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Why Focusing on You Is Not Selfish

Today we’re talking about a survival stance that so many people are stuck in, yet so often, they don’t even realize it. You may know it in terms of being co-dependent, a people-pleaser, or a perfectionist. But we want to define it in terms that you can start to recognize yourself, and we’re calling it agency.

When you make choices based on other people’s needs, and prioritize what others want above your own needs and desires, you’re operating from a sense of agency. Learning to slow down, wake up and connect to yourself will enable you to make choices from an inner place, and start to express yourself, and move towards things that really light you up. It is powerful to admit what you want, and we’re showing you how to give yourself permission to do so this week.

Join us this week as we discuss what agency is and show you how to recognize when you’re in it. We discuss the reasons you may prioritize other people’s needs above your own, and show you how to start listening to and honoring your impulses, make choices based on your own wellbeing and prioritize yourself in your life.

If you’d like us to speak at your organization about conflict, stress, team-building, or leadership, work with your team virtually, or coach you or leaders on your team, reach out to us!

If you enjoyed the show, please share the podcast with your family and friends, or post a five-star review on iTunes. Rating and reviewing the show helps spread the word, which means less friction and suffering for everyone, and who doesn’t want that?

Learn More:

  • Some ways to recognize if you are in agency.

  • How to stop making the wellbeing of others your responsibility.

  • The benefits of being able to connect more deeply with yourself.

  • How to tap into your own guidance system.

  • Some profound realizations around agency that we have had in our lives.

  • A mantra you can use to become a self-agent.


Full Transcript:

Susan: Welcome to The Beauty of Conflict, a podcast about how to deal with conflict at work, at home and everywhere else in your life. I'm Susan.

CrisMarie: And I'm CrisMarie.

Susan: We run a company called Thrive Inc., and we specialize in conflict resolution, communication and building strong, thriving teams and relationships both in person and virtual

CrisMarie: On this podcast we’ll be sharing tips, tools about how to make your team, your relationship, and even you work more effectively. You can find us at That’s Or follow us on LinkedIn at Thrive Inc. We hope you enjoy this episode.

CrisMarie: Hi there. I'm CrisMarie Campbell.

Susan: And I'm Susan Clarke.

CrisMarie: Today we’re going to be talking about a survival stance that many people may not even realize they’re stuck in. Why? Because I didn’t even realize how stuck I was in this survival stance. Some people call it agency, which meant nothing to me. So we want to define it in terms that maybe you can start to recognize yourself.

Susan: I mean you may also recognize it because other ways it’s referred to might be codependent or a people pleaser.

CrisMarie: Yeah. If you have the compulsion to please those around you or fix a situation, I’d better fix it. Or take care of other people. Or it could even be that you have a sense of perfectionism. Like you’ve got to make everything perfect, or you need to be in control of everything around you. Those are some of the things.

Susan: Yes. You know, another kind of way you may recognize this in yourself is you really don’t…You know what everyone around you wants. You can pick that up pretty darn quickly.

CrisMarie: You're actually really good at picking that up.

Susan: Yes. But when it comes to what you want, you don’t know. You know?

CrisMarie: How this can show up is you're really good at work. You can make all these deadlines. As soon as work kind of lets up, you're like, “Oh no. What should I do?” There's either a discombobulation or a boredom because there’s not that outside pressure to meet the deadlines. So there’s nothing coming from within that says, “Hey this is what I want to do.”

Susan: Now this can also show up in relationships and marriages. Often in that scenario there's a sense of boredom. It’s flat. There's not a lot of passion or aliveness or sexual drive in it. A lot of time that presents as a relationship issue. Here’s the deal. It’s not really a relationship issue. It’s actually a self. The person who’s experiencing that really needs to look at it differently.

CrisMarie: So we’re going to use the term agency. It sounds kind of funky, but it describes this codependency or propensity to kind of look at yourself through somebody else’s eyes. Really it develops in infancy. If an infant all of a sudden thinks—Babies cry. They are hungry. They need to poop. Whatever it is. If somebody’s taking care of them, they will develop what's called self-agency. Meaning I'm in control of what I want and focused here.

Susan: They know. They will cry. They will laugh. They will do all sorts of things just spontaneously. Not to get fed or to do something.

CrisMarie: Yes.

Susan: But it’s like, “Oh, it feels good for me to do this little wiggle in my body.” Because they have an internal sense of satisfaction they get from a gurgle or a smile or a sound or whatever it is.

CrisMarie: Now if you as an infant are around a parent that is not so happy, the child comes to believe that, “Hey, I'm only going to survive unless I am what this parent wants me to be, or this caregiver wants me to be.” So it thinks its survival is dependent on its ability to attend to the parent. To be or do what the parent wants, to please or calm the parent. What happens is that self-agency really takes a backseat. Instead the infant is, “Oh my gosh. What does this person outside me need and I will become it?”

Susan: They become an agent for that other person, whoever it is. This all gets set up when it does seem to be a life or death issue.

CrisMarie: What happens is that the child is so hypervigilant to the external environment that it severely limits any sort of connection like you were saying, Susan, to the wiggle or the giggle. Like, “Oh that feels good to me.” There's a contraction in the body and a focus on the outside and thinking, “Oh that’s how I'm going to actually survive.”

Susan: Yes. Now I know this wasn’t necessarily the next step in this, but it came up for me. So I'm going to follow my instinct.

CrisMarie: Okay.

Susan: Because I often think of one of the things that we’ve led programs, Come Alive is the one that comes to mind. There’s a part of that program where the invitation is for someone to begin to recognize what they like and what they dislike and be able to kind of recognize it. That’s the propulsion to move. A lot of times we have given that up. That’s this idea of we have kind of given away our own sense of who we are and what we want to be.

That’s a lot of what happens in agency. The idea being that we have these clues in our body. Our body, like those infants, they are vibrating. They have that vibration. We have learned to turn ours off as opposed to noticing on the inside what do I like? What do I dislike? Because that’s one way to get back to coming into a sense of self-agency.

CrisMarie: It’s so true Susan. When I think about people that I coach who are really good workers, myself included. Like okay I will sacrifice what I want because I'm going to get the job done. That might be good for one or two times, but it usually becomes a habit like it has for me. I'm ignoring what really is important to me. I'm not listening to those inside cues.

Again, going back to the young child who thinks, “Okay, my job is to please the parent. I want that parent to feel fulfilled, happy, stable, content. So maybe I say something funny. My grumpy dad. I say something funny, and all of a sudden, his demeanor changes. I think, “Oh, I did it. I'm so powerful. There's this omnipotence.” Of course something happens and dad gets grumpy again. All of a sudden the child thinks, “Oh my god I failed. This is so important that he be happy for me to be okay.”

So what happens is these small victories are temporary. As you become an adult, you're left with this gnawing emotional feeling in your body that you’ve done something wrong all the time. So you work so hard to be the best you can be all the time. I mean this is coming from an Olympic athlete, an MBA, an actress. Somebody who’s always trying to do the next thing to feel okay.

Susan: Well, yeah CrisMarie. It’s so true. I think even it’s kind of like there’s also this part of me. Because as you’ve done this work on yourself, you also think, “I'm a phony. I wasn’t those things.” There's always this part of me that’s like, “All along the way you actually were an Olympic athlete. It was you that did those things, not these other people that did them for you.” I think that even that sense of being like it’s not me is so great that even as you begin to wake up to it, you still can disown it until you realize, “Well wait a minute.”

CrisMarie: I did that.

Susan: Yeah.

CrisMarie: Owning my choice, I did that. I think really what I'm pulling apart is my motivation was often like, “If I win this next race when I was training, then Bob my coach will finally be happy with me.” But, again, that’s a temporary victory, and then there’s the next race. It’s this vicious cycle. That can happen at work. This project.

Susan: Yeah. It’s kind of like that part of you that thought you did it for your coach would be the agency part of it. The part of you that can go back to. I mean even for you? Why did you go to the Olympics when you had a back injury? Not because your coach made you, but because you chose to get in that boat. Which is the self-agent. I don’t want to wait four years.

That’s kind of…This is where it’s sort of tricky. Where is your motivation coming from? Do you even recognize when you're kind of always motivated by what’s outside of you?

CrisMarie: I’ll just tell you. Why this started to come up for me now is I had this felt sense of often what I do is it’s as if I leave myself and I go over to somebody like in an audience or even you Susan. It’s like as if I'm going over there and I'm saying, “Oh my gosh. She’s judging me. She thinks I'm incompetent or they think I'm incompetent. I'm doing this wrong.” So then I try even harder to be perfect. Now, of course, I can't fly over to somebody else and see myself through their eyes. But that’s energetically what it feels like.

Susan: In a way, in some respects it is that energetic going out of your own boots so to speak and over into their lens of the world, seeing it through their eyes. And projecting.

CrisMarie: Yeah, what I think they are thinking.

Susan: Then if they look happy, you are like, “Oh I was successful.”

CrisMarie: Yes.

Susan: You know? If they don’t look happy, you're like, “Oh my god. I failed.”

CrisMarie: Yes.

Susan: It’s all based on them.

CrisMarie: Based on them. Yeehaw. This brings up this idea. So recognizing that we all have these energetic boundaries or bubbles around as some people would call it. But you know you have an energetic bubble if I were to come up to you, listener, and stand right nose to nose to you. You’d be like, “CrisMarie, back up.”

Susan: Likely if you started to pay attention, you would notice the moment someone got closer than you wanted. Now, you may not tell them to stop. But you can pay attention to, “Oh. Oh, right now. I actually feel.” That’s the energetic bond.

CrisMarie: Yes. Now that we can be in elevators again because of the vaccine, you can actually tell, “Uh oh, somebody’s too close.” And you step sideways. That’s you. They're not physically touching you, but they're in your energetic space. It’s important to recognize and connect to your energetic space because that’s you. There’s so much that we take in the body versus, “Hey, we have this whole space.” That’s what I mean. Like who’s energetic space are you in? Am I over in Susan’s looking at me, judging me? Or am I in mine thinking, “Well, I think I did a pretty good job.”

Susan: Now, this does bring up one of the things I love about working with the horses. Is because often someone comes into a session. You know this Equus coaching isn’t about the horse, but why horses are so profound in it is because they respond to the physical. They are reading like your heart rate, whether you are in your body. All sorts of things like that. What happens for the person? Like over and over I've seen this.

They're like, “Okay the horse walked away. The horse doesn’t like me. The horse didn’t like that. The horse is doing this.” Because they kind of get how absurd that might be at some point? Like really? You don’t think the horse thinks that blue is a good color on you? They begin to see that that really has nothing to do with it. So it’s a way to come back to how much, because you can see it pretty quickly. How much are you projecting over there instead of being in here?

CrisMarie: Now, Susan, you opened that statement, and I wanted to hear the end of us. You said, “I work with horses, but it’s not about the horse.” What would you say if you had to land that?

Susan: Yeah. The horses have these big vibrational.

CrisMarie: But what is it about for the human?

Susan: Well, their opportunity to get in touch with their own embodied vibrational experience.

CrisMarie: So come back to their own circle basically.

Susan: Yes, each and every time. The horse will give them feedback about how they're doing with that in terms of how they relate to it.

CrisMarie: Yeah. I mean I think this whole idea of like flying over and being in somebody else’s circle, judging me from what I think their eyes are is really I'm abandoning myself. There's a loss of connection to me. The whole work is to come back and land in me, which the horses help give a mirror to that. There's also just noticing, “Can I actually feel my body?” Because a lot of people who are in a work addiction, they're not even taking care of some basic needs because they're not listening to their body.

Susan: I think sometimes that’s why people get so obsessed with exercise maybe.

CrisMarie: Yeah.

Susan: Because they suddenly have. I mean, I think that’s been something for me. I really have to pay attention to am I just going out to exercise because I'm out of my body? Is this really a desire on my part to want to run and enjoy the running? If I'm just running because I've gotten so outside of myself that it’s the only thing that will get me back home, it’s probably not the healthiest time to run.

CrisMarie: I have to say for me, and I see this with some clients. They're like, “Well, what does it matter what I feel? I just need to get the work done. I need to exercise to lose weight. I've got to get up and make dinner for the family. I just have to do that. I don’t have a choice about that. Why do I want to wake up to how I feel because I will be pretty miserable?”

Because when you're in agency, you are numbing to what really fits for you. In that, like I opened, it’s a survival stance. People kind of believe the lie that you have to stay in that. You can't really get what you want if you wake up and feel that’s going to be too dangerous.

Susan: Well, I think this does kind of bring. As we become adults and parents and roles and all of these things, we actually create a pattern that regularly takes us away from our internal preferences and the belief that we can’t have them.

There's something about maybe I'm not going to follow my authentic bliss all the time, but it does help to know what is it? I may think I'm going to have ice cream for breakfast. It’s one thing to be in touch with, “Well, I really am drawn to that. Oh I love sweet.” I still may choose not to. If I can get in touch with the desire and the want, I'm actually coming back into myself to make that choice much healthier than because it’s too many calories.

CrisMarie: Yeah.

Susan: The one thing that I've learned about dieting, it’s really…I know some people listening are going to have a hissy fit about this. It’s not about calories in, calories out. Because I have eaten lots of calories. But when I've done it from a place of self-agency and choice and paying attention to what I need, I don’t usually ever put on weight. When I'm not doing it from that, I can fast and still find a way to keep weight.

CrisMarie: Yes. Susan Hyatt has a great program there, which is that very thing Susan. Coming from that sense of desire. I think that’s really what a lot of times people are like, “I don’t know how to make decisions. Or I don’t feel very fulfilled in my life. Or my relationship is flat.” They keep wanting to find a magic pill.

Really the answer is if you slow down and wake up and connect into you and really start to make choices from that inner place, you're going to speak up more in your relationship. Which yes will create more conflict but might create also more passion and aliveness in relationship. You may make a decision like, “You know what? This company that I'm working with or for, I don’t like they're culture. I'm going to go try to find a new job.”

Susan: Or at least speak up in the job you're in about what you like and don’t like. You can go look for another job maybe.

CrisMarie: It really is about waking up your body sense of your core guidance. There is no magic pill from the outside. People keep trying to find it. It really is trying to listen and honor and hear. What is it? My impulses in trauma work. Like what am I drawn towards? Often people are like, “Well, I don’t know.” Because they're numb. You can become unnumb.

Susan: Yes.

CrisMarie: You can wake up through breath. It’s also this agency piece is there's a mental component. So there's a body component and a mental component and both are important. Some of that is just even recognizing one of the mantras. An agency breaking mantra is—notice how you feel when I say this—I'm not bad. I haven’t done anything wrong. I'm worthy of love.

Now when I'm in my confused place. Like this came up because this was just such a good example for me. I'm coming to the end of my vaccine incubation period so I can travel soon. Someone was like, “You know you should really go visit your sister.” Then somebody else said, “You know you should really go visit your sister.” I was like oh my gosh. That was coming from each of their circles, their energetic circles.

So I was in this state of confusion because it didn’t really feel right quite yet. It wasn’t until you said, “Hey, that’s from their circle.” I literally pushed my arms out and I'm like, “I'm giving that back to them and their opinions.” Then I could sink into okay what is it that I want? Well, I know I'm going to visit my sister. It’s really a matter of when and how that’s going to be. It was kind of like untangling them from me. It was mind blowing. It felt so different inside.

Susan: Yeah. Even the recognition that going to visit your sister was something coming from their bubble. For you it was like is it really that I want to visit my sister right now? No, that might actually not be what I even want. What I want is connection. That may look different. Going to visit her may actually put more pressure on the relationship at that time than anything else, and you wouldn’t have been present.

CrisMarie: That’s so true.

Susan: So like I think sometimes it really is giving yourself permission to explore what do I want?

CrisMarie: And feeling what the answer is, not thinking what the answer is.

Susan: Yeah.

CrisMarie: And giving myself permission to actually want what I want. Because a lot of times there’s like the rules. Well, I can't have ice cream for breakfast. Or I can't actually do anything creative because I've got to work all the time. This also comes up because I teach the artist way when I'm working with clients. Them connecting into their creativity, and a lot of what stops that is this agency piece. They're not connected to their body voice.

Susan: Right. I remember the first time I ever did the artist way. You know there are some exercises about write down 10 things you want or 50 things. I don’t know.

CrisMarie: It seemed like a large number.

Susan: It always sticks with me. Because sometimes I’ll go back to have I gotten a little numb in my life? Because if I can't write down a quick list of 10 things I want them I'm probably a little outside of myself. So it became this one thing there, but I still use it to this day to like can I answer this question? Because it’s so easy to get numb.

CrisMarie: To what you want.

Susan: Yeah. It doesn’t mean I'm going to start becoming self-obsessed with getting everything I want. It’s just like oh no. I'm actually in here.

CrisMarie: This is something, Susan, you do often for me when I'm trying to negotiate family dynamics, where to go when, or client dynamics. I’ll be like well so and so wants this. Then Mary wants that. You're like, “But what is it that you want?” That’s like what? I hadn’t even thought of that. I now physically push Mary back over there, this person back over here, and kind of connect with this.

It seems silly, but I actually use my arms. You folks can't see it right now, but draw a circle around myself and go, “Okay. Can I see my bum and my feet? Take some breath. What is it that I want?” I'm giving myself permission to admit what I want. Not that I'm going to get what I want, but it’s a very powerful felt sense to acknowledge this is actually what I really want.

Susan: Yeah. There may be all sorts of things that come up as soon as you acknowledge that. The tendency would be to sit in. If it’s anxiety, if it’s tension, if it’s a fear of losing it to actually just continue to allow all of that to emerge. Because every time something comes up that’s a little uncomfortable, we have a tendency to want to mute it to make it better versus fix it.

CrisMarie: Fix it.

Susan: That is the residual aspects of agency.

CrisMarie: Yes. I would say that when I get the hint because I'm hypervigilant outside scanning and I get the hint, “Uh-oh. My sister’s mad at me. Or this client might be upset with us.” There's like this desperate need to, “Oh my gosh. I've got to run through brick walls. What do I need to do to fix it?” It’s really not doing that and actually coming back to myself. It’s anxiety producing in the moment, but it actually helps me land.

Susan: I mean I think it’s pretty profound. I mean you talked a little bit about some of the mantras related to agency. There's one in particular about that I think is so important to recognize. I think this comes up for anyone that falls into the fix it category. You know when you do those fix it things, you are actually invading somebody else’s self-agency.

CrisMarie: I’ll go ahead.

Susan: Yes.

CrisMarie: When I make the wellbeing of others my responsibility, when I try to change how they feel, no matter how positive my intention, it’s invasive and it cripples them. So when I'm in agency, I undermine those I try to fix and myself.

Susan: I always think of this back when I used to work with families. Like I think there’s all sorts of things that can go wrong with parenting. But actually one of the most damaging things that a parent can do is to try to make their kid happy all the time. I mean because it’s like the child can't even experience their own anxiety. Their own discomfort. Their own whatever. It doesn’t seem like a crippling thing to want your child to be happy, but if you're doing it at the expense of you're invading their space. Sometimes kids need to feel anger, upset, disappointment. You know?

CrisMarie: I mean this is, it seems like I would always try to cheer up my sister or cheer you up. I didn’t realize, wow. I'm actually interfering with this person. I'm not showing them respect. Most people when we’re feeling something, we need to kind of go through it to get to the other side. If somebody keeps trying to interrupt that process, we don’t go through it to get to the clarity of the other side. It is invasive.

Susan: Yeah. I think that one’s a pretty profound thing to realize.

CrisMarie: Another one that I like is I don’t have power over, control of, or responsibility for other people’s lives including what they think or what they feel. I was taught I had that power back then. It was a lie then, and it’s a lie now.

Susan: Yeah.

CrisMarie: I mean one of the things. Agency, it can look like it’s a relationship issue. I wanted to talk about that, Susan.

Susan: Okay.

CrisMarie: Okay, I will.

Susan: No, no. It’s all right. I kind of started there a while ago, but I don’t know that we. The idea that often a couple will present. And you think the agency, that deadening, that boredom, that lack of.

CrisMarie: Yeah.

Susan: I can tell you want to go somewhere else. So go ahead.

CrisMarie: Oh, no, no, no. I was kind of thinking. Like so the symptom would be, “Oh, our relationship has no energy. We’re not having sex. I'm bored. Maybe I didn’t marry the right guy. Maybe I didn’t marry the right woman.” Really what probably is happening is you're in a caretaking pattern. One person feels responsible for the other or vice versa. You can switch roles. It’s not like it’s static.

Instead of actually giving each other the space to solve your own problems and reflect back the other person, you're caretaking. That can show up as a deadening. Really your agency, you're going to do it whether you're with this partner, whether you're alone in a room. Susan’s not here and I have an idea about doing something. I’ll be like, “Oh well Susan wouldn’t like that. She’d get mad at me.” That’s me and my agency because Susan doesn’t even know this is an idea of mine.

Susan: I mean it comes up in marriages. It comes up in parent relationship. It comes up in business relationships at work. I don’t know how many clients I've worked with that have said to me, “You know, the problem is with my boss.” Now maybe sometimes you know you are working for a boss who’s difficult. You may have to make a decision to change. But I would say 90% of the time if you don’t actually do your own self-agency work to show up in that relationship, you're just going to go find another boss and the same pattern’s probably going to show up.

CrisMarie: Yeah.

Susan: It’s kind of…

CrisMarie: How you can tell you're an agency is let’s say your boss is like, “Oh, I'm not happy with how you did that project. We need to talk.” And there's an immediate tightening. Like, “Oh my gosh. I've got to fix it. I've got to do anything I can to fix this project.” You're in agency.

What happens when I do that is I'm abandoning, well wait a minute. I did all that stuff for good reason. Let me not throw me under the bus like, “Okay yes. I’ll do it whatever your way.” Instead say, “Okay, let me hear what you like and what you don’t like.” Then, “Well here’s what I'm hearing, but this is why. Here’s how I think of it and this is why I did what I did.”

Susan: Yeah. To be able to say, “You may want me to do that. Here’s the reason why I disagree.” In the end you may decide you're going to do what they want because they have the ability to make that decision. But if you do it from the place of having shown up and been engaged in it, you're going to probably feel much more alive and much more fulfilled. Even if you still did what your boss told you to do, and you disagreed with it.

CrisMarie: Yeah.

Susan: At least you spoke up.

CrisMarie: Yeah. So agency is that psychic glue that can keep these old patterns happening no matter who you're dealing with. It keeps you looking into the eyes of others to see who you are. Like I'm only okay when my boss likes me. It’s that body reaction. It’s starting to wake up to that body tightening that cuts you off from what you really feel and want in your world.

Susan: Now, we’ve been talking about this. We want to kind of also tell you about. Like we do a program once a year. We get to go back to doing it this year. We didn’t get to do it last year because of…

CrisMarie: Find Your Mojo.

Susan: Find Your Mojo in Montana, which is our kind of signature program here. Really in some respects, what do we mean by mojo? Well mojo is your heart and spark. It really is your ability to access that self-agency.

CrisMarie: It is tapping into your own guidance system, which is in the body. Your passion is not in your head. It’s in your body. It’s waking up to those impulses and that heart and spark inside of you. When we take you out into the arena with a horse, on the ground, you just standing next to a horse. You’re going to actually start to notice when you're in that agency not connected to your heart and spark and then connecting back in.

Susan: A lot of times people are kind of feeling like the only way they can succeed is if they conform or if they hold back at work or in their lives or in their marriage or wherever it is. That really is that agency piece. That is simply a lie.

CrisMarie: Why it’s so tricky is it was a lie that you learned at a body level way back when when you were a wee one. So no wonder it’s so tricky for you to kind of even consider something different, which is why the horses are so powerful.

Susan: But if you can get back in touch with your own inner resources, that heart and spark, then you actually do become more confident, more compassionate, better able to set boundaries. Because you're not trying to change the other person. You're actually saying what you want and don’t want.

CrisMarie: I love that, Susan. So just a little bit. The boundary piece, why it’s so tricky is because often I'm trying to set a boundary but I'm over in your energetic circle. Versus no, when I'm in me, connected to me and waking up my body voice, I'm clear about what I want and willing to speak up for that.

Susan: Yeah. When you're not, you're trying to likely come up with a nice way to say it so I’ll do what you want or whoever it is will do what you want. You’ve abandoned yourself. So, you know. When you are more in touch with yourself, you are more compassionate. Not just with the other person, but with you.

CrisMarie: Well yes.

Susan: It starts with you.

CrisMarie: It starts with you.

Susan: Yes. So when you're able to connect more deeply both to yourself and the other, and that’s where intimacy really exists, and aliveness really exists.

CrisMarie: And passion really exists.

Susan: Yes. So anyways, you will be seeing more. Because we’re going to be inviting you out here to come and join us under the big sky of Montana and be with the horses. Also find that space so you can take a breath and settle into you.

CrisMarie: Because this whole idea of agency, some people could call it codependency, perfectionism, workaholism. It’s all kind of from the same. It’s just a habit. It has these motivating beliefs, the sense of desperation, and a somatic loss of self. That and the way you're thinking of the world. All that can be changed. It’s so powerful. So you can start to actually feel safer. Feel a sense of self and stability inside your own bubble and making decisions that align with your heart. Expressing yourself and moving towards things that really light you up.

So if you’ve lost hope, don’t. The horses are one way of doing that. We can also do coaching. If you sign up for coaching ahead of time, when you come to Find Your Mojo, it’s really going to accelerate your experiential learning of coming into your own shoes.

Susan: Yes. So hopefully you are beginning to kind of get this idea about the difference between agency and self-agency. If not, give us a call.

CrisMarie: You really want that self-agency. Be the author and feel that sense of choice, and not the author of other people’s behaviors and feelings and thoughts.

Susan: All right. Take care.

Susan: Thank you for listening to the Beauty of Conflict podcast. We know conflict, stress, and uncertainty can be hard to navigate.

CrisMarie: We want to support you becoming more resilient, able to speak up, and have healthy relationships and business teams that thrive. Connect to us on LinkedIn at Thrive Inc. Learn how we can work with you, your team, or your company at That’s

Susan: We hope you have a peaceful, productive, and beautiful day.

CrisMarie: Take care.


CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke

Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict

CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.

They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.

Download the eBook, How to Talk About Difficult Topics, today!

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