Reboot Podcast Episode Extras #18 – Fighting Compulsion: Detaching Our Worth from Our Work – with Liz Fosslien & Mollie West Duffy

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.


Liz Fosslien

Liz Fosslien

author and illustrator

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Mollie West Duffy

Mollie West Duffy


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Episode Description

What fuels your relationship with work? When you’re not working, what comes up for you? The compulsion to work can arise from various fears and drivers. Whether we are driven by perfectionism, tie our productivity to our worth, or use work to distract ourselves from other powerful demons such as shame, the spell of hustle culture can be hard to shake.

In this podcast, we’re sharing Ali’s second conversation with Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy, authors of Big Feelings: How to Be Okay When Things Are Not Okay. Together, they explore why detaching from work can be so incredibly hard and ponder why separating our identity from our work is so difficult. They get honest about the stories and fears that fuel their own desires to overwork and illuminate how joyful pursuits can mitigate the compulsion to overwork when life gets stressful.

Big Feelings: How to Be Okay When Things Are Not Okay |

Show Highlights

Top Quotes:

“It is addicting to respond to things, to have a lot going on. We live in a culture that really puts being busy on a pedestal, and makes you appear important to other people.” – Liz Fosslien

“Joy versus productivity. It feels like a choice that’s nourishing versus depleting.” – Ali Schultz

“When I ask myself the question, ‘how do I wanna spend my minutes, and/or if I was gonna die tomorrow, what would I choose to be doing?’ I’m gonna hang out in the barn with my really good friends that make my heart explode in a good way.” – Ali Schultz

“What can I do that’s just for me, that feeds me? That doesn’t require any sort of external validation.” – Mollie West Duffy

“We have a tendency to compare ourselves to this mishmash of everyone we know. We create this mythical human being in our head who’s doing it all, all the time.” – Liz Fosslien

“I think it’s useful to just keep a record of some of your harder times, and what you would be so grateful to have. And then later on it’s useful to look back at that and say, “Okay, here’s what is really gonna be a meaningful life for me. And here’s what I have now that I would’ve given so, so much to have five years ago, two weeks ago.” – Liz Fosslien

“I don’t have kids, and I know that my friends that do have such full lives, and in the process become this ever-unfolding, much fuller, expansive versions of themselves in the process.” – Ali Schultz

“The pressure that I put on myself is much higher than the pressure that anyone else puts on me. And what I expect myself to be able to get done in a week is way higher than what anyone else expects me to get done in a week.” – Mollie West Duffy

Podcast Topics