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  • Writer's pictureShirley Owens

What is #MyPart? with Alison Donaghey

“Just the simple act of accepting responsibility boosts your worthiness.” -Alison Donaghey

Everything that happens to us, good or bad, we had a part in creating. This may be a harsh reality for some, and for others, it may give them power. Shirley invites Alison Donaghey to dig deeper into victim mentality and how to be free from it. How can you let go and take responsibility? How long do you need to hold an emotion for it to become part of your story? Where does your story even come from? How can you become the co-creator in your life? Tune in to find out!


01:43 Being Powerful in what you do

04:07 Victimization

09:06 How Adults Become Co-Creators

17:18 Think Opposite

23:11 Your Part in Getting What You Want

30:21 Where Do Your Beliefs Come From?

34:04 4-7 Seconds: A Duration to Remember





What is your part in getting what you want? @AlisonDonaghey joins our host, @SfbaldwinOwens to talk about actions and perspectives.


  • 02:05 “Whenever we get involved with a movement, we need to be really careful to see the entire movement… so that we are not adding to the negative impact.” -Alison Donaghey

  • 07:37 “The fact that you are a miracle makes you inherently worthy.” -Alison Donaghey

  • 08:10 “When we are able to reconnect with our internal worthiness, and we no longer need validation from other people, that's when we can enter into our freedom state.” -Alison Donaghey

  • 12:00 “Just the simple act of accepting responsibility boosts your worthiness.” -Alison Donaghey

  • 18:32 “Change your perspective and you change your reality.” -Shirley Owens

  • 18:51 “Sometimes our perspective holds us in a really small box and it holds us hostage. It's amazing what we can learn when we stop and listen to others.” -Shirley Owens

  • 19:37 “Our beliefs are not who we are; they're just our beliefs. Who we are is so much bigger and deeper and more complex than what we believe.” -Alison Donaghey

  • 25:38 “Every time you tell a story, it becomes more and more part of your personality.” -Alison Donaghey

  • 28:48 “It's not about surrounding people who think and talk the same way as you do, because there's not enough growth in that necessarily… the biggest growth happens when we're spending time with people who disagree with us, because that puts all of it to the test.” -Alison Donaghey

  • 32:29 “We only know what we know. We don't know what we don't know.” -Shir;ey Owens

Connect With Alison:

Allison Donaghey is a cause and effect strategist, speaker, and host of the radio show turned podcast, Domino Thinking. She is also the author of an international best selling book, Think Opposite: Using the Domino Effect to Change Your Business, Change the World. Her latest project is #MyPart, a movement that brings us to a place of true empowerment with the goal to see ourselves as part of humanity as a whole rather than dividing into victims and victimizers. Alison is a strong believer that we all have inherent value and if we do our part in keeping that value in ourselves, for ourselves, we are free to achieve anything we want in life.


Shirley Owens: My guest today is Alison Donaghey. Alison is a radio host of The Alison Donaghey Show, author of the international bestselling book, Think Opposite: Using The Domino Effect To Change Your Business, Change The World, speaker, a cause and effect strategist, and will expand your minds in ways that you didn't think possible.Her latest project is #MyPart, accepting our part in every single situation we find ourselves in, which brings us to a place of true empowerment, with the goal to see ourselves as part of humanity as a whole. Rather than dividing into victims and victimizers, oppressed and the oppressors thus moving towards understanding the inherent value of everyone. Welcome Alison.

Alison Donaghey: No, I thank you so much. I'm really happy to be here. It's so nice talking with you again.

Shirley Owens: Yeah, I love it. I'm really excited about this subject today because I am a huge accountability person, and I would love for you to kind of explain, I know all of the other things that you do are just amazing and I'm excited about this thing. If you will just tell me a little bit about how you came to this being your new project, that would be amazing.

Alison Donaghey: Oh, sure. Thanks. In January 2018, I gave a speech called My Part, and I talked about the Me Too Movement and how it's a double edged sword, like everything is, this is not picking on Me Too. It's just happened to be what I was talking about at the time. Something does really positive work, but at the same token when taken out of context it can do really harmful work as well. And whenever we get involved with a movement, we need to be really careful to see the entire movement, and be really clear on this double edged sword part, and know what we are getting behind, and what part of it we're not getting behind so that we are not adding to the negative impact. And then I talked about how I was sexually assaulted in high school, and it wasn't until I came to the place where I understood how I co-created it was I actually able to stop being his victim, and not without, like without shame, or blame, or letting him off the hook because what he did was wrong and it wasn't my fault, but it was really just setting my feelings aside and going, Oh, wow, I made that choice, which led to that choice, would let to that choice, would lead to me getting raped. And when I was able to see that, I was able to see all of the parts of me that makes decisions out of fear, or low self worth, or insecurities, anything like that. And when I'm able to see those parts, it boosts my worthiness. And I'm then actually able to stand in my own power better. So after giving this speech, people reached out to me and went, Whoa, how do I do this? How do I escape from being a victim? And so, I put together the process that I used and created an eight week course around it. And it is really changing lives. Just this whole part about how we are a victim? Why we are victims? How we co-create it with the pay off? And how do we move out of it so that we can actually own our own life?

“Whenever we get involved with a movement, we need to be really careful to see the entire movement… so that we are not adding to the negative impact.” -Alison Donaghey

Shirley Owens: Well, I love that. It's funny because the Me Too movement is it was huge and it was such a positive thing to begin with just to give people confidence, and to have them be able to stand up for themselves or have that moment of standing up for themselves. But I too think that it really moved away out of hand, and it really, really victimized people or had them victimize themselves. Tell me a little bit more about victimization, and you know, I don't know that people actually know doing it.

Alison Donaghey: Yeah, a lot of people don't. I have people that take my course and they're like, Whoa, I didn't even know I was playing the victim card there. And so, what it does is it frees you up to actually start looking at your life differently, but there's things like statements can be clues. Why does this always happen to me? How come so-and-so never does anything for me? Why am I the only one who fill in the blank? When we start using that language, you're in victim state. It becomes abundantly clear as you start having awareness around it when those words come out of your mouth and then you're like, Oh, gosh, I just said that I need to do work here. So those statements while her keeping us in their victim state are also clues for us to get out of our victim state, and then there's an easy process to do it. Simple I guess, not easy because it does require work, it does require honesty with self, but it's definitely doable.

Shirley Owens: True, true. I agree. I often talk about awareness for one thing because when we're aware something pops in our head. And I loved, one of the reasons that I was excited about doing a podcast is each guest that I have people, as they listen to it, it puts something in their mind, right? That we call awareness. And so, I think that even just that statement you just made, my listeners are going to be like, wait, did I just say that? Wait, does that mean I'm playing the victim? Oh, how can I get out of there? What was my part, right? And so, I love this and I feel like it's super controversial because a lot of people want to say, wait, for you to say that I had any control in that, that I had any part of that, that's just, have you come across that? Have you come across like kind of the hater mentality of, how do you think that I am the one that caused that?

Alison Donaghey: Yeah, for sure. Well, cause I've had that conversation with myself. Like, I lived with a drug addict for six years and I'm like, how was his addiction anything to do with me? But I co-created that. Like I stayed, I fed into it, we had fights, I played a big part in that ugly, messy six years we had together. There are other people, and at that time was I ready to take a course, like the one I'm offering? PROBABLY NOT. I had to get to a place where the wounds were less painful. There are people who just are not going to be able to take my course. It's not for everybody because they are just not ready yet to do that work, and that's fine. And maybe that day will come and maybe it doesn't. But I'm certainly never going to put anybody through my course that I don't feel could benefit from it. Like, there are people who've applied and they're just, it would be a waste of their money, and I have an obligation I think to tell them that. And then there's, for example, there was one woman who said: "My husband cheated on me, explained to me how that's NOT his fault, and how is this my fault? How am I not the victim in this?" And so, we got down and started talking about it, and within an hour, we had sort of worked through it all. And she was like: "Oh, my God, I totally co-created this, didn't I?" And I said: "Yeah." It is what is it's, it's where we are getting our worth from, you know, I say to people all the time, 'you are born a miracle.' Like this little tiny egg found this little tiny sperm, somehow, which I think is a freaking amazing. Like I know there's tracking instincts and all of that, whatever. But it's amazing, and it's not normal, and it doesn't happen all the time. And it made you instead of another thousand options that it could have made or how many sperms float around in there, I don't know. So the fact that you are a miracle makes you inherently worthy. And then we are born into this world that tells us WE ARE NOT good enough. And sometimes people aren't trying to be mean. Sometimes people see our potential and are just like, Oh, my God, if you just applied yourself, you could be this. The way we hear it is, Oh, I'm not good enough. And so that hurts our self worth. And then we start acting in a way that's trying to get our worthiness from other people. And as soon as we start doing that, we fall victim to them. They are now in control of our happiness. And so, when we are able to reconnect with our internal worthiness and we no longer need validation from other people, that's when we can enter into our freedom state.

“The fact that you are a miracle makes you inherently worthy.” -Alison Donaghey

Shirley Owens: Yeah. I always love having conversations with you because I feel like we're just like, we have so much of the same, like when you talk, I hear myself talking, you know, and it's fun to just have somebody who seems to be always on the same page. So would you agree that there are times when the situation or something happens to you, you didn't have a part in it, it could have been just some random act of something, but maybe your part comes when, how you're going to react to that, or how you're going to internalize it? Would you agree that there are times when the act itself isn't necessarily to someone creating but how they are, what they come out of it as, or what the result of it is?

When we are able to reconnect with our internal worthiness, and we no longer need validation from other people, that's when we can enter into our freedom state.” -Alison Donaghey

Alison Donaghey: Well, I think there are very few things that happen that we don't co-create. Now we can get into soul contracts and if I end up in an abusive family,and I'm five years old, and I'm getting abused that I had a soul contract to have that experience, I don't know about that. But when something happens to us when we were young children, I don't think it has that same level of co-creation, at least not in a way I talk about it. I do have friends that talk about soul contracts and that works for them, and that's great. And sometimes, I will have those conversations with myself, but that's not the approach that I take. But once we become able to look at ourselves critically, look at situations critically, then it becomes our part. Now what? That happened, and now what? How am I going to respond? How am I going to, but once we're adults, I think we co-create everything. We are in a sitting at a red light and we get rear-ended, we co created that. We left the house when we decided to leave the house. We have that extra cup of coffee that made us five minutes later than normal. We decided to go that route for work. We decided TO GO to work. And so, there's a series of choices that we made that sat us at that red light where we got rear-ended. So we co-created it. It wouldn't have happened if we weren't there.

Shirley Owens: Exactly. And it's not like we're purposefully saying, Oh, I want to get hit by a car today, so I'm going to get there. And I think that sometimes when we talk about co-creation, people think that that's what you're trying to say. Like, yeah, right. I knew that that was going to happen, so I co-created it. But it's not that. It's just that we are here, we're living every day. We are waking up in the morning, we're making choices, and we're a part of it, right? I mean, we're right here.

Alison Donaghey: Oh, yeah. Well, and a lot of this stuff we look back on and eventually we get to this place, it's mostly where I'm at right now where something happens, and I'm like, okay, it doesn't matter what I did, I did something that led me here.

Shirley Owens: Right.

Alison Donaghey: You don't need to know that I had the extra cup of coffee in the morning.

Shirley Owens: Exactly. Because then it's like placing blame, right? That's going down the victim whole again of placing the blame on yourself.

Alison Donaghey: Right. And those steps are not necessarily even useful. It's not useful for me to say, okay, yeah, I had an extra cup of coffee. Even if without the shame and blame, I'm just, when I find myself in places, I'm like, yeah, I don't need that brain work to figure out what led me here. There are times when I don't have a tendency to pick healthy men to have in my life, and so, yes, I do spend a lot of time regurgitating. How did I end up here again? How did this happen? What choices were I'm making? What part of me is, am I not seeing that is wanting the attention and creating these situations for me to keep reliving.

Shirley Owens: And that's really, as you're moving on that you are co-creating something a lot more healthy.

Alison Donaghey: Yeah. And just the simple act of accepting responsibility boosts your worthiness. So this is a beautiful cycle that happens, right? When I'm able to say I co-create this. Yes, now what? How do I go forward? I am acknowledging more of myself, and when I acknowledge more of myself, it boosts my internal worthiness. When my internal worthiness is boost, I don't need it from you. I can have a relationship with you. I can ask for your input on things. I can ask you to critique what I am working on. I can take that stuff as valuable or not, but it's no longer tied to my worth.

“Just the simple act of accepting responsibility boosts your worthiness.” -Alison Donaghey

Shirley Owens: Yeah, I love it. Yeah, I get it. With my book and my story, I felt like why do I keep ending up with these men? Why do I keep failing in marriages, or why did the marriage just keep failing me? And it wasn't until I realized that I had 100% of a part in this, now I'm in this crazy too good to be true almost type of relationship. But I have that intention every day of doing my part. And I feel like when you do your part, whatever they choose to do their part, it's their part. And so, it frees you up all this space of coming from a place of fear, coming from a place of not feeling like you have control over something. But when you step into your own power and you are doing your part, it really makes a difference. Things are happening that are just so beautiful and sometimes they're not, but as long as you're doing your part, you still feel power, and it doesn't like wreck you or take you down.

Alison Donaghey: Yeah, it is. I love living in this space. I'm probably the happiest I've ever been in my life. The more I practice it, the happier I get, and it is not an overnight process. There is a process, and then rinse and repeat. Something else is going to come up, rinse and repeat, right? It never stops because our society functions better in keeping us with low self worth. Because when we are relying on other people for our worth, we are not really paying attention to the big picture, and so the powers that be don't really want us looking at the big picture because then we're like, Hey, why are you doing that? What do you mean our tax dollars are going there? What do you mean that this is okay for pharmaceuticals to live outside of a country and be their own entity? What do you mean? We are not able to ask those questions fully and with deep appreciation until we are freed of living in a victim state.

Shirley Owens: I agree.

Alison Donaghey: Because we are still going to have those conversations with, why are these pharmaceuticals doing this to me? They're not doing it to you. This is just the way they function in business. This has nothing to do with you specifically. They did not wake up in the morning, and say, how can we screw Alison over on this? Right? When we start looking at the absurdity of that statement, those thought processes that we have, now I'm able to take myself out of the equation. I can look up big pharma. We can go, okay, this is not okay. Is this something that I can change? Can I facilitate growth in this area? Or is this not an area for me as an area for someone else? But we are able to start seeing more clearly. We were able to see each other more clearly, which I think is a huge gift.

Shirley Owens: Oh, for sure. And you know, I'm a relationship coach. I talk about relationships all the time. And the common theme that I hear a lot from people like yourself who are happier than they've ever been, who have an amazing program that they're helping others to be happier than they've ever been is that you had to develop the relationship with yourself first.

Alison Donaghey: Yeah, for sure.

Shirley Owens: And so, tell me a little bit, how many steps is your program?

Alison Donaghey: It's an eight week program, and so it's an online course, it's videos, and PDF's, and worksheets, and then we meet once a week for a group call. And then people have access to me with the course. You get two half hour sessions with me if anything comes up that you need to discuss. Because while we're not trying to start with the big problems first or the big traumas, sometimes they will just keep showing up and we have to work through them. And I never want somebody to feel their hang out to dry and they're only allowed to talk at certain times. So yeah. And that's what I offer for the course, and it's nice, it's not a ton of work, but it's a reflective work, and so you don't need to set aside 20 hours a week to work on it, BUT it's going to be operating in the background of your mind. So I guess essentially you are going to be setting more than 20 hours a week working on it, but not in, I have to set time aside to work on it. More of an observation like, Whoa, I just set that, right? So it's more of keeping some of these thoughts in the forefront.

Shirley Owens: So if you were able to, well, we have all these listeners right now for a certain amount of time, you know, a few minutes. What is something that you could tell them or impact them with that they could start using today?

Alison Donaghey: I would start with using what I call think opposite, which was also the title of the book, but it started out more of a concept where, think about things on the other side, that other perspective, suspend your belief, consider different perspectives and proceed with some idea of acceptance. It doesn't mean you have to change your mind. So say for example, I'm pro-life, and I fight hard for pro-life, and I hate pro choicers. My challenge would be, set aside your feelings pro life and LISTEN to somebody who's pro choice. And in this act of suspending your belief to consider a different perspective gives you some clarity, and it may even give you more clarity about what you believe more often than not it actually does. And it's not about changing your mind, it's not becoming a pro choice. You can stay pro-life, but you are seeing that other person. So I think whenever we can practice seeing that other person with empathy and with you have a lifetime of experiences that has led you here, and those are valid. They're different than mine, but they are valid. Let's have a conversation about it. Your relationships will improve immensely.

Shirley Owens: I fully agree. Change your perspective and you change your reality.

“Change your perspective and you change your reality.” -Shirley Owens

Alison Donaghey: There you go, right?

Shirley Owens: Yes.

Alison Donaghey: Well, and it's funny cause I had a boyfriend one time and he was always saying my perception is my reality, and I'm like, that's a choice dude.

Shirley Owens: Exactly. Sometimes our perspective holds us in a really small box.

Alison Donaghey: More often than not. Yeah.

Shirley Owens: And it holds us hostage, yeah, I agree. It's amazing what we can learn when we stop and listen to others. And I like the idea that you have of suspending your belief for a moment, even for a moment. You can go back to having that belief, but when you can allow someone else to have that their belief and you can coexist peacefully through that, it just opens up a lot more space to love it behind.

“Sometimes our perspective holds us in a really small box and it holds us hostage. It's amazing what we can learn when we stop and listen to others.” -Shirley Owens

Alison Donaghey: Well, and it boosts your worthiness because what you're telling yourself when you suspend your belief is I am intact. I can let go of this belief. I can still be intact because our beliefs are not who we are, they're just our beliefs. Who we are is so much bigger, and deeper, and more complex than what we believe. When we can say, I will still be okay if I set this belief aside to see you, we boost our own worthiness. We actually find ourselves in a healthier place.

“Our beliefs are not who we are; they're just our beliefs. Who we are is so much bigger and deeper and more complex than what we believe.” -Alison Donaghey

Shirley Owens: For sure. For sure. I totally agree. So looking back, let's say over the last 10 years of you coming to this place, in this healthy, happy, beautiful place that you're in, is there anything that you would change?

Alison Donaghey: Oh, gosh. Like all of it. None of it. So for example, if I hadn't been raped in high school, would I be able to talk about the Me Too movement the way that I talk about it? No, because I would be an outsider with a perspective looking in on it. But because I was sexually assaulted, I am able to say, I played a part in that, and there's a pretty good chance you played a part in yours too. And I can have this conversation. So if I didn't have that experience, I would not be able to have these conversations with people. I would not be able to help facilitate space for them to move through it as well. And I know that sounds really crass and cavalier by saying you contributed to yours and because you know it is to varying degrees and there's a much bigger conversation to have around that. And I would certainly never have somebody come to me and say, I thought it sounded to me, and I'd be like, Oh, suck it up, you made this happen.

Shirley Owens: That is not how you are.

Alison Donaghey: Not how I am at all, but it does allow me, it allows a platform for that. Because I went through my relationship with toxic feminism without even really understanding I was embedded in that, and I have been indoctrinated in ways without my permission, which once I realized that I got pretty pissed off about it. I don't know why I got pissed off. It didn't really serve any purpose, but it did facilitate change within myself. Because of that, I am now able to talk about men's rights and feminism because I had that experience. And so, the parents that we have make us these amazing, incredible human beings that we are, and when we can see those silver linings, the bad situations don't win in a negative. They don't hold us down. Our relationship with them, our understanding of them, our appreciation of the experiences, win.

Shirley Owens: Yeah. And you know how I feel about feminism. It'd be a whole nother show that we have to do.

Alison Donaghey: And we are going to be having you on my new podcast in the fall, the Women Talk Trades.

Shirley Owens: Yes we are. And we'll be discussing that a lot further in, you know, in depth.

Alison Donaghey: Because even feminism holds us victim as well. So much of feminism is telling women that we're not good enough.

Shirley Owens: That we need to be masculine.

Alison Donaghey: Right. And then we are actually being victimized by the process that is supposed to free us.

Shirley Owens: Oh, my gosh. Like if we had two more hours to talk we could get started. So we for sure need to put your show next to this one.

Alison Donaghey: Yes, for sure.

Shirley Owens: But yeah, I mean, I fully agree on that, and I think that I like that perspective of not necessarily wanting to change anything because you love where you're at, and I think that's part of, I do hear that very often. It seems to be a very common theme of people who have gotten what they want out of life. That they wouldn't have it if they hadn't gone through what they went through. And I think that is a very good point today with this #MyPart is, I guess, creating an awareness around your, everything that's happened to you up to this point, and an accountability that, Hey, I created that. So what can I create out of that? Like what can I create now that will help me to get what I want, and be what I want, and quit being a victim of, well, this is the life I had. I could tell you all day long about what I've been through in my life. I know you know some of it, but you know, I could talk all day long about all the horrible, awful things that had happened to me. But instead it's like, Hey, you don't have to ever talk about that again. You could go, just move forward, be positive, and know that every single day you wake up in the morning, you have that intention on your part to create whatever you want in that day.

Alison Donaghey: Yeah. And what I love what you're saying, what I want to add to that is, this isn't about sweeping it under the rug.

Shirley Owens: No.

Alison Donaghey: This isn't about, I am just pretending that didn't happen to me. It is about going, I see what happened and I'm going to choose this path. I'm not going to let it impact my future. I am going to make positive choices around it. So we are still seeing it. See, seeing it is the key, and then making a decision about what our relationship with it's going to be.

Shirley Owens: Exactly.

Alison Donaghey: It's not denying it and pretending it didn't happen because that's not healthy.

Shirley Owens: No.

Alison Donaghey: Yeah.

Shirley Owens: And bringing up and going through it, everytime you bring up something like that and work through it, fill it, whatever the emotions that you need to go through it, you're that much powerful.

Alison Donaghey: Yeah.

Shirley Owens: You're -- much more powerful, I should say.

Alison Donaghey: And moving away from that storytelling, that regurgitating, right? That every time you tell a story, it becomes more and more part of your personality. And so, if I am going to, I will talk about when we are, you're driving down the road and somebody is tailgating you, I love driving stories. Someone's tailgating you and you can use the opportunity to think he's a total jerk for tailgating you or she is. You can have that story, but no, it's just a story. You could also have the story of, Whoa, you just found out his mom was in the hospital, and he's trying to get to her so that he can be a good son.

“Every time you tell a story, it becomes more and more part of your personality.” -Alison Donaghey

Shirley Owens: Yes.

Alison Donaghey: I don't think he's a jerk and a good son in the same sentence, but I do get to choose which story I'm going to attach to the experience. If I think, okay, you know what, I'm going to pull over. He's obviously in a hurry. Maybe he's having trauma in his life that I don't want to add to. Then, you know? Then I just listen to the radio, I sing a couple of songs, I get to the office, and I carry about my day. If I slow down and forcing him to slow down, and I'm staring at him in the rear view mirror, and I'm giving him the finger, and I'm turning in this big story into what a jerk he is. Meanwhile, I am being a bigger jerk, then I go to work and I'm like, Oh, wow, guess what happened to me on the way to work? And then I re-tell that story, and it goes, Oh, do you want to hear my driving story? And now they're reliving that, and they're like, how do you want to spend your time?

Shirley Owens: And it sounds like even in that situation, you're not only changing your day and turning it into a victim, but it's also helping everyone else to be able to do that with their day.

Alison Donaghey: Exactly. What's your part in them having a bad day now and reliving all of their crap.

Shirley Owens: Right. Like, how many times do you hear, I've had the best day ever. Oh, no, I have the best life ever. No, I have the best that people don't necessarily like, to do that. I challenge my clients sometimes, photo work and only talk positive today and tell me what comes out of it. But yeah, I love driving metaphors too because we all do it every day, and it's a really good way just to put that out there and be like, Oh, wow, I need to be aware of what I'm thinking about that person.

Alison Donaghey: And it applies to everything. There was a photo that went along on Facebook, and it was an elderly woman who was standing on a bus or a train, and everybody else was seated, and nobody got up for her. So she was left standing, and people were like, this is what's wrong with the new generation. And my thought is, we don't know, that is just a point in time. Maybe they did offer her an opportunity to sit down, but maybe it's more painful for her to be sitting than standing.

Shirley Owens: Yeah. Or maybe she feels good about herself because she still can stand.

Alison Donaghey: Right. And so, but we create this whole story of criticism around those young people that were sitting while she was standing without knowing any of the situation, and how many times do we do that in our life?

Shirley Owens: So true. Yeah, I talked about that a lot too. We can them stories around everything.

Alison Donaghey: Yeah. And this is why I so enjoyed it when you were on my show is that, what I love about, it's not about surrounding people who think and talk the same way as you do because there's not enough, a lot of growth in that necessarily, but when I'm listening to you talk, what it does is it maybe tweaks my perspective and gives me a slightly deeper insight that I didn't have before we talked, which is, one of the great things about talking to people in our choir, so to speak. However, the biggest growth happens when we're spending time with people who disagree with us because that puts all of it to the test.

“It's not about surrounding people who think and talk the same way as you do, because there's not enough growth in that necessarily… the biggest growth happens when we're spending time with people who disagree with us, because that puts all of it to the test.” -Alison Donaghey

Shirley Owens: That's true, I think one of the things that I always feared was having haters. And I think that's what took me so long to write my book. It took me so long, I still like cringe a little bit over the name of the book because it's Get What You Want From Your Man, and everyone has to attach whatever their meaning is to that.

Alison Donaghey: Oh, yeah, gold Digger.

Shirley Owens: Yeah. All these different things. And I think, starting my podcast, what are people going to think, or what, I'm going to have haters, or people are going to disagree with me, especially on feminism and how I feel about that. There's just so much that people, but I think, you know what? What if I can change one person's perspective? Or what if I could help one person see, and you know what? Who cares if I can't. But at least it's putting it out there in the world and creating some awareness, and you're right, you're a lot easier to talk to, and fun because we can just agree with each other all day. But yeah, sometimes the most meaningful, impactful conversations are those with someone who completely have a different perspective.

Alison Donaghey: That it's getting out of that echo chamber. And we can begin to understand is where our beliefs come from. Are they even ours? So when we make the opposite side, right? So I am actually pro choice, but I will have a conversation with other pro choicers and I will challenge what they think to see if it's even their thoughts. So for me, one of the things that I say: "So you believe in assisted suicide then?" And a lot of them will say: "Well, no." And I'm like: "But isn't that pro choice? Isn't that somebody's getting decide what to do with their body?" And so, even while I'm inside my echo chamber, I still try to really push those envelopes. But my understanding of pro-life has changed because I get to see a different perspective, which has changed my relationship with pro choice. And you know, for me, pro choice came from, it gave me righteous indignation. It gave me choice when I didn't have choice in my life. It gave me a soapbox when I felt like I had nothing important to say and I was really insecure. And gave me freedom and saying, yeah, I get to decide. As my life became healthier, and I had more choice in my life, and I had more freedom in my life, I didn't have to get that from the belief that I had.

Shirley Owens: Yes.

Alison Donaghey: So it was no longer an instant ferment for my worth, it was just something I believed in. And it was still separate from who I am. And so, there's so much, I encourage people to really search out people who disagree with you. They did a great thing, I don't know if it was Google or what it was, when Hillary Trump election was happening. They asked certain people: "Can we mess with your algorithms?" So if you are pro Hillary, can we start sending you pro Trump stuff? And if you're a pro Trump, can we sell you pro Hillary stuff? And so, a group of people said: "Yeah, sure, no problem. You're not going to change my mind." And a lot of them changed their minds. Some actually went to the other side, some justice shifted small amount that stayed where they were. And then there was all those people in between. But once they started hearing things outside of their norm, they started thinking about things differently. And I thought it was fascinating.

Shirley Owens: Well, yeah, because we only know what we know. We don't know what we don't know, right? And as we are educated, or as we hear different perspectives and can start our stories, because our stories come from so many different sources, and we just like attached to that. And like you said, it may not even be your story, it just maybe what you think your story is. In most cases I would say we all have a story that we think is our story that isn't our story. Me especially, I had to work through a lot of that because I had to work through so many things, and be like, wait, was that just a story that someone told me about myself? Like, Oh, I don't have to own that. I can be, you know, I am who I am, and I love who I am, and I don't have to be whatever stories people have made up, good or bad. Like you can just be whatever you want. And that's true. I love that when we start to hear a different perspective, or we open our mind up to read something and then go, Oh, okay, now I feel kind of bad that I felt like that about that. Like the road thing, you'd feel really bad if you're angry with someone and then you found out that was their story. And so, to leave it open and just accept whatever is, what just is, that's one of my other favorite things to say. So great. So anyway, I love that. I love this conversation, and I think that will create awareness.

“We only know what we know. We don't know what we don't know.” -Shir;ey Owens

Alison Donaghey: When we are driving down the road, why would we want to put more negativity in the world by being a jerk back.

Shirley Owens: Right.

Alison Donaghey: And somebody said to me one time, a feeling only lasts four to seven seconds, after that, it's a story. And so, somebody says something to you, your feeling is hurt, you respond, and you're like, Oh, my feeling is so hurt. If you wait four to seven seconds, that feeling will morph into something else. If you jump in and start telling a story around it, now the story becomes a reality, not what the person was actually saying.

Shirley Owens: Exactly. Yeah. I have no road rage. Like I'm a pretty just kind of laxed driver. I let everybody in, and even people in the car with me are like, why did you just let two cars in? Or you know, they're like even struggling with that. But one day, I remember, I had picked my son up from school and we were on our way home, and I remember being frustrated with somebody for something, and he's like, mom, that is not you. Like, you're never frustrated. And I had just had a conversation that day about someone's stories and I thought, and I was like, you're right, why would I want to be frustrated and lower myself to that or whatever. But even that was him telling me a story, right? Like mom, you know, that is not you. And so, he and I got in this big conversation about that, and I think it's funny because we could just go either way all the time, and I think it's really good to just ask ourselves questions like, is this true? Is this true? Can I prove that it's true? We talk about all these different people's theories about how we can get through that kind of stuff. But I love my part because we can always wade through the crap and figure out what our part is. And if we decide that we want to do that, like, okay, what is my part in this? Oh, I just got frustrated at alight because somebody almost hit another person or whatever. Oh, so that's my part, okay, let it go. My next part is that I can just let it go. I really liked this. I love this #MyPart, I love it. Can you tell us other ways of getting in touch with you, or if anyone's interested in your program, I think it's a really good step for people to take to learn how to actually really own this part and start creating something different with their life.

Alison Donaghey: Yeah, and I want to add, like the course isn't a prelude to me asking for a $15,000 commitment for coaching from my participants. My goal with this course is that you don't need me again after the eight weeks.

Shirley Owens: I love that.

Alison Donaghey: You know, people who say they've been in therapy for 20 years, I'm like, get a new counselor. I don't think it's working. I'm sorry. Like, I know you've been through something, but I don't think you need to rehash for the next 20 years. So this is a course. It's eight weeks, and that's it. You're not going to get a call from me at the end saying, so I offer this other program. I may offer other ones down the road, and I might share them with people, I might do retreats, I might do something like, I don't know--

Shirley Owens: But you're not sucking them in, to sell them something.

Alison Donaghey: So my intention is you put up the money, you take the course, go have a great life. And people can find me on my website, And my email is on there. Please feel free to email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions, any emails that people have. I check them all myself, and I do take it seriously when people reach out to me. Information from my courses on that. There is an application process because as I say, it's not for everybody, and I never want to be, I have been on the receiving end of enrolling in a program that the facilitator knew wasn't going to be a good course for me but wanted my money, and I will never do that to somebody else.

Shirley Owens: That's wonderful. And I know from experience with you that you're awesome, empowering, I recommend you to everybody. So get in touch with Alison. She's wonderful. I can't wait to be on your show.

Alison Donaghey: It'll be great.

Shirley Owens: It's fun, exciting topics. So anyway, thank you so much for being on the show, and I look forward to talking with you again.

Alison Donaghey: Sounds great. It was my pleasure. Thanks.

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