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  • Writer's picturePatrick Norris

97. Patrick Norris – Differentiation: Holding onto Yourself in Tense Reactivity from Others

Welcome to Episode 97 of the Red Ink Revival Leadership Podcast. In today’s episode Patrick is continuing with one of the most important factors for successful leaders, self-differentiation. The past 5 episodes have focused on these concepts, starting with episode 92 (The Leader’s Kryptonite: Emotional Fusion Versus Differentiation) giving the context for the series. If you have wondered why you can’t seem to get the ‘wins’ you work so hard for, even after training with conferences, consultants, books, podcasts, and mentors, this episode series is for you!

Today’s episode takes us into the following:

  • How anxiety drives the good, the bad, and the ugly in every relationship and system.

  • A Biblical perspective of anxiety as a driver of both functional and dysfunctional behavior.

  • Review of self-differentiation and giving context to leadership challenges.

  • How to stay steady after you stand up and how to hold onto who you really are, even with intense reactivity from the group or system.

  • How holding onto yourself involves four basic activities.

  • The importance of prioritizing growth over perfection and flawlessness.

  • The power of loving yourself with radical acceptance, even though others are judging you.

  • How to avoid a conflict of wills through vulnerability of showing up, without needing to change anyone else.

  • Using breathing and physical techniques to calm the nervous system.

  • Practicing reframing painful moments through awareness and story exercises.

  • Zooming out and externalizing to be able to give reactive relationships the compassion you desire.

  • The purpose and power of boundaries, giving consequences to be your best self, not to control others.

  • Learning to evaluate past painful moments by engaging a crash site analysis.

  • The practice of healthy, appropriate grieving when losses happen, to prepare our hearts for the next time we encounter intense reactivity.

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If you have questions you would like addressed in a future episode, topics you would enjoy hearing, or just want to give us feedback, we would love to hear from you. Email us at

Edited and produced by Evan (Emac) McAlister.

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