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104: Body Shame and Tools to Rewrite Your Stories

By March 3, 2020November 9th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
Body Shame and Tools to Rewrite Your Stories

In this episode, I share a personal story that I hadn’t shared for almost 40 years until now. You’ll hear a personal story about me from when I was 9 years old. I also tell you about my process of putting the puzzle pieces of my life together and how I choose to focus on the aspects of my story that feel useful to me. This is a vulnerable episode for me. Can’t wait to hear whatcha think. Enjoy!

As always, thanks for listening, and be sure and head over to Facebook and you can join my free group Mastermind Parenting Community, where we post tips and tools and do pop up Live conversations where I do extra teaching and coaching to support you in helping your strong-willed children so that they can FEEL better and DO better. If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it!

About Randi Rubenstein

Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.

She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.

At Mastermind Parenting, we believe every human deserves to have a family that gets along.

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You’re listening to The Mastermind parenting podcast with Randy Rubenstein episode

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104. My name’s Randy Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind parenting podcast where we believe when your thoughts grow the conversations in your home slow.

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on with the story of the day series the story that I want to share with you guys. Today is one from third grade me.

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So I’m in third

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grade. I guess I’m about 9 and my brother and I very close my brother who’s two years older than I am. We were pretty sedentary kids. We watched a lot of TV like These and 80s but mostly 1970s sitcoms, like

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really we should we should join some trivia

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group on 1970 sitcoms. We were experts we watch so much TV. And and we just that’s just what we did. What’s what we do. We watched a lot of TV so back then there was no fast forwarding through the commercials you had to just watch the commercials or take a bathroom break and I remember and we would memorize the commercials we would like we would gamify the commercials. My brother happens to be like the most awesome person ever that when I mean going to the grocery stores fun with him, like everything feels like a party when you’re hanging out with him and he’s always been that way

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and he also

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was the rare brother that he was always. He was nice to me like he played with me. We were great friends. We were play mates and

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And he was really mostly nice to me except for on Saturday

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mornings. Like he always would get up at the crack of dawn and whoever got into the living room first had control of the remote and I never could get up early enough and he’d like take the best chair and he’d hog the remote and he made me watch things like super friends and I wanted to watch Scooby-Doo. It was a whole thing. So except for him not being very fair about the Saturday morning cartoon schedule because back then also,

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So you could only likes at cartoons happened on Saturday mornings or

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when it was a holiday. Like when it was a Frosty the Snowman special or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but we couldn’t just like watch cartoons whenever we

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wanted. So

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we’re watching TV and I guess it was when Weight Watchers started becoming popular and what they must have had some good marketing because next thing you know, I went. To my mom and I convinced her that she needed to sign me up for Weight Watchers. And of course my poor brother got dragged along with a with me because if I was doing it he was doing it

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and since we were so sedentary we were you know, we were a little fluffy well to say that and people can meet me now. They’re like really you were a chubby kid and I’m like until third grade until third grade after third grade know but until third grade I was I

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was and And I remember like I

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wasn’t happy about it like by third grade. I already had

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noticed that I didn’t like how my body looked.

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I mostly think that it was that I noticed that

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the smaller girls got more attention from the older kids or the teachers like they were you know

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in third grade. You’re still young enough to be

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cute and

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and I wasn’t thought of the so cute like I was kind

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of tall.

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I was a little thick

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for me for my body size for my body size. I would say I was and I think something about it. I knew it and and I didn’t like

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it. Okay, and so I didn’t I even

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do remember getting teased there was a boy and I remember like when they would make us stay in for PE in the gym, and they would split us up into relay race teams. I remember this boy. Boy named Jimmy Brown who I ended up carpooling with when I was older and being friendly with and he was fine. But I remember in third grade. I felt pretty tortured by

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him. He would make fun of me and my stomach would

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jiggle and I remember one time I was running relay race in the gym and like my pants came on snapped. It was super mortifying and and he really made fun of me about that. And so

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so I didn’t like any of that stuff. So I then I see that I guess I had seen

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the Weight Watchers. Commercial several times they’re showing like all these

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before and afters of mostly women who are just like so happy and the trimmer versions of themselves and there was some part of my little nine-year-old self that decided that Weight Watchers was going to be the answer

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to all my problems.

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And so I plead my case to my

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mom and I convinced her to sign me up and so for six

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months we went every single week me and my mom and my brother and we went to meetings and weigh-ins. Yes, and there were speakers and they shared recipes and we took notes and I hung on every word. I loved it. I loved every part of it. I loved every part. I love the excitement of

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finding out if I’ve lost half a pound or a

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pound. I loved hearing about all the recipes. I loved all the ladies feeling good about themselves and laughing. I loved all of it. Sometimes there were some tears shed. It was like my first introduction probably to self-help. And and so I loved it. I loved learning the recipe for

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tuna fish with red wine vinegar and garlic powder instead of using Mayo because I hate mayo and I always hated mayo and so all of a sudden I was learning all

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these recipes and the weighing the food and what portion size looked like I was educating my brain on how to solve

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this problem that I thought was actually the root of all my problems at the

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time. That if only I could look

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different on the outside.

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Then I would get the

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attention that I wanted from Mostly the adults in my life. And and then I would be able to feel better. Then I would be able to feel more confident. There

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was something that I just felt like this was the key to the happiness Kingdom. So I soaked

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it all in I loved it and

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and I ended up losing eight pounds my little nine-year-old. Body lost 8 pounds my brother lost 12 pounds and especially once the

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pounds were off. I started getting a lot of attention, especially from the teachers at school

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and I guess it was a pretty noticeable

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difference and and so the word

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started spreading. I’m sure I

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talked about I’m sure like, I was like, oh I just

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was on Weight Watchers and these teachers had seen the same commercials I had and lo and

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behold all of a sudden if If you show weight loss results, no matter what age you are to adult women

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you you you are like instantly

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popular and so I was popular with the teachers and I remember one day where they were all gravitating around me and it was at lunch we were eating outside. It was a pretty day and I have my little lunch kit. I remember like

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like four or five teachers

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all gathering around me from different grades. It wasn’t

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even it was my teacher and then it was teachers from other grades and they wanted to Fact in see everything that I had packed and they want and I was like telling them about it educating them. They were smiling from ear to ear. Everyone was happy. I got to be this little information resource share.

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They were all

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complimenting me on how good I

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looked and

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and I loved it. I did I loved it and I remember thinking that that felt so good. Good and I think I thought it felt so good to like be able to like buy clothes

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that all of a sudden I wasn’t nervous. They would be too tight, you know and be embarrassed when my mom was like

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really that size 12 doesn’t fit you, you know, like I remember like being like, okay, I don’t have to like everything’s fitting everything looks good. And when I try it on it feels good, and then I get compliments like I thought it was all about that, but I really think that

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Loved feeling

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special and knowledgeable

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and getting admiration from the grown-ups.

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I think I loved feeling seen and respected and I loved feeling confident. That’s really what I loved. And I think this is all anyone really wants to feel seen and respected and you know, it feels really

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good to show up feeling confident as best self not second-guessing yourself or feeling self-conscious about how you look or how you feel.

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And the truth is you guys like this Weight Watchers story like I could sit in all the shows of

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this story like

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no child should ever feel less than or

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invisible because of their body

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we can all agree on that. I could definitely sit there. I could I could camp out there and pitch a tent and stay for a really long

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And even though I agree with that I do I agree.

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No child should ever feel invisible or not like their best self because of their body

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size. I also choose to focus on how my little nine-year-old self showed up when I was faced with the challenge, right? Like I wasn’t feeling confident. That was my the problem really was and wasn’t feeling good about myself. I wasn’t feeling confident and I didn’t Like it. So what did I do? I did some research

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my research happened to fall in between

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sitcoms during the commercials were my research. I watch commercials and I found a

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resource that I thought would help that appeal to me that all of a sudden my brain was like well, maybe that could solve my problem Weight

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Watchers. So then my resourceful self also figured out I need to sign up for that program. And so I found a way to sign

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up for the problem for the program. I convinced my mom. I took

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action and then what did I do? I followed through I followed the program to the T. I learned how to eat in a less caloric way and I shed the pounds which I thought was the key to the happiness Kingdom and as a result, I did show up more confidently, but really it was because I neutralize the issue for myself. Like I neutralize the issue now all of a sudden it wasn’t like after I lost the way and

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after that initial burst of attention happen that I was constantly saying. Oh my

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gosh. I’m so skinny. I feel so

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great. I think it was just that I didn’t feel self-conscious about my body

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anymore. So there was a challenge I did the research. Took action. I followed through and I

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neutralized that problem.

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And it’s true today. I think it’s pretty cool when you can, you know how you’re wired. You know, how

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you work. I’ll I use all these Assessments in my Mastermind to help people understand how they’re wired better

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because when you understand yourself, you can look at all these different moments in your life and see whenever you were faced with a challenge. Well, how did I tackle that challenge and if you know your natural method for tackling a challenge then everything becomes figure out above? All right. I know that I am a researcher and an action taker. I never sit in complacency. Like it would never be an option for me to sit and complacency.

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Like I always work to find Solutions when I feel stuck or unhappy now

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there is a shadow side of that. I can I could like for a lot of it’s like I you know that can be a little impulsive. I tried this and I tried this I try this and I try this or like when I bought theater tickets.

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Recently in New York City that I thought I was buying on Ticketmaster and it turns out I bought it for the wrong day and they were like resell tickets and

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like my impulsivity of just wanting you to get the ticket spot and get it off the to-do list and take action and make it happen. Didn’t look that when the page refresh it changed the date a thousand dollars

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worth of tickets down the

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tubes. So there’s a shadow side to it. Right? And so I know like in my life. I am not great with

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details. I have to surround myself with detail perk

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people when I’m feeling super impulsive and I just want to push the button by I know I have to take a deep breath and I need to call in my detail people to make sure that

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the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, but I

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don’t beat myself up about that because I’ve learned that but mostly I focus on

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I’m a researcher

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and I’m an action Taker and that’s

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exactly what I did with the Weight

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Watchers. So I think You know looking at what you want to focus on there’s a couple of things here looking at what you want to focus

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on rather than sitting in the shoulds I think is pretty important. I

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also think that there’s another part about

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understanding how your brain is wired to face a challenge, you know, and

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really and really honoring

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that and not making yourself wrong right for like well, I did look I beat myself up over that those thousand dollar

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tickets. I mean, but then I got over it and I moved on and I’m like, okay lesson learned from now on like like, you know, we just did it last.

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Weekend where we were going me and my daughter were going to look at a puppy and we knew we’re going to fall in love. There was no way weren’t going to come home with

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puppy. But look we are dogs lived to be 15 18 years old. And so we took

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you know my husband with us because I was like, okay we need somebody who’s going to be the voice of reason to make sure that we don’t come home with a puppy unless it’s meant to be because if it’s left up to

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the two of us, we will

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definitely be coming home with a puppy and he was like, yeah,

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I’m coming. So you just surround yourself, but the reality is really like not sitting in the shoulds not beating ourselves

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up for the way we’re wired and the way we’re not

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wired knowing how you’re meant to tackle a

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and and and always, you know being willing to learn. What’s the message. What’s the lesson and look the reality is the message I got when I signed up for Archers was you

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your body is not okay the size that it is and you’re less worthy of of other people’s

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attention. If you’re not a

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very specific size. Okay, that

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is the message and and and for the record I do

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hope that we stop sending kids those messages like

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that is wrong.

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I wish I had never received that

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message. I wish no

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child ever received. Message I wish no person ever received that

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message. And in this story. I do choose to focus on how interesting

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that my little nine-year-old self way back

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when tackled the problem the challenge that I saw at that moment and I tackled it in the exact same way. I still tackle

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problems and challenges today

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sort of cool sort of cool. Do kind of study and investigate

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yourself and put the puzzle pieces of your life together

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in a way that doesn’t have to feel

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sad or or

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shuddhi. You don’t have to should all over yourself. Like I don’t have

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to create a story that sounds like a victim narrative this

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story about Weight Watchers and me not being happy with the size of my

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body and the end doing all you know being on a program for six months and not getting the attention that I wanted because I wasn’t the size and being bullied by the Boy, and the

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relay race like this could have a totally different narrative, but would that be useful or helpful for me? Would it be would it make me feel good? No, it would make me feel terrible. So instead it’s interesting to find these puzzle pieces and then to look at it and dissect it. Not from my wounded child

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self. But from

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my adult self aware self. See there’s a

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They’re so and

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I think it’s easy to go to that to the wounded child self Because unless you’ve cleaned up that

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wounded child stuff with the right tools and resources and

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support like you are gonna stay stuck there. You are going to stay wrapped in that victim story. So if you find yourself there don’t beat yourself up like you’ve been beaten up enough. Don’t beat yourself up for.

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Oh gosh. That sounds like me. I am totally doing the wounded victim

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thing. I’ve done it too. We all do it’s part of the process, which is Beyond yourself and and find the right support to help you shift out of that so that you can rewrite the story of your life in a way that just feels better and more useful. That’s what I’ve got for you guys. Have a great one.

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Are you ready to start having productive conversations? Have you been listening to the podcast for a while and you hear me go through my three-step productive conversation process to solve any problem and you’re thinking how does she do that? Guess what? I made a really cool. For you guys. I call it the problem solving one sheet. Okay, its one sheet front and back so, you know take it with a grain of salt but it will walk you through how to have productive conversations and you’ll practice and before you know, it you’ll be having productive conversations all day every day. It really is the solution to solve any problem. So you can download it at Mastermind forward slash problem solving all one word.

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That’s Mastermind for / problem solving all one word

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