valid fears you put down on another list.

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If it's a job, maybe it's the fear, um, my CV will look choppy.

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Um, uh, what else might you have with a job?

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It'll be just as bad somewhere else.

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Just as bad somewhere else.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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Maybe there's a particular, maybe there's a job you've got in mind and

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you're, you're already seeing, oh, but you know, if I leave, then these

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problems are gonna be in that new job.

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So when you've got these two lists, again, just that compassion

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with no wonder I'm stuck.

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No wonder I'm in limbo because there are all these reasons why I can't stay with

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my full heart, but there are all these fears, which mean I can't just leave.

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It's terrifying.

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Mm-Hmm.

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Wow.

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That must be pretty overwhelming.

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I'm just thinking, oh, why won't.

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But it's, it's good to get it out there.

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In fact, I was coaching someone yesterday about, about something

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and he had all the list of stuff.

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He had it, he had the list, but it wasn't until we found the reasons behind

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the thinking and what was actually the problem and really going on, and

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then it's like, ah, okay, that's the.

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Yes.

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That is, that is the thing.

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And, and I presume.

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A lot of these things, one or two of them will be the thing, and the

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others probably don't matter as much.

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Well, the thing to do is once you've then got those lists, is

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to go, these are all thoughts.

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So everything I'm looking at now on my lists, this is not reality.

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Although some of these things may well be very, very true.

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I'm not looking at reality.

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I'm looking at two lists of thoughts.

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Thoughts that wake me up at night.

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Think thoughts that I, you know, stop me from going to sleep.

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Thoughts that are just rumbling around my head when I'm out for a walk.

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But these are thoughts, and thoughts can be questioned.

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Mm-Hmm.

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So that's, then the next phase is you take just one of those thoughts.

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So let's say my manager doesn't respect me.

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And you say, okay, is this true?

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You are interrogating to see?

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Is that just a kind of an opinion, is it just one possibility

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or is it a rock solid fact?

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Mm-Hmm.

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Because often we are trying to make these decisions based on unquestioned

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assumptions, thoughts that are not facts.

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I think this is really.

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Interesting and important point, and I think people really struggle

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with this sometimes, that it's your thinking that's causing the stress

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rather than the the actual situation.

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Correct

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. And so it's like you said, some of these things may be true, but all of the things

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that's causing us to stress is purely our thinking around what's going on.

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Is, is, is that correct?

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Is that correct?

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It is correct.

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Which I find incredibly good news.

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Because your thoughts aren't, they are just thoughts.

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They are interpretations, they're assumptions, they're beliefs, and so

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many times they haven't been questioned.

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So when I'm lying there at three in the morning and you know, my thoughts

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are going around, they're not actually being questioned as I lie there, I'm

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not going, you know, is that true that my manager doesn't respect me?

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Let me really look at the evidence.

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Let me look at that time when she walked into the, the room

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and she said, what's this?

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I just assume that that means she doesn't respect me.

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But let me just, let me just sit a little bit longer with, is that

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actually exactly what was going on?

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Could there have been something happening in her world that day?

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Could it be that that's just her communication style but actually

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she really does respect me now.

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I think we've all had those occasions when someone has, you know, looked like,

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looked critical, like I've been giving a talk and someone's been sat there

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like this like, I've thought, oh gosh.

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Oh gosh.

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I think I'm talking absolute rubbish.

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What's, oh no, I better stop talking.

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And afterwards, they're the first person in line to say, that was amazing.

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Oh my gosh.

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Everything.

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And that's just their fate.

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That's their concentration fate.

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Yes.

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Yeah, I've had that on Zoom.

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You know, that person's just looking away, constantly thinking, oh no, that

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person's so disengaged or whatever.

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And then actually they were making notes on another computer and

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you know, it looked like they were just answering their emails.

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Yes.

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Yeah.

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So there are assumptions that we make, and I get that.

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I think, uh, probably many of our listeners are thinking here,

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but there are things that are actually going on, like say

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. Absolutely.

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Um, the, the workload is horrendous.

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Or say something has happened, like, I have got a complaint.

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That has happened.

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You can't say, is that true or not?

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Yes.

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So what is it about, why is it my thinking that's causing problems rather than the

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actual thing that's causing the problem?

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Right.

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Well, let, let's, so let's get specific, can we give an example where someone's

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like, that's absolutely just true.

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Blanket true.

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Yeah.

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So, uh, let's say I have so much administration to do on a, on a, in

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a surgery that I have to stay for two or three hours afterwards and I

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get home two hours late every time because there is too much work to do.

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Yes.

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Well, that it sounds like there's a, there's a fact in there.

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You know, if there is a fact that there is no physical way of doing the

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work required of that job description, then we've, we've got a fact.

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And, and, and so the thought in there that I think is the one to be questioned

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is, there's nothing I can do about this.

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Okay.

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So if we question that and we say, well, actually, you know, is there

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something I can do about this often?

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Is there a conversation that I can have?

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It might be quite a brave conversation.

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It might be quite a vulnerable conversation.

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And there are two places which we might not want to go, so it's actually easier

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to go with, oh, this is just the way it is and it's too, it's impossible, and I

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can't do it, rather than do I need to have a very vulnerable or brave conversation

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with either my partner about me coming home two hours late, or with the people

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I work with or, or someone somewhere?

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What is my power?

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What can I do to if, if the facts are that, it's not gonna be the

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facts that are actually causing the problem, it's that I can't do anything

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about it or something like that.

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Yeah.

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So it's not the thing that's causing the stress.

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'cause like having two hours extra work that doesn't cause stress,

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but thinking it's not fair.

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I'm not gonna be able to do it.

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Right.

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It's always gonna happen.

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Yes.

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I'm stuck there.

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It's those thoughts that are causing you the stress, not

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the actual fact of a thing.

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Exactly.

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And those thoughts actually possibly are adding to the work.

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So those thoughts are possibly, you know, if you're having those thoughts,

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you're not gonna have your full focus on the work that might take longer.

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Um, you might just not be as clear-minded because that's

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all running in the background.

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So you just, you, you can't go oh, hang on.

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There's a, there's a shortcut I could take or, oh, there's this

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person that I could delegate to, or.

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Oh, maybe there's a different way of doing this that takes a shorter time.

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Those might be possible once your mind is, is clearer of those thoughts.

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Mm-Hmm, okay, thank you.

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Yes, I just wanted to clear up that thing about.

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Yeah.

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It's our thinking that causes a stress, not the actual thing.

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'Cause this is where people often get stuck in, in the

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training that we do, isn't it?

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When we talk about, look at stories in your heads.

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Yeah.

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It's not the actual thing is that lovely quote from Eleanor

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Roosevelt, no one can make you feel inferior without your consents.

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Yes, absolutely.

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Okay.

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So you very much come from the place of you write down your, these two lists

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are your thoughts about what's going on, and then you can start questioning them.

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Thank you.

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Yes.

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And just, and just to go back, so just to go back a tiny bit.

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This is very much not about denying reality.

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Yeah.

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You know, if your work takes two hours and that is a like so rock solid

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fact, then isn't it more powerful to say that is the fact rather than.

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It shouldn't be this way, you know, if we're saying it shouldn't

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be this way, actually for me, that is the denying of reality.

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'cause the reality is there is two hours of work.

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And it's just such a more peaceful, like you can just feel within

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you that, that the difference between, oh, there's two hours of

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work and it shouldn't be this way.

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And why is it always down to me and this isn't the way it should be.

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And then versus, okay, there's two hours of work.

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What do I want to do about that?

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Yeah.

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And this is the difference, I think, between being in, in your

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zone of power, which is in that circle about what you can control.

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Yeah.

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And outside of your, your zone of power.

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Yes.

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And what is in your zone of power, often it is, um, about being vulnerable, um,

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about being authentic, about being brave.

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What is in your zone of power often takes courage.

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That's the word that I like to think of when I'm thinking about, okay, in

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my zone of power, I'm, I've probably been avoiding something that's in my

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control in my zone of power because it takes a whole load of courage.

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Mm-Hmm.

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And it's so much easier to blame others, the situation, the system, life, than

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actually stepping into, ooh, this is gonna involve an uncomfortable decision

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or an uncomfortable conversation.

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Yeah.

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And that's not denying that the, the blame is on life or the system or the

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organization, but actually you can't do anything to change that, you know?

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Right.

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Unless literally you are the, the head honcho, but, you know, everyone has a

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boss and a boss, and a boss and a boss.

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So there's limited amount that you can do to change the wider system.

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So the only thing you really are in control of is, is what you do.

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Yeah.

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Your own actions.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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And, and that's what, you know, questioning these assumptions.

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Let's say it's a romantic relationship.

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You know, he, he should pull his weight more.

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It's a very common one.

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Mm-Hmm.

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Um, not to be too gendered, but that does tend to be that direction.

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You know, he should pull his weight more.

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Okay, well, what is the reality, and then what can I do about it?

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What is the conversation that I need to have?

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What is the responsibility that I need to relinquish?

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And if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen, and then we deal

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with the consequences of that.

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Um, rather than, well, he should pull his weight more.

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It doesn't, it's, it's ineffective.

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It doesn't do anything.

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So if we, let's, let's go back then.

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So you were saying the first thing you did is question the thought.

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Is it, is it true or not?

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Yeah.

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So we go right back.

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So first of all, comp compassion for being in the, should I stay

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or should I leave predicament?

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'Cause it, it sucks.

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Yeah.

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Number two is the list of all the reasons, all the, all the complaints.

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Yeah.

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And all the fears.

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Mm-Hmm.

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The complaints that make it hard to stay.

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Fears that make it hard to leave.

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And then you question things on either side.

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You, you question, you, you sit with literally, you sit with, you know, is

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it true that he doesn't pull his weight?

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And you interrogate it as if you have no agenda, you are just

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looking for the sake of truth.

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Now, is that, you know, is that true that he does not pull his weight?

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You'll notice that your mind brings images, brings scenes of

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the kitchen, the, you know, the bins, the laundry room, wherever,

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wherever your mind pulls images for.

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You're gonna find loads of loads of images that say, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

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He doesn't pull his weight.

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Okay and you say, okay, is it true?

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Is it true?

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Can I find any evidence that it might not be completely the whole truth?

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Okay.

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I suddenly see him doing this, you know, he drove here and I suddenly see he cooked

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this meal and I suddenly see that he.

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Fix this.

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And, and it just starts to break the, um, the, the kind of blinkered

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ness of this is the way it is, and that's all that there is.

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And it becomes a little, maybe grayer in a, in a good way, you

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know, a little less black and white.

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And you start to just notice that softening, like, okay,

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there's, there's more going on here than I at first thought.

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And then maybe look at one of those fears like, um, like if I leave, um,

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you know, my children will, will be dysfunctional forever because they're

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gonna come from a broken, a broken home.

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Okay, first of all, you see all those images.

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Yes.

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You see maybe your own childhood or your parents divorced, or you see friends

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you know, or situations, people you know who haven't been able to form

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great relationships because of their, all of these, again, come flooding out.

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'cause you're always gonna have your confirmation bias first.

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You're always gonna have the default.

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Assumption come first.

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And then can I absolutely know that that's true, that this is gonna, you know, f my

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kids up, is that, can I absolutely know?

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Maybe you suddenly find images of other people, you know, where actually the kids

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thrived when the parents split up and were more harmonious with each other.

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Or where those children developed a sense of, um, uh, having stronger standards

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in relationships or, you know, so, so suddenly again, it becomes just a bit

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grayer and a bit more multidimensional.

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So then you're sat here with the gray, more, the gray on this side

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and more the gray on this side.

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And then what happens is you start noticing you moving

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in a certain direction.

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Because these unquestioned assumptions aren't there on either side, just kind of

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banging against either side, everything's kind of softened and gone grayer, and

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then you just notice, oh, I, without that thought that he doesn't pull his weight,

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I notice, I'm noticing more that he does.

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I'm noticing a real, um, gratitude actually, the things

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he does that I don't do.

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Um, gosh, I'm noticing this, I'm noticing, oh, I actually, I went, I

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went to give him a hug or a kiss and I hadn't felt like doing that for a while.

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You start to notice that kind of.

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Just notice without the thoughts there.

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There's a, a draw there.

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And then similarly on the other side, oh, without the thought that my, my kids

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are gonna be decimated by this, I notice that actually I am moving away from him,

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but I'm not, I'm not as committed as I, I I thought I was and, and I'm, I'm

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just kind of being honest and noticing that I'm going in a different direction.

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And so, and so both of those movements are so much more natural and fluid, and,

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and authentic because you don't have unquestioned stories holding you in place.

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Mm-Hmm mm-Hmm.

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So questioning the stories in our heads always really, really helpful.

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And it's then, what you do, what you do with that in

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order to make these decisions?

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Yeah.

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Well then often you see there isn't a decision that gets made

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like from your head in that way.

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Like how I was describing, you just notice, like, let's say it's

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a, a job we're talking about, you might just notice, oh, I notice I'm

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Googling or going on whatever website, you know, to look for other jobs.

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I just notice that or, oh, I notice actually I'm having these

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different kind of conversations with my manager and I notice that

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I feel more connected to to her.

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And so it's kind of not really then a decision.

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It's more a noticing what is actually then happening.

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And it's that, that trust of that direction that you're going

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in because you're not being controlled by those stories anymore.

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Mm-Hmm mm.

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I think when we talked about this before Corrina, I said to you, you know, these

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people that come to you with like, should I say, should I go through a relationship?

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You know, what tends to be the outcome?

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You know how many people stay, how many people go?

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And you say actually the majority of people end up staying.

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They do.

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They do.

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What's behind that?

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Well, because I think when we get together with someone, if we're talking about a

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romantic relationship, um, and we fall in love and we, you know, we often that

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kind of honey, the traditional honeymoon period, it's because those thoughts

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haven't started to arise yet, right?

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So we just see how compatible we are and how much we love them, and that magic

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and that feeling and all that connection and it, it all just feels amazing.

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And, and then something happens.

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They don't put the dish in the dishwasher or they, um, you know, stop being

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interested in having sex with us, or they start being a bit kind of hazy with

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money or whatever our issue is, right?

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We will, we will have the thing which comes up.

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That starts happening.

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And, and like I say, that, that gets in the way that blocks us

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from feeling that inherent love and connection with that person.

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So even in the situations where the person does leave, if they've done

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this work, they are leaving with love, they're leaving with that initial

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love and connection that was there.

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They've maybe seen that, okay, we're not actually compatible

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as a partnership anymore.

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But they're not leaving, um, out of anger or, um, resentment, they're leaving

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outta, I love you and I notice that I'm leaving 'cause this is no longer the place

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for me to feel most myself or most, you know, to be connected with my vision of

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what life is to be or whatever it is.

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But either way, you actually leave with love.

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You either stay or leave with love for your partner.

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Because that's what you, that's where you were to start with.

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Yeah.

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And how much better is it to, to, to leave like that than to leave in

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a horribly acrimonious sort of way?

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Yeah.

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And I guess that's so true for jobs as well.

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We always want to.

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Absolutely.

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Leave well and not burn our bridges and, and do it

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respectfully and, and all of that.

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Yes.

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And I know that when we talked before, you were saying that actually, and I

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said to you, well, how, how does that work that people have decided to stay?

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And I guess it would.

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It was something around being able to put up with things much more

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because, because you are actually loosened your, well, they should be

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like that or they should do this.

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Right.

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Right.

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Is that, is that the way that that, that you see that people manage to stay?

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I wouldn't use the words put up with.

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I would say accept.

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Accept, okay.

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Because again, back to the zone of power.

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In our zone of power, the things that we need to do are

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things which revolve courage.

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The things which are other people's involve acceptance.

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So it's that, I like to use the example of someone's funeral.

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But you know, when you go to someone's funeral, let's say

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my granny's funeral, right?

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And she was a, you know, as, as all are not actually weirdly, not, not

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the granny I was talking about in the last podcast, who then did, did

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die off the last podcast very soon.

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My other granny who died earlier.

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At her funeral, people were honest, you know?

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She, she was a little bit racist.

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She was a little bit, you know, she didn't listen very well.

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She wasn't very interested in, you know, all the things that were true

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about her, we said, with love, 'cause we accepted like, oh yeah, granny,

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you know, hadn't quite, you know, got her head around same sex relationships

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or, you know, she actually did.

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But, but whatever it was, somehow when someone dies, you actually accept the

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things that made them, them, their quirks, their faults, the fact that

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they always left their nails, they clip their nails and left them on the side.

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People actually laugh and feel really affectionate and kind

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of, oh, remember her nails?

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Whereas when they're alive, you're like, oh my gosh, the nails.

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I, I kind of see it like that.

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Like we accept people like we would if they were, if they were dead, you know?

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Um, we accept so.

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What was your original question?

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About it is about putting up with things or up with Right.

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Versus accepting them, yeah.

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Right.

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So, you know, putting up with, let's say someone you know, I don't know, clips

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their toenails and leaves 'em on the sofa.

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Okay.

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The resentment way looks at them and goes, oh, that's

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disgusting, you're so disgusting.

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I can't believe I'm with such a disgusting party that you would leave

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your toenails on the side on the sofa.

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Acceptance looks like oh look.

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Oh look, oh, toenails on the sofa.

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Wouldn't I miss them if they were dead?

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You know, there they are.

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Um, isn't that, you know, isn't that lovely that they were obviously so

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busy or so, you know, caught up in their thoughts that they didn't think.

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Now, doesn't mean that we can't in our zone of power, say it really

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doesn't work for me that you leave your toenails on the sofa.

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Could you please, um, and put them in the bin?

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But there's, there's an acceptance.

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There's, there's actually kind of an affectionate, loving acceptance of

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this is who this person is, this is all that is true about this person

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that is completely outside of my power.

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And I, I notice that I'm still staying.

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I notice that even with all these aspects, I notice that I'm still staying.

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There's something about that love that's keeping me, keeping me here.

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Mm-Hmm.

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Acceptance is that putting up with a is a kind of victim position where you're

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kind of tolerating and, oh, poor me, aren't I amazing that I'm putting up with.

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And accepting is a very powerful position of love and clear sightedness.

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Yeah.

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So putting up with it would be, oh God, he's left his toenails on the safer game.

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That just really irritates me, but I'm not gonna say anything

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for the sake of harmony.

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Yes, exactly.

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All this harmony that I'm feeling on the inside.

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Except excuse, oh, look, there goes that pile again.

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And then I have a choice, don't I?

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I have a choice whether to say, darling, that's disgusting.

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Yes.

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Or just sweep them up myself.

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Speak that myself.

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It's bothering me.

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Been nearer, put a little toenail dish on the sofa.

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You know what?

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All the things that are in our power, we have so much power when we

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actually see reality as it is, not constantly kind of behind this veil

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of, well, it shouldn't be like this.

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They shouldn't be like this.

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They shouldn't be like this.

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Hmm.

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I think it's that should word.

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Yes.

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That is just, just gets you, I remember, 'cause I've done some

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sessions of the, the, the work with you Corrina and I was sat in a, before

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Covid, sat in a cafe doing some work.

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It was really lovely and, and a woman came in with a baby that was screaming.

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Yes.

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It was screaming his head off and it started to, I get quite affected by noise.

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It just start to really irritate and this baby was obviously very distressed.

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Yeah.

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You know, and

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Mm-Hmm.

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Obviously in a complete lack of empathy, you know, not thinking back

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to my three kids when I would've been, you know, knackered and tired and

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just thinking, I just need a coffee.

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Yes.

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I was thinking this, she should take it out and it's really disturbing

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everybody else, and she should, and I just thought, hang on a sec, rachel.

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Mm.

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It's your thinking about that that's causing you irritation, and should she?

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Well, no.

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Of course she shouldn't.

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You know, the reality is the baby's here.

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She's a young mom, obviously looks knackered.

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It's my thinking about that and I just think I can choose to just

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ignore those, ignore those she should.

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Just put my headphones on.

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And once I'd sort of, it was still irritates me a bit, but it was much less.

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Yes.

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Then I was thinking, oh, come on.

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She should, she should.

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She should.

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Because she should requires absolutely no action from us, right?

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We, we just get to stay there complaining and being the victim.

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Um, so in that situation, for example, I could move, I have that power.

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Sometimes we completely forget we have that power.

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Yeah, yeah.

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Or I could ask her to move.

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I can do that again.

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That's the courageous bit, right?

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To go up to someone and say.

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Oh, what's, you know, lovely baby.

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I appreciate you.

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May,

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it's really flipping loud, yes.

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I'm actually having a really important business meeting here.

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Would it work for you to move?

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Um, so I actually did this.

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I sat, um, not with a a crime baby, but a man who was lighting up a cigarette.

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I was sitting on a, a bench and I was about to eat my lunch, uh, in

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a, in a Cambridge college, you know, garden, uh, museum, Fitz William, I

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think, museum sitting outside on the bench and a guy came, sat down next

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to me and started rolling a cigarette.

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And I just noticed that that wasn't gonna work for me while I ate my lunch.

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Um, so I said to him, you know, are you gonna smoke that now?

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'cause if you, if you are, I'll move.

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So I really took responsibility for that.

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And he went, oh, no, no.

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Okay, no, no problem.

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I'll move.

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And he went and sat on the grass.

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It's like it hadn't occurred to him that it would bother me.

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And I was fully prepared that I would've, if he'd said, yes, I'm

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gonna smoke it, and just sat there looking at me, I'd have said, great.

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I'm, I'm.

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And so it's just so, it's so empowering to realize that you have choices,

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that you don't just have to sit there.

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Yeah.

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You always have a choice.

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Now this is something that people really struggle with Corrina and Yeah.

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Yeah.

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You know, in all the training it's like, should you have a choice?

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Um, people say, I have no choice about when I leave work.

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No choice whatsoever.

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I go, well.

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You do have a cha.

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You know you at any point, like you could halfway through your

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work, you could stand up and leave.

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I mean, the consequences are you might get the sack.

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Yes.

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But you are in charge of when you live and people really, yeah,

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but I don't, that's a choice.

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'cause if I get the sack, I can't provide for my family and blah.

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I said, well.

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That's a choice.

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The choices have consequences that you might not like.

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Yes.

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But you always have a choice.

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And that is, that is quite difficult 'cause to get head around.

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Like, 'cause that choice of you speaking to that person on the bench is some

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something that people, well, I don't like that choice of having to say something.

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Mm-Hmm.

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I don't like it.

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Yes, yes.

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Yeah.

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Get it.

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Isn't there so much, isn't there so much in life that we just don't like?

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And the thing is, is that we can stay in that position.

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And we can stomp our feet and we can r rant and rave.

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You know, I'll, let's just kind of go to a, a quite big, um, example of this.

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When my son died, when Alfie died during, you know, during labor, I didn't like it.

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That was not my choice.

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You know, I can, and, and the thing is, is that I can scream and I can shout

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and I can cry, and I can wave my fist at life and say, F you, how dare you?

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Or.

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I can point absolutely to something else that made me a victim and say, I

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don't like this and I, this shouldn't have happened and I don't want it to

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happen, and like, what does it do?

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What does it do?

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It doesn't bring the person back.

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It doesn't change the sit.

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I can sit there.

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The man with a cigarette isn't gonna move them.

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Woman with a baby isn't gonna move.

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None of that's going to happen.

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So we have to ask ourselves, is this a mature, powerful,

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um, effective position, right?

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Anytime we are in that, this shouldn't be happening.

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I don't like it position, is it mature?

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Is it powerful?

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Is it effective?

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And, and I haven't found that it is.

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So, so yes, to just act knowledge that of course you don't like it.

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And if you want to be peaceful, if you want to feel powerful, then, then there

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you have to take an another option.

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And I really like the question that you often ask about this, which is, where

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would you be without this thought?

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Hmm.

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So where would I be without that thought that?

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Okay.

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Trivial.

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I don't like that man's, you know, that man shouldn't be smoking or

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that baby shouldn't be crying.

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Right, yes.

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Um.

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Yes.

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Where would I be that thought that I shouldn't have to wait this, this long?

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It's not fair.

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It it.

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Yes.

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And it's quite right that it might be true that it's not fair.

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Absolutely.

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But the reality is it's happening.

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Right, yes.

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Yeah.

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I mean, there's so much that's not fair.

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I mean, we can look at.

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You know, gosh, anything, you know, the racism that's currently being

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poured out onto our England team, like that shouldn't be happening, right?

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But what's the point of me sitting here saying it shouldn't be happening?

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It is happening.

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What can we do about it?

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What laws can we put in place?

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What education can happen?

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Um, so just notice that, that anytime we say it shouldn't be happening.

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We are not being powerful.

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We're not being impactful.

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We are not having any kind of effect on life.

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We're just being at the effect of life again, completely reasonably.

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You know, it's not, it's not unreasonable to think these, these things shouldn't be

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happening, but the reality is they are.

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Mm-Hmm.

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And I guess it is okay to feel.

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The emotions around that, isn't it?

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Like, so when, when Alfie died, obviously so much sadness.

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Yes.

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And actually more authentic sadness was enabled.

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Like real, pure, beautiful grief was enabled because I didn't keep the

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story that shouldn't have happened.

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This shouldn't have happened would've kept me in a kind of, kind of pretend grief

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where I'm kind of, this shouldn't have.

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Whereas.

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Okay, well it has happened, how do I want to be with that?

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allowed me just to, to cry and to love and to feel and to connect and to do things.

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Um, whether it's, you know, like educating around bereavement care from

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in maternity or, you know, sharing his story with others that en enabled

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me to be powerful because I was facing reality as it actually was,

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not as I thought I wanted it to be.

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Mm-Hmm.

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And so I think it's interesting when, when you say that people sort of end

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up quite a lot of the time staying with their partners or staying in the

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job or staying with that friendship, 'cause presumably it's not all

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about should I leave a partner?

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Sometimes it's like a toxic family relationship or even a colleague or a

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work or a friend or something like that.

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It's, they are able to stay because when their friend or their partner or their

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work does something that previously would've eaten them away at their core.

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Yes.

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Now they're just saying, oh, look at that.

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Yes, absolutely.

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Like, oh, isn't that interesting that that's happened?

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And again, like, you know, is this something that I

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want to do something about?

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Again?

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Is there a conversation or an action that is courageous that I need to take?

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Um, or is this just about me going, you know, not my business, not

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my zone of power, not my lane, whatever you want to call it.

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That's just them being, them doing their thing.

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And so what I see when people stay after doing this kind of work is that

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they stay with more love acceptance, a kind of recommitment, it's a

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kind of, you know, re renewing your marriage vows or, um, recommitting.

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So sometimes, for example, people have worked with me who aren't yet

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married and haven't had children, and soon after our sessions, they do get

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married to the person that they weren't sure if they were going to leave.

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And then they do go on and have children if that's what they choose to do.

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And it's the, the key is, is that it's with choice, it's with power.

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It's like not just, oh, well we might as well get married 'cause we've

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been together a couple of years and that's probably what we should do.

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'cause we're in our mid thirties and.

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It's like, oh, I've actually re, I've seen this person through new eyes.

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I'm experiencing them completely afresh.

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I'm remembering not just what brought me to them in the first place, but all

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these things and what ways in which they've changed that I thought were

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negative, but actually I'm seeing the benefit of, and oh my gosh, I wanna marry

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them, and oh my gosh, I wanna have, you know, build a family or build whatever

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other, other projects with this person.

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So it's, it's like, it's really not just kind of staying two feet

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in, but like a jumping two feet in.

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Mm-Hmm.

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So that's that.

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Rather than trying to change that person, you suddenly start accepting who they are.

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Quirks, foibles and all.

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Yes.

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And it's about changing the story that we're telling ourselves in our heads.

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Yeah.

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And staying in our zone of power about where we have got the choice.

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About, about what we do.

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Absolutely.

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Mm-Hmm.

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And, and I sometimes that, that makes you slightly more, what would the word?

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Uh.

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Less affable, perhaps, maybe affable the wrong word, but, um, it's, you know.

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Okay, you darling, you are choosing to watch the, the cricket all day today.

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That's, that's great.

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I'm going to go and do something else rather than stay there in

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the sitting room with the, or.

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Actually for me it's football, I can't, this is dread, I shouldn't say this.

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I cannot stand football.

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My family just berate me about this.

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Apparently it's the worst thing in the world, but you know, I'll admit it here.

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'cause it's just to like, I don't know, a few thousand people.

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That's all right.

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Isn't it?

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Fine.

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And I cannot stand being in a room when there's a match on.

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Yes.

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And people are like, well mom, you should join in and watch it in.

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I'm like, I don't wanna, I'm really pleased that you wanna watch it.

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That's great, but I'm just going to go and do something that brings me joy and that's

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gonna be much better for the family.

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So you have to be quite strong sometimes.

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Yes.

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How liberating.

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I mean, so here are your two options, right?

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You, you, you could stay in the room and sit there going, well, I hate football,

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but they told me I should be here.

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I'm gonna sit here.

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And accidentally cheer for the wrong side.

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Yeah.

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Which doesn't really go down very well.

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You know, maybe you're there on, you're on your phone,

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you're not really there, right?

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You're there, you're kinda, I'm in the room with you 'cause you told

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me I had to be, I'm on my phone.

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And, and it just feels, it feels victim me, disempowering,

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all of those kind of things.

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Or you go, brilliant.

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They're all occupied.

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I'm heading to get my nails done, or whatever.

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It's you want to do, going for a run, going to the gym,

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going to do yoga, anything.

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Um, and you can, and you can't tell the story they made me watch football.

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Mm-Hmm.

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Yeah.

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And that story, they made me.

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Mm-Hmm mm-Hmm.

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It's red flag alert.

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Red flag alert.

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Yeah.

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They made me, they should.

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Yes.

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Um, or I, I ought, yeah.

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Yeah.

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Is that another one that people?

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Yeah, absolutely.

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Because at the end of that is some kind of fear, right?

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I ought to, because otherwise, and then how would you finish

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that sentence, you know?

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Because otherwise they'll think I'm a killjoy.

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Otherwise, there's some kind of fear.

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I ought to join that, um, let's say back to a job, you know, I ought to join that

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after work Zoom drinks thing, even though I have no desire to whatsoever sit on Zoom

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another half an hour with a glass of wine.

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Like, no, that's not what I want to do at all.

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Um, I ought to.

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The fear is because otherwise, you know, they'll, they'll think I'm kind of a party

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paper or they'll, they'll, they'll have conversations that are important that

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I'll miss out on or, and again, you just look at those fears and you question them.

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Is that true?

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Is that what's gonna happen?

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Can I know that?

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Is there some way that I could mitigate that?

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Could I say I'm not gonna join the, the after-work drinks?

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Um, but if anything important comes at workwise, please let me know.

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Mm-hmm.

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Right?

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That's a total zone of power.

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And, and, and again, truthful, truthful to the self, I'm only going to do

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what is truthful for me that I am wholehearted about, and that is, that

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is authentic and in my integrity.

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Mm.

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And I think when people are thinking particularly about jobs as, as well,

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you know, they think there's all this pressure they made me/ but actually when

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you dig deeper into it, rather than it's, they made me, it's, it's an I ought.

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Yes.

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I ought.

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And actually a lot of the pressure we're putting our on ourselves is

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from ourselves and our thinking rather than, rather than from somebody else.

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Yes.

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It's interesting.

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Sometimes we'll have the story like, well, you know, I have to

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stay till X time because otherwise.

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And then you can look at a colleague who's not doing that and feel really resentful.

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Well, how are they getting away with it?

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It's because they're not running the story that they ought to.

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And you can actually use that as an example of actually look, that

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consequence that I thought would happen to me if I left on time, that hasn't

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happened to my colleague actually.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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I, I was talking to someone who was saying, you know, so frustrated duty,

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do skate day, gets everything done.

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Then just as leaving walks out into the pharmacy, there's

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10 prescriptions on the clip.

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Mm.

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Then they have to go, and what I feel I ought to, so that when the

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next person comes and the next day I ought, it's like, well.

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Yes.

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It's, you know, and then just them realizing that actually

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someone else leaves theirs.

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Yes.

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And if you're finished, you're finished, then it's totally fine.

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Because then you, you change the system, don't you?

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If you stop doing it, it's like this system then has to change.

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Um, again, a different conversation, a different dynamic has to be put in place.

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If you, I often use the example of changing your dance moves.

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You know, if you are always in a dance with someone, let's say with your partner,

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you always do this and they do that, and then you do that, so, you know, he,

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he looks a bit grumpy about something.

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You say, oh, what's wrong?

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And then he says, oh, why'd you always?

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And then you do.

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It's like a certain dynamic happens.

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Let's say instead, and I've done this with so many clients and they've come back

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and been like, it's completely different.

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They'll, so he's, he's been grumpy, let's say, and you just don't do

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your normal thing and you, you know, happily go on and go and sit down

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and read a book or whatever it is.

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He's suddenly lost his dance partner.

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He's like, hang on a second.

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And then what you'll notice invariably is that then he changes because there

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isn't that, it's just that dance has gone.

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So if you leave your prescriptions on the, wherever, something about the

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system, the game, the dance has to change.

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Hmm.

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Yes, and, and you, you've also got a choice, haven't you?

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You can either go back, no, leave it and feel really, really guilty about it.

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Or you can leave it next day, drop the line.

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Say I, I had finished, you know, I left them, is that okay?

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Is there anything we could change about the way the system goes?

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Maybe we can have an agreement after 4:00 PM the G doesn't

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have you know exactly for you.

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Yes.

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You then take the control and the power and, and think

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about things that you can do.

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And often it's just little things actually, isn't it?

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It is actually, again, it's, it's potentially a courageous

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conversation or courageous action.

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Mm-Hmm.

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That's always the question that I would ask.

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It's like if I am, if I've been doing that kind of shoulds, I ought

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to, they should, they made me all of that, a, a, a different way of

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thinking is what is in my power?

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What is a courageous conversation or action that I could have, I could do.

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That might just shift something here.

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Mm-Hmm, mm-Hmm.

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So small things, small things, small changes that are

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gonna, that are gonna help.

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So, Corrina, we are really nearly out of time.

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If you were to give us the top three tips for, well deciding, you

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know, if you are in a, a difficult relationship, a difficult job, a

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difficult friendship, it's any sort of thing, what, what would your be your

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three top tips for dealing with that or beginning to start to deal with it?

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It's the number one, compassion.

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Yeah.

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Just be so compassionate with yourself that you are in that position.

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It's a natural, normal, healthy human place to be.

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Nothing wrong with you for that being in that place and it, and it's hard.

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So just being compassionate, like, wow, I'm in a really

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hard place in with this limbo.

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Number two, you list out your, uh, your complaints and your fears.

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You recognize that they are their thoughts so they can be questioned.

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And then number three is that you question them.

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And, and when you question them, then you are left with that noticing.

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What are you doing noticing?

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Are you being drawn in one direction or another?

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When that those kind of black and whites are grayer.

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Mm-Hmm mm-Hmm.

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And then I guess, yeah, I would just add to that.

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And then what, once you start to question your thoughts that it's

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about what, what can I do then?

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What, what is in my power?

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Yes.

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What do I need to have courage to do and what can I accept?

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Yes.

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And like you were saying, it may be that just.

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Making those changes, a bit of acceptance and a bit of courage.

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Yeah.

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That's enough to, to change the whole situation, to change the whole dynamics.

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So that either you, again, it's not having a kind of, um, a bias

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for either leaving or staying.

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It's that if you stay, you stay in that recommitted place and if you

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leave, you can leave with love and, um, kind of peace towards that person.

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Mm-Hmm.

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Or, or the job or whatever.

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It's, you're leaving.

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Thank you.

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Gosh, that's, that's just been incredibly helpful.

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I think there's a lot of people here, uh, listening, taking

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notes, going, okay, right, that's, I need to ask that question.

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Is that really true?

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What can I do?

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Um, what we'll do is we'll make a, a zone of power download available

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for people to, to download, which is just to hand out that talks a bit,

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little bit more about the zone of power so they can have a look at that.

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And Corrina, if people wanted to contact you, how could they, how could they find

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out more about you and about your work?

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Yeah, so corrinagordonbarnes.com.

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That I will spell that 'cause my name is the Bob Dylan spelling way.

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So Corrina, C-O-R-R-I-N-A.

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And then Gordon, G-O-R-D-O-N-B-A-R-N-E-S.com.

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And you could also connect with me on Instagram.

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I'm Corrina GB or Twitter, I'm Corrina GB.

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Brilliant.

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Thank you.

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So we'll put all of those links in the show notes as well, and.

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And LinkedIn, LinkedIn.

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Oh, LinkedIn.

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Brilliant.

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Uh, will you come back another time?

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'Cause I think there's, there's so much more that we can explore about this.

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Absolutely would

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love to.

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Thanks so much Corrina.

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See you soon.

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See you.

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Bye.

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Thanks for listening.

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If you've enjoyed this episode, then please share it with

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your friends and colleagues.

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Please subscribe to my You Are Not a Frog email list and subscribe to the podcast.

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And if you have enjoyed it, then please leave me a rating wherever

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you listen to your podcasts.

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So keep well everyone.

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You are doing a great job.

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You got this.

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