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The other week, I caught myself feeling so upset because of someone else’s behavior.

How you can choose the emotions you want to feel in any situationMy emotions were all over the place because of how this person was acting and how they’d decided to show up in our relationship.

I thought that to feel better, I needed them to change.

I like to call this Emotional Outsourcing, and we’ve all done it before. We say things like, “I need my husband to do more around the house, so I can feel less stressed. I need my kids to stop fighting so I can feel happy.” Sound familiar?

Emotional Outsourcing happens when we put the responsibility for our emotions on other people. As you can probably guess, the result usually isn’t what we want it to be – they’re our emotions, so naturally only we know what we want them to be!

When I caught myself doing this the other day, I took a step back. decided to take responsibility for my emotions again, and immediately felt calmer and more empowered.

I’ll share more of this story in today’s episode, along with more examples of Emotional Outsourcing and the impact it has on our minds and lives. We’ll also talk about how you can choose the emotions you want to feel in any situation, and why this doesn’t mean that you have to put up with behavior you don’t like.

Did you hear? We’re running a gratitude special on two of my most popular self-study programs! Learn more here!

What You Will Discover:

  • Why you should never underestimate the value of investing in yourself and your mind.
  • What Emotional Outsourcing is and how it affects us.
  • Why you need to be accountable for your emotions, rather than letting other people have the power to dictate them.
  • How to accept that other people don’t have a responsibility to change for you.
  • Why you get to choose how you feel in every situation .
  • What to do if people aren’t showing up the way you want them to and you find yourself feeling triggered.

Featured on the Show:

Episode Transcript:

Well hello, my beautiful friends. Did you hear? We are running a gratitude special on two of my most popular self-study programs. Charm the Room and Modern Day Icon. So if you want to learn more, go to

Bonjour, and welcome to the French Kiss Life podcast, where personal development meets style. I’m Tonya Leigh, certified master life coach, and the hostess of this party where we explore how to live artfully and well. Each week, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories, practical tips, and timeless wisdom on how to elevate the quality of your everyday and celebrate along the way. Let’s dive into today’s episode.

Come on in to my virtual living room because this is what it feels like. I have so many of you say, “I feel like you’re my best friend. You’re in the car with me, you’re with me in the kitchen when I’m making breakfast,” and I feel like that when I’m recording these. I feel like I’m just sitting down with my girlfriends and a few of the guys that choose to hang out with us.

And it literally feels like, energetically, we’re all friends. We’re all community, and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for every single one of you that listens this podcast, that shared it with your family and your friends. Seriously, it means so, so much to me.

So let’s do a community spotlight where I get to highlight one of you who has benefited from the podcast, from my programs, from being a part of the French Kiss Life community. Today’s spotlight is on Olivia from New York City.

Olivia sent me this message. She said, “Dear Tonya, Modern Day Icon has changed my life. All the salons are incredible, but the main reason I signed up was because of the one on luxury and worth. I’ve always known deep down that was I sabotaging my financial life because of my energy around money. I’m happy to report that this is no longer the case.

The way you teach about money really opened my eyes to how I’ve actually been repelling it from my life. Since taking Modern Day Icon, I’ve changed jobs, and get this, I’m making $100,000 more per year.” Yes, congratulations, Olivia. “This would not have happened without MDI, but the most glorious piece to this whole journey is that I can finally answer the question, who am I, with 100% clarity. Thank you, Tonya.”

Well, thank you Olivia. I am so excited and proud of you. It’s so amazing you all, when we shift our stories, when we shift our thoughts, when we shift our energy, how the world begins to shift around us as well.

When we really, really understand that our thoughts are literally creating our lives, we will really understand the value of investing in our minds, of paying attention to the thoughts that we think, learning the tools to think on purpose, to shift our energy and to create our lives on purpose.

Y’all, I am preaching for this because I love this work so much because I’ve seen the power in my life, I see the power in my clients’ lives. Whoever is listening to this, I want to just say this to you.

Of all the investments I’ve ever made, I am talking about 401Ks, I’m talking about in real estate, I am talking about of all the investments, investing in my own personal development, learning the tools to navigate this life with so much more grace and grit and gumption has by far been the most valuable investment I have ever made.

So listen to me please, they say I can be bossy, but I do want you to listen. This is really important. If you are someone right now who is struggling or you are up against a challenge and you don’t know how to get through it, or maybe you just feel like you’re not living up to your fullest potential, or maybe your life is great and you want to make it even better, you want to see what you’re capable of creating in this lifetime, do not underestimate the value of investing in your brain, of investing in your growth.

And that investment may be of your time, listening to this podcast for example, and really practicing the tools that I teach in the podcast. Or maybe there’s someone else’s podcast you love listening to that really resonates with you. Invest your time in that.

Or maybe it’s investing in a new skill or a new hobby, or something that you’re curious about. Like when I went to sommelier school, that was an investment in my personal growth. Or maybe it’s investing in books or seminars or programs. But you will never ever go wrong by investing in you because you, again, are your greatest commodity.

Today we are talking about emotional outsourcing. So here’s how you will know if you are outsourcing your emotional life. If you find yourself thinking things like, “If my kids would behave, I’d be less stressed. If my boss would respect me more, I would be happier. If my mom would stop meddling in my business, I’d feel better. If my sister would stop drinking, I’d feel happy. If my husband would take out the trash, I would feel more loving,” these are all signs of emotional outsourcing.

So what does it mean to outsource something? So I looked up the definition and it says to obtain goods or service from an outside or foreign supplier, especially in place of an internal resource. So when you are outsourcing your emotional life, basically what you are trying to do is obtain an emotion from outside of yourself instead of going within and creating it from your own internal source.

Now, I know that a lot of us, those of us living in the US are about to be around family and friends for Thanksgiving. And we’re heading into the holiday season where we’re going to be around a lot of people that may trigger us. And I want this podcast to just give us all a pause before we do any of those shenanigans.

I know that this is my daily work. My work is to be emotionally accountable, meaning to understand that I am always the one creating my emotional life. And any time I am wanting someone else to behave differently in order to feel better, I know that I have given all of my power away.

In my programs, I’ve been coaching a lot around relationships. And I see how we can get into these patterns of dysfunction with other people where we say things like, you behave this way so I’ll be happy, and that person’s over there saying, you behave the way I want you to behave so that I can be happy.

And if we all just were emotionally responsible and accountable, we would let everybody off the hook and we decide how we want to feel in every situation. Now, that does not mean that you don’t have boundaries. Doesn’t mean you let people come into your house and just wreck it and then leave. That is not what I am saying.

What I am proposing is that you can have boundaries of what you allow into your life. I call this a red velvet rope policy. And you don’t make other people responsible for how you feel. So let me give you an example. Last week, I was really triggered by what someone did.

And I started to feel so much anger and I wanted this person to change in order to dissipate my anger, but obviously this person was not going to change. They had their way of seeing it and I had my way of seeing it, right? And so as long as this person needed to change in order for me to feel better, we were locked up in this battle where no one is going to win.

This is emotional outsourcing. This is a great example. You change your behavior so that I will feel better, and I caught myself in the act of doing this and I’m like, wow, it is not this person’s job to change in order for me to feel better. I need to decide how I want to feel and to create that feeling for myself, and then I can set very clear boundaries with this person.

And so I did a lot of the work on my own craziness in my head and I just let the person know, you know what, this isn’t a good fit, this is not going to work. I respect your decision. You don’t want to show up in the relationship the way I need you to show up, and that’s okay. You get to decide for yourself, but I had to put up my red velvet rope of saying what’s allowed and what’s not allowed, and not make that person responsible for how I feel.

And I see this all of the time, and you all, this is my work every single day. I still get triggered sometimes. Not as often, but it still happens. And as I tell my clients, a trigger is just a chance for us to go in and heal something, to grow, to evolve.

And so in coaching clients around relationships, I see this a lot. Like, I need my kids to stop fighting so that I can feel better. And so we end up fighting with the kids to try to get them to stop fighting. We match the energy of our children and if you think about children for example, they can’t handle their own emotional life, much less ours.

It’s not fair to your children or to yourself to make them responsible for how you feel. And I think about emotional outsourcing, a lot of times, we’re outsourcing to people that can’t handle their own emotional life, and we’re wanting them to make us feel better? Like, really think about it.

What if you were to take your emotional life in-house? No more outsourcing it to the outside world. Taking emotional responsibility, accountability, you doing all of the work in-house. Not needing people to behave a certain way for you to feel better. You manage your own thoughts so that you can feel better now and then just let people be who they are because they’re going to anyway.

I’ve even seen this with me and Glen. It used to be that if he would come home from work and he’d had a bad day and he was a little bit grumpy, I would want him to show up differently. I would want him to not honor his feelings in order for me to feel better.

And if you think about it, it’s pretty selfish, right? Like you just pretend that’s not happening for you right now so that I can feel better. And then I realized, no, I can just decide how I want to feel and I can let Glen be grumpy and be okay, just hold that space for him. I don’t have to be grumpy with him. I don’t have to change his grumpiness to feel better. I just get to manage my own mind and feel how I want to feel in that situation.

Now, if you let this play out, let’s imagine that I want him to change in that moment. I’m trying to convince him that he shouldn’t be grumpy and that he should be different in that moment, he should make me feel better. He’s going to be frustrated with me and he’s going to push me away, which is going to feel even more terrible, and then we create this very dysfunctional dynamic.

I will tell you, when I really realized years ago when I was in life coach training that I get to decide how I feel, and that I can manage my own mind to feel however I want to feel, no matter who’s around, it was the most freeing thing ever. And it changed all of my relationships.

So for example, my mom. I used to want my mom to think and believe the way I think and believe because I thought if she did, I would feel better. So it’s like, hey mom, all of those beliefs that you’ve been believing for your entire life, can you change them? Because it would really make me feel better.

And so we would get into these unnecessary conflicts when all I needed to do was just let my mom be my mom and realize she gets to decide what she thinks, just like I get to decide what I think, and then we could have actually a very peaceful coexistence together.

As my mom would say, I put on my big girl panties and I stopped making my mom responsible for how I feel. And I just let my mom be my mom and I just love her for being my mom, and that’s it. I don’t need my mom to change in order to feel better.

You all, this is like the most freeing thing ever. It’s crazy. You get to feel good no matter how people are showing up. And again, I want to be clear. That does not mean that you allow bad behavior. It doesn’t mean you become a doormat. You just decide how you want to feel and then you get to set boundaries.

You get to put up your red velvet rope and say, hey, it’s not acceptable in my world. I love you, and no, I don’t allow that. If you want to keep doing that, that’s fine, but you’re not going to do it in my space, in my world. You’re also not responsible for how I feel, that’s on me.

So I want you to really get honest with yourself and ask the question, who am I emotional outsourcing my life to right now? Who am I wanting to behave differently so that I can feel better? And what would it be like for you if you released them from that responsibility and you took it in-house? You became emotionally responsible for yourself.

Now, I won’t lie, this is hard work. It’s so much easier for people just to behave the way we want them to so that we can feel better, but that’s just not how the world works. And when it happens, it’s great. But what about those times when people aren’t showing up the way you want them to show up? It causes you suffering. But when you learn how to manage yourself instead of trying to manage everyone else in the entire world, that’s when you get all of your power back, my friend.

It is time for J’adore, the part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you. And today’s J’adore is something that a friend of mine shared with me several years ago. I was at her house and I was really being challenged by a situation, and she said, “Hey Tonya, why don’t you pull a card?”

Now, I’ve done tarot readings before. I haven’t personally done them for others, but I’ve had them done. And it’s something I think is fun, but it’s not something that was really a part of my everyday life. But this particular deck of cards just really spoke to me.

I remember pulling a card and it could not have been more perfect for the situation that I was being challenged with and it gave me so much clarity. And I immediately had to go out and buy a deck. Now it’s a part of my everyday routine.

Typically, I pull a card of the day or if I’m being challenged with a certain situation or I’m wanting more clarity, I always go to these cards and it’s incredible how these cards have been able to guide me over the years.

I travel with them, I give them away to all of my friends, I’ve even told clients about them and they’ll go out and buy a deck and they tell me how much they love them. And my daughter has like, two sets of these cards. And because I’m in Denver with her right now, I actually pulled a card for the community.

And here’s the crazy thing, you guys; I don’t know if any of you have ever played around with any kind of cards but sometimes I’ll get a card and I’m like, I don’t like this one, and I’ll put it back, and I’ll pull the exact same card again. Out of 52 cards, after shuffling, I will pull the same card again.

And I’m always like, okay, universe, I hear you. And I did that with you guys. I pulled the card and I was like no, this isn’t the right one. And I shuffled them and swear to god, I pulled the exact same card again. So somebody listening right now needs to hear this because I pulled the fork in the road card.

And the essential meaning is time to make a decision. Considering the consequences as you prepare to act, owning up to your obligation to make a necessary choice. And then the oracle message is every choice has a consequence. You’ve arrived at a fork in the road and you’re being asked to come to a decision.

Will you further your dream by choosing left or by choosing right? Will you take the road less traveled or the one well worn by others who have come before you? This is your choice and yours alone. Circumstances and other people will not make it for you. Be present and do not avoid this junction, for it is an important crossroads. Take heart as no matter which path you choose, you will have a rich and meaningful experience.

And what I love about these cards, it has the essential meaning, it has the oracle message, and then it has the relationship message. So if it’s a question around relationships, it will give you guidance. It has a prosperity message and then it has a protection message.

So I’m not going to read the relationship or the prosperity message because we could be here for hours, but I do want to read the protection message because as I was reading it, I realized it actually fits with today’s topic about emotional outsourcing. Wanting people to do the work for you, right? So here’s what it says.

Indecision is extremely frustrating and will lead to anxiety, loss, and confusion. At this juncture, you can’t remain in place without losing your way altogether. Avoid the tendency to let others choose for you, which amounts to a subtle refusal to take responsibility. Don’t give your power away, not even to this oracle.

By not making a choice, you are making a choice, for which you must be accountable. If that choice leads to undesirable circumstances, take heart. Spirit never tires of giving you second chances. You can always start again once you’ve learned this valuable lesson.

So for anyone out there listening who is facing a fork in the road, and you have this feeling that it’s time to make a decision, decide. Get the momentum going in your life. You can always decide again. So that is the message that came up twice for you all, so I realized, you know what, I probably need to say it.

But anyway, these cards are beautiful. And what I’ve come to realize with this particular deck for me, it’s telling me what I already know. It just really allows me to go deeper and to also just trust my intuition. Our intuition is always, always speaking to us.

And so for me, the cards are just an extension of that. They’re often telling me what I already know. They’re often confirming what I know I need to do, and so I just use these cards as a tool to offer guidance and to brighten my day and to just tap into my own deeper knowing.

So if you’re interested in learning about the exact deck that I use, go to And if you happen to purchase them, please let me know what you think because I have never recommended them to someone who did not absolutely love them, so I would love to hear from you.

Again, Have a beautiful week everyone and I will see you in the next episode. Cheers.

If you enjoyed this episode and you want to dive even deeper into the French Kiss lifestyle, let’s start with a makeover; a mindset makeover. You can download my free training, The 3 Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs by visiting – because after all, mindset is the new black.

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