Identifying & Deconstructing Toxic Patterns & Beliefs + How to Transcend Personal & Cultural Limitations (with Dr. Shefali Tsabary)

In this podcast (episode #293) and blog, I speak with clinical psychologist Dr. Shefali about her amazing new book, The Radical Awakening, and how women can turn pain into power, embrace their truth and live free. 

As Dr. Shefali notes in her book, so many women have been conditioned by society to think and act in certain ways that impact their ability to be who they are meant to be. If we want this to change, we need to learn to step into our power as individuals AND as women, and this will help teach those around us how to also embrace their most true selves. 

We can start doing this by deconstructing the patterns of thinking and behaving that hold us back. As Dr. Shefali points out, we don’t live a life, we live a pattern. Deconstructing these patterns starts when we notice the themes that dominate the way we live our life—the patterns that we have learned from childhood to feel worthy and loved. Until we do this, we will continue to replicate past emotional experiences, which can make us feel “stuck” and affect our mental and physical wellbeing. 

Indeed, many of us were taught from youth that to be praised or accepted, we have to speak or act in a certain way, which often goes against our desire to be authentic to our true selves. Deconstructing these patterns of thinking and acting is the first step to overcoming the bonds that hold us back and discovering our true selves.    

A lot of what we have been told about how to “be” is a lie, and one of the greatest lies we are told is our unworthiness -- that if we don’t live up to a certain image or ideal, we have no value as human beings. This lie makes us feel that we must “fake it” and develop certain archetypes to be loved and accepted, and this has serious repercussions for our mental health and identity. It often leads to resentment and burnout because we think and act from an inauthentic place. 

To heal our insecurities and develop a more authentic and fulfilled life, we need to get to the root(s) of why we feel and act the way we do. We need to become aware, accept where we are in life and act to change, and this starts by first observing our own thoughts and behaviors. We cannot change what we are not aware of. So, when we make a choice, we should stop and ask ourselves: am I making this choice out of authentic freedom or am I stuck in a toxic pattern? This is how we start taking ownership over our own lives.  

But changing often means dying to our old selves. This is something you must be ready for; something has to go in order for something new to come in, which is often where people get stuck. It can be challenging to let go of something that has played such a big role in your life, even if it has been a toxic one, and this shift often involves a certain level of grief. This is okay—it is part of being human. 

And the struggle is worth it. When we feel powerful within ourselves, we will show up for ourselves and others in authentic and meaningful ways. A healthy inside shines outside!

For more on turning your pain into power and finding your true self, listen to my podcast with Dr. Shefali (episode #293) and check out her book The Radical Awakening and her online course. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).

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Podcast Highlights  

1:15 What is a “radical awakening” & why is it important?

2:50 The power women have when they embrace their true selves  

3:10 How to deconstruct toxic patterns in your life 

4:20 How conditional love leads to inauthenticity & mental health struggles  

4:55 How to stop repeating your past emotional experiences

6:00 How to start being more authentic to yourself  

11:27 The cultural archetypes that can hold us back 

12:00 How to manage & heal insecurity 

14:00 How to control emotional chaos

14:40 The power of your narrative: why you should embrace where you are in life right now 

15:15 Why we need to develop habits of self-reflection 

16:45 How to start taking ownership of your life

21:20 What it means to let go & die to your old self  

22:00 Why change often involves grief  

24:00 Toxic masculinity: how does it affect us?

25:00 The radical power of an inner awakening

27:00 How to celebrate our differences as women and human beings

This podcast and blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional. 

Switch On Your Brain LLC. is providing this podcast as a public service. Reference to any specific viewpoint or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by our organization. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact 

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