Arguing with Reality
Ep. 274
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Ep 274: Arguing with Reality

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We often waste precious time and energy arguing with reality – insisting that things should be different than they are. In this episode, I reveal the common pitfalls of waiting for a perfect, non-existent option C and explain why it’s crucial to accept the 50-50 nature of life’s choices. By letting go of the illusion of control and focusing on how we want to respond to the circumstances we face, we can gain clarity, make better decisions, and reclaim our power. Tune in to discover how to stop the exhausting cycle of arguing with reality and start moving forward with intention and purpose.

Show Transcript
Hey! Welcome to Lessons from a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you've spent getting to where you are. If ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams.
Hello my friends and welcome to another episode of Lessons from AC Quitter. I'm so excited you are here. Before we jump in, I wanted to let you know about a fancy new little quiz I have created. I know that a lot of people I talk to spin in indecision about whether to quit or whether to stay. Is it time to quit? Is this the right place? Should I find something else? Maybe this is the right place. Could I like it here and on and on and on. And so many of us spend so much energy spinning around in this big decision of like whether we should stay or whether we should leave. And so having coached hundreds of people on this, now I have sort of a process that I walk people through. And when you come into the club, my membership, I take you through the different stages.
And this quiz will help you figure out where you are, right? So you can take like a two minute quiz and based on your answers and how you're thinking and where your headspace is at and what you're dealing with, I will let you know what stage you're in. And not only that, I'll give you a step by step guide for the next three things you should focus on. If you've listened to me for a while, you know that I'm really big on trying to get over the overwhelm and the confusion and get you into action. We're not gonna know all of the steps, but we can know what we're gonna focus on next. And so that's what I do. You get this, I don't even know, like 20 page guide that will walk you through what is the next three steps you need to focus on. So you focus on that and then you can move on to the next stage and the next stage. So if you wanna know, if you're curious, go to Take the quiz to find out. Okay.
I am really excited about this episode because I was realizing how many times this comes up in my coaching in the club in different ways. And so I figured it's something we should talk about here. Okay? And it's this concept. I didn't know whether I, what to name this episode. It's this thing that I see that we do all the time that causes so much of our suffering and it's arguing with reality, okay? I, a lot of us don't realize that we're doing this, and that's why I wanna do this episode because I wanna bring awareness. 'cause once you see it, it becomes a lot easier to spot. And it becomes harder. I mean, we still unsee it and we still fall into, prey into this. And it's not to say that we're gonna eradicate it, but once you start noticing like, is that what I'm doing? You can so quickly stop engaging with the spinning that goes on in your brain or stop engaging with all of the shoulds and the what ifs. And so what do I mean by arguing with reality?
There's two areas in which I see this. I see so many people do this where it's like there's circumstances in the world, there's things happening, people act the way they're gonna act. Things that we don't want happen will happen. That's the just a guarantee in life. And instead of figuring out how we wanna deal with it, instead of understanding, how we want to react to it, instead of making a plan or a strategy of like, okay, this is happening. How do I wanna feel? How do I wanna show up? What is the type of person I wanna be? What are the steps I wanna take? How can I solve this? How can I not solve it? How can I feel my feelings? Like there are so many things you can do when we accept what is happening and then move on to what we can do, what we control.
But most of us don't ever get there because we get so stuck in arguing with what should be happening. Not what is, but just this should, it should be different. She shouldn't be acting like this. My mother shouldn't do this to me. My boyfriend should be nicer to me. My boss shouldn't make these demands. All of these should.
And it's a real telltale sign is when you, when the word should comes up, right? If you're thinking like, my kids should act different, my spouse should act different, my boss should act different. Corporate America should be different. The patriarchy should be different. It's not to say that it's not true.
Of course we can all want change, we can all work towards change. But what happens is a lot of us get into this hopeless and angry and bitter and self-righteous space where we are sort of having a temper tantrum. Like, because it's not different because this person isn't acting different than I can't act the way I want, or I can't be happy, or I can't figure out what I'm gonna do. And if they would just change, it would make it so much easier for me to be happy, right? If my boss would just stop sending emails at night, if, you know, I didn't get passed up for promotions because I'm a woman, then things would be so much easier.
Of course they would. And if I could teach you how to change people, I would do that and I would make so much money, but I can't because we can't, we, people are gonna act the way they're gonna act. And so, so much suffering comes from just that thought.
I want you to think about how much mental energy you spend thinking about how it shouldn't be the way it is. Even when we think about like social injustice and stuff, I've, I've thought about this a lot because there's a lot of these, these thoughts of like, I, I see this with on social media. I, I don't know, I don't have the answers here, but I really think about this a lot where we obviously it helps us feel connected and validated and we should talk about problems and we should talk about what ails our country. And we should talk about inequality, we should talk about all these things. But what I have found is that oftentimes because there's so much talk of like how hard things are now and how, you know, house prices are so expensive and how you can't get by on a salary these days. And it's not to say that a lot of those aren't true, but what I've found is that I think it just takes people to a dejected place where they believe there's nothing I can do now because this is the way that it is. And unless this changes, I'm just screwed, right? I'm just a, a victim to this system and I don't have to tell you. Like, if you believe that, then there really is nothing that you can do because you've sort of resigned.
And I think for so many of us, we just, it's not to say that it, I wish the system was different. I wish people didn't have to work two jobs to be able to make ends meet. I wish we had healthcare. I wish all these things and I will work for them. But when I sit and I think it should be different, it should be different. Like that doesn't change that it isn't.
And I always have this like thought, like every time I think the thought should in my brain, like a little trigger goes off and I constantly think, but it's not so now what, right? Because it, it very quickly reorients me back to like, I don't have control over what it is. I do have control of over how I move forward from here, right? That's the true power of thought work. By the way, this is why thought work is so powerful. It's not to say that you're gonna have things go the way that you want all the time.
In fact, you're not going to. That's why this stuff is so powerful. Because if we could somehow figure out how to control the universe and make sure governments acted the way we wanted to, and corporate America acted the way we wanted to, and our mothers acted the way we wanted to, then none of us would've to work on ourselves. It would be great. Everybody would do exactly what we were, we asked them to do, right? But that's not gonna act going to happen. And so this is why we need to learn to manage our own minds because the world is gonna be a dumpster fire. The world is gonna burn around us. The world is going to be beautiful and terrible all at the same time. Your mother is gonna act the way she's gonna act. Your kids are gonna act the way they're gonna act.
Again, that doesn't mean that you just have to throw your hands up and be like, well, they're gonna act this way. Nothing I can do about it. No, you know, you get to decide how do I wanna parent in this moment? How do I wanna react to the situation? How do I, what kind of a daughter do I wanna be in this moment? What kind of boundaries do I wanna set up? All of that stuff is in my control. What isn't in my control is how this other person acts. And so if I'm spending all of my mental energy being upset and angry and bitter about the fact that they are just not different, then not only do I get consumed by that rage of it, and do I get stuck in this kind of spinning, but I don't actually decide what I wanna do from there.
I see so many people stay stuck in this in just as if they think about it enough. If they tell themselves it should be different enough. If we talk about how terrible capitalism is enough that it's just gonna change, it's not. And yes, we need awareness. We need to talk about the problems with certain things we need to talk about corporate America. But then we also have to, like, in the short term, in the day-to-day decide how do I wanna show up for it? What am I gonna do here? Of course it's gonna be unfair. Of course it's inequitable. Of course my boss is gonna be an. Or, you know, whatever your situation is, now what, how do I wanna deal? How do I wanna react? And the more I learn how to manage that, the more I become empowered in my own life is that I don't need everything to go the way that I want.
I don't need everybody to act the way that I want. I don't need to control everybody. You know, even though I can't, and it's all an illusion anyways, I can let go of that illusion. I can let people be who they're gonna be. I can let my mom act the way she's gonna act. I can let whoever you know, my spouse, my kids, my boss, and then I get to decide what do I do from here? What boundaries do I set up? Where do I stick up for myself? What do I let go? What do I just decide is not that big of a deal? Byron Katie has a quote that I love that says “When you argue with reality, you lose, but only a hundred percent of the time.” And it's so, it's such a good reminder. It's so poignant, right? Because the thing is like, you're never going to win that argument ever. And the reason I say, like, I always ask myself when that word should comes up, I always have to like stop myself and really reroute because I know it's a lie. It shouldn't be this way, but it is. So now what? Right? Like, my kids shouldn't act that way this way, but maybe they should because that's how they're acting. So what do I know? This is the way my children act, apparently. What do I wanna do from here, right? How do I wanna a parent? How do I wanna step up in this moment?
And I think when you can stop arguing with reality, you can finally decide the strategy, the next steps, what you wanna do from there. And so I want you to find those thoughts. I want you to see in your day how many times you're saying things shouldn't be the way that they are. A person shouldn't act the way that they're acting. You know, like a circumstance shouldn't be what it is. And what would you be left with if you decide, okay, but it is now what do I wanna do? Because what I hap, what I see happen is so many people come to coaching and they'll tell me the situation and they'll say, you know, like, my boss sends emails at 11 o'clock and you know, it may and it shouldn't be like this and I can't work like this. And I'm always like, okay, well now what? Okay, he does that.
And it's always this thing where like they want to argue with like nobody. He, you know, like, and I, again, there's a time and place for empathy and, and sympathizing and venting, and I love doing all of that. But there's a time where like, I have to decide now what?
And that leads me kind of to the next part of this is, I think oftentimes when we are arguing with reality, we're hoping for like some secret option number C, right? Number C, some secret option C, number three, whatever. I get so many people that come and they'll say like, well, you know, I wanna stay. I don't like, I don't wanna leave my job because I get a good salary and that's stable, but I don't feel fulfilled and I wanna be more creative and I want more flexibility, but I'm scared that I'm not gonna make as much money or I'm scared for the financial implications.
And I always explain like as we talk about this, well those are your options, right? You either stay or you leave. What do you wanna do? And I'm not saying obviously there's many little options, but what they're waiting for is some secret option where they're not scared and there's no risk and they have no financial stake in this and they're fulfilled, but they have stability. It's like that, that just doesn't exist. That secret option C is not there. So now what? These are your options. You either are afraid and you take a financial risk and you go after the life that you want and you try to find something more fulfilling. Or you decide that stability is more important to you and you wanna stay here and you learn how to manage your mind and you get the paycheck and you live in gratitude for that.
Those are the options. And they're gonna be 50-50 always. But I think a lot of times when we're thinking that there is this like secret option C, this, this, and so we, we stay stuck kind of spinning of like waiting for this perfect option to show up, waiting for the it all to make sense and need to know exactly what I wanna do and it's gonna fall in my lap and I'm not gonna feel scared and I'm gonna feel super ready to go. It's like those aren't the options.
I was recently coaching someone too with like about, I think she was moving and she was saying like, well I wanna, I like living in the city because I like the cultural aspect and there's so much to do and there's restaurants and it love, you know, all that. But it's so expensive and I sort of wanna live in like the country or the suburbs because I have more space, but I think it's boring and I just don't know which one to do.
And it's like, again, yeah, , there's no option where there is like you live in the city and it's super cheap and you have all the space like that. Just you, you're, when you're asking for the reality that you're asking for is one or the other, and you're wasting your life, you're wasting year after year hoping that some like perfect answer comes up. And I see so many people waste so much of their time on this. I see so many people between two very viable options that they know they have to choose one, but because they know there are some downsides, which by the way, part of the reason I teach the fact that life is 50-50, and I think it's one of the most liberating concepts that you learn is because it doesn't matter where you go, it doesn't matter what you do.
There's gonna be pros and cons and you get to decide which 50-50 you focus on, right? You get to decide, like, I can be super stoked that I live in the country now and I have all this space and my dog gets to run around in the backyard and I save a lot more money and I can go on runs or whatever, you know, the benefits are of living there. Or I'm gonna stay in the city and I know, listen, I'm gonna stay in a shoebox. But that's the, you're not paying for the small space. You're paying for where you live and I'm close to everything and I get to be with tons of people and I get to go to museums and like, that's amazing. I get to decide. I focus on that. It doesn't mean that there isn't a ton of downsides.Of course there are. Beause if there was a perfect decision, we would all make it. There isn't.
And that's why we're, we feel quote unquote stuck, but you're not actually stuck. You're just waiting for that secret option and it doesn't exist. And so this minute you stop arguing with that and you start realizing like, these are the actual options I have right now. This is what I have to go on. Do I wanna waste another year sort of spinning, waiting for something else to just magically pop up? Or do I wanna decide that like, this is good enough for now, I'm gonna make this decision. And we've talked a lot about the fact that like, and I can change my mind and I can do something else later and I can move again and I can get another job for most decisions. Obviously there's a couple that are kind of final.
Very few decisions are like that though.
But, and when you do that, you learn so much more about yourself, right? You learn where you're kind of ignoring red flags. You learn what you actually want, you learn what you don't want. You make decisions, you gain in your own self-trust and your intuition. You learn how to move forward, you get experiences. There's so much that happens that I see so many of us sort of stunt our own growth because we keep staying stuck in like, “but this isn't perfect. But what if there's an option that everything works out and some kind of fairytale?” And I just wanted to let you know that that doesn't exist. And that's okay. We don't need it to exist because options we have are plenty good. And we just have to decide. We have to accept what it is.
Like this is what I can do with my budget. This is where I'm at in my career. This is what I can do with my experience right now. My options are these, these are the jobs maybe I could take. These are the cities I can live in. These are the types of corporations I can be in. And again, it doesn't mean that I can't gain experience, make money, do whatever I need to do in order to be at a different position in a year, two years, five years and move on. But right now, what do I wanna do? And I feel like I liken this, like our brains a lot to toddlers, but I feel like it's like this adult temper tantrum, right? Where it's like, I don't want this, so I'm just gonna kick my legs and sit here and yell about how it should be different.
It's like, all right, just like a kid's can tantrum. Like it's not, it's just gonna, you're gonna exert a lot of energy, but it's not gonna get you anywhere. You are gonna be super exhausted, which so many of us are in our lives and we're so burned out because of the mental energy we spend on these things. Instead of just accepting reality. This is what the situation is. This is the 50-50 of life. This is the hard experience. How do I wanna show up for it? How do I wanna grow through this? What do I wanna learn? What's in my best interest? What do I really wanna do? What am I doing to please other people? Like I can get so much information, I can decide so many more things. I can get so much deeper if I'm willing to just do that first step and accept what it is and then decide how I wanna move on from there.
So my friends, I want you to think about today where you're arguing with reality, where you're thinking that someone should be different or that something in your life should be different or it shouldn't have been this way. Or you know, sitting in a lot of maybe anger and bitterness and resentment and guilt and shame and self-righteousness. All of these feelings because you think something in your past should have been different. You think you should have done something different. You think some other people should be different. And what happens if we just accept, but this is the way it actually is. Those are the decisions I made and this is where I'm at and this is what I have to work with. And what do I wanna do from here?
I promise you will go so much further, so much faster when you stop spending all of your time arguing with how it should be and just accept how it is and then decide how to move forward.
So my friends, stop arguing with reality and go out and figure out what you wanna do from here. I hope this was helpful and I'll be back next week with another episode.
Hey, if you are looking for more in-depth help with your career, whether that's dealing with all of the stress, worry, and anxiety that's leading to burnout in your current career or figuring out what your dream career is and actually going after it, I want you to join me in the Quitter Club. It is where we quit what is no longer working. Like perfectionism, people pleasing imposter syndrome… and we start working on what does, and we start taking action towards the career and the life that you actually want. We will take the concepts that we talk about on the podcast and apply them to your life and you will get the coaching, tools, and support that you need to actually make some real change. So go to club and get on the waitlist. Doors are closed right now, but they will be open soon.