DFP 4 | Overcoming Self Sabotage

Transformation Tuesday Overcoming Self-Sabotage: Identify The Self-Limiting Beliefs, Patterns And Habits That Hold You Back with David Highley

DFP 4 | Overcoming Self Sabotage


Clarity is what's lacking in most people's lives. If you're not clear on what you want, it's probably because you're not sure who you are and you develop self-limiting beliefs and patterns that hold you back, and ultimately self-sabotage habits. It sounds a little trite, but we're all brought up to somewhat ignore those things. We’re all brought up to inherit our parent's values and blueprints or society's values and blueprints. At some point in our lives, we may suddenly realize we had climbed at the very top of the wrong ladder or we're in the wrong place in life that we're unhappy. Transformational coach David Highley says finding our true selves is all about making different choices, thinking in different ways, and figuring out what makes you tick. He shares different exercises you can do to find out what makes you happy and find clarity in your life, helping you overcome self-sabotage.

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Transformation Tuesday Overcoming Self-Sabotage: Identify The Self-Limiting Beliefs, Patterns And Habits That Hold You Back with David Highley

It is Transformation Tuesday and I'm excited to bring you a new Transformation Tuesday series. Generally, every Tuesday I come on and I interview someone who I'm inspired by or who has a powerful transformation story. I was able to interview an amazing coach and dear friend of mine, David Highley. We decided to create this series designed for you, most of our audience here in mind, which is all about creating clarity to discover your purpose and step into your power.

I want to welcome everyone, all of you who are joining us. David Highley is an amazing coach. We did an interview and we talked about stepping deeper into finding clarity, purpose, passion and power. We had an amazing conversation. David is one of these people that when I get on the phone with him, we can just dive deep into some amazing topics. As we're both coaches, we like to talk about some of the changes, things and themes that we see our clients are going through. Many of you wrote in to me and showed that you were enjoying a lot of what we were sharing, we decided to do a Facebook Live Transformation Tuesdays where David and I are going to get on and this series that we're bringing to you is all about creating clarity.

We've realized that in a lot of themes, as far as what our clients are coming to us with, is having a lack of clarity around where it is that they're wanting to go and how to get there. As coaches, it's up to us to help them create clarity and get tools to help them get to the place that ultimately, we know and they know that they're capable of getting to. With that being said, David, why don't you lead us into the crucial components of foundation and how that's so important in creating clarity.

As soon as you write it down or verbalize it, it's in the real world. Click To Tweet

Clarity is what's lacking in most people's lives when they come to coaching. That feeling of overwhelmed and not just when people come to coaching, anyone, all of us. If you're not clear on what you want, it's probably because you're not sure who you are. It sounds a little trite, but unless you understand what motivates you and what makes you excited, we're all brought up to somewhat ignore those things. We’re all brought up to inherit our parent's values and blueprints or society's values and blueprints. At some point in our lives, we may suddenly realize we had climbed at the very top of the wrong ladder or we're in the wrong place in life and we're unhappy. The first thing to do is revisit who you are, what motivates you, then figure out where you want to go and how you're going to get there. Amanda and I had a wonderful conversation about our own motivations, about how as coaches we help people come to realizations and how simply we could relate that through conversation.

One thing, as coaches, we encourage clients to do is to segment their lives in a way that makes sense to them and allows them to think in a more focused way about how they could see their lives. An example might be physical health is an aspect that you can talk about in isolation. Although that's going to be affected by all the other parts of your life, talking about it in isolation allows us to dig deep into it and see on its own and its own merits. Your family relationships, your romantic relationships, your friendships, your social activities, your hobbies, your physical environment, where you live, your profession, all of these things are things that we can talk about in isolation, spiritual life or acts of service or other ones that people see as important.

Once you've come to those conclusions, we can have meaningful conversations in those areas alone. The way they interact with the other parts of your life will float to the surface as well. Your finances and your job are very much tied together. Your performance at work might be affected by something negative going on in another part of your life. That's one way that we can help people come to realizations about what they want. Another way is to do some assessment of values. To have conversations that allow people to understand what it is that makes them happy. What motivates them. In my case, one of them is sunshine and I ignored that for a very long time because it seemed so silly. It seemed such a stupid thing when everyone else in my life is chasing money.

DFP 4 | Overcoming Self Sabotage
Overcoming Self Sabotage: If you're not clear on who and what you want, it's probably because you're not sure who you really are.


In Southeast of England when I was being brought up, it was normal to borrow to buy a car, borrow to buy a couch, borrow to buy TV and do a job that you hate to pay for the stuff that you bought to impress the people you don't like. To indulge something as stupid as sunshine seemed predictors to me or to admit to myself, “I could move to a place where it’s sunny all the time and I wouldn't feel miserable six months of the year.” That was such a big shift for me. I worked with a coach and when I said one of the things that makes me happy is sunshine, she said, “Why do you live where you live?” I didn't have an answer. It was that tiny crack in the door that I needed to think, “I could live somewhere else in the world.” Over the next few months talking to her, I challenged her by saying, “What about this and what about money? What about a visa and what about that?” That's all crap. It's completely achievable. If you're reading this, then you probably live in the Western world and if you live in the Western world, you probably have choices. It's making the choice to drive a shitty car for two years and save money to go and be a student in China or whatever floats your boat. I know that sounds overly simplistic but generally, it is that simple. It's making some different choices and thinking in different ways.

Figuring out what makes you tick and there are lots of different exercises you can do. If you get a piece of paper and write down what makes you happy in a way you've never done before. Fill it, make it 100 or 200 words in phrases or pictures and start to see that there are some important connections there. If you combine those values, if you boil those down to nine or ten different words and you combine that with these different segments of your life and ask yourself, “How fully am I living those values in this segment?” You're going to get some surprising answers that will tell you why you feel uncomfortable or painful. Then if you said, “What would life look like if I lived this segment to the full with each of these values?” Then you can create some wonderful vision for yourself, which is not just a dream. It's a meaningful blueprint for where you should be in life. Then you've got directions, then we create actions and then you move forward, and you know which way forward is as well, most importantly.

I want to get some active engagement because one of the reasons why I love Facebook Live is I like to post a lot and ask the audience because we want you to be a part of this. We have a comment here that said guitars. Guitars are something I know that you can relate to as far as something that makes you happy, David. For those of you who don't know, David was a musician. That was what he did before he transitioned into coaching. Even something like guitars can be something that brings you. It seems so small and so simple, but the small things, it's the micro changes that make the macro. Getting clear on even the smallest things like sunshine and guitars.

We've been conditioned to climb the ladder even if it might not even have been the ladder that we wanted to get on. Click To Tweet

Writing down whatever comes to mind. One of the things that I know, and I've seen both for myself and for my clients is the true power that comes when we take what's up here and we put it out here and not just verbally, although that's strong in and of itself. When it comes to writing it down, whether it's writing it down in our journal, that's very powerful. Also writing it down on this live platform where other people who are tuning into this conversation, all of these people are helping you. We're all a collective consciousness. They're helping you to see these things, hear these things, and help you to bring these things into more of a manifestation so that you can begin to create the clarity and live the life that you want that's driven with purpose.

We have a comment that says, being in the mountains is one of the things that makes her happy. That's the thing too, David, you mentioned location. Location is huge for me as well. I'm a warm person, I'm not a cool person. When I'm in the cold, I'm miserable. It's something that seems so small, but it makes a big difference in how you show up in the world. The great thing about living in the West, we can have all the excuse in the world about why we can't achieve something, whether it's a job, a relationship, a move or an adventure, but they're all just limiting beliefs. If we live in the West, you have so many tools and so many opportunities. It's not a matter of, can it happen? It's a matter of, are you willing to open yourself up to allow it to happen to you? We have a comment that says that she likes gardening, gardening is something. Another comment that says, exploring new things. Also, another comment that says, exercise, kayaking or whitewater kayaking, being an active dad, seeing my daughter’s smile. All of these things are incredibly important.

I would encourage you to write these things down. While it's a thought in your head, it tends to get tangled up with all the other thoughts in your head. As soon as you write it down or verbalize it, it's in the real world. It's never been there before. You created this thing and suddenly it exists in reality and that's the first step into changing your life. It makes it tangible. You've shared it and whatever your worldview, whether you believe in the Universe and manifestation or you’re deeply rooted in practicality and worldliness, it doesn't matter, that's a fact. If it's in your head, it's stuck in your head. It's not an action until action is taken, then no change has been made. I would encourage you to think about two things.

DFP 4 | Overcoming Self Sabotage
Overcoming Self Sabotage: We can have all the excuse in the world about why we can't achieve something, but they are all just limiting beliefs.


What gives you some form of positive emotion? It doesn't have to be happiness. It's just something positive whatever that means to you. That could be a sense of fulfillment or accomplishment of whatever you want it to. The second thing is to look at what you've written down. Maybe you'll pour out 20 or 30 things and ask what does that give you? To the guy with the guitar, what does it give you? Is it the vibration of the instrument against you? Is it the look of it? Is it the shininess of the wood? Is it the creative act? Does it make music an internal piece? I'm sure it gives you a lot of things and they're all very relevant. What does kayaking in a beautiful place give you? What do sunshine and warmth give you? They're all things that collectively are in experience, but if you break it down, there are a lot of other things in there that have very important information. Maybe you could use that information to start creating a life right now that will make you feel better, that will make you feel wonderful.

Something that came up for us, we host a monthly Men's Circle here in Santa Cruz. This topic of clarity came up a lot. We've been conditioned to like or to feel like we need to fall in alignment with things that might not be our truth. We've been conditioned to climb the ladder and it might not even have been the ladder that we wanted to get on. Maybe we wanted to climb the rope or maybe we wanted to go to the mountain, but we were never given that choice. We talked a lot about this whole experience of finding these things that I love and that I liked and then writing them down. Then also removing yourself a little bit from society in whatever way, shape or form.

Sometimes you might think you like something but you're just liking it because everybody else is doing it. Whereas when you go traveling or when you go to the mountains, you go to nature by yourself, you even spend some time each and every day, spending time with yourself to ask yourself these questions, to sit in meditation or mindful reflection. It's those moments when you're alone that you can dive deeper and move beyond some of the conditioning that we've had and feel okay in that. There's a lot of shame around if you're not doing X, Y or Z to accumulate the success that you’ve been told, or we've been told that we need. There can be a lot of shame in that and that shame can often create these blockages that prevent us from fully stepping into aligning with our authentic truth and even the small things that make a big difference.

Logic is based on all the assumptions and habits that you've learned throughout your life. Click To Tweet

While you're speaking, it reminded me that we are very unique. A hundred years ago or 200 years ago, we lived in a way where we had so much more space and less external influence. Now, we have people spending billions of dollars to influence us all the time. We're being told we have to buy this and do that. It's this constant barrage of information and almost 100 times more important that we do take that time out to figure out who we are. This constant influence from our families, friends, advertisers, industry, and from the wonderful material things we see that we think we want because they're going to make us happy. Step away from that, to think about what is it that makes us happy, to deliberately discard it in a different way. To step away from the way we live right now and give some conscious thought to what we think is incredibly valuable.

One of the things that this makes me think about is when it comes to creating clarity, I feel that when you take time to step away and to write these things down, a lot of people sometimes will ask like, “I don't even remember the last time that I felt ignited. I don't even remember the last time that I felt truly aligned or impassioned.” I invite you to think about maybe it was when you were a child. Maybe for some people, it goes that far back and it's almost even invoking these childlike experiences of like, “What was it? Was it being outside in nature? Was it me playing with my friends? Was it me not having so much stress of the community around or whatever it is? It can be something so small, but yet it makes a big impact on how you are as an adult now and what you feel like an adult as well.

When I work with clients on this, a lot of them find it a little trivial. They find it difficult to take it seriously and that’s because they've been preconditioned. They're giving themselves to have coaching, so you know they're looking for something. It's allowing them to feel good about the fact they're going to do something as playful as writing a bunch of stuff down on a massive piece of paper probably for the first time in their adult life. The questions I asked them was, “When was the last time you felt truly wonderful or truly fulfilled?” You could also say, “Why don't you spend this week and the only thing I want you to do this week for me is to be aware of when you feel good and when you feel bad and write it down.”

DFP 4 | Overcoming Self Sabotage
Overcoming Self Sabotage: When we stay too focused in the logical space, we can disconnect from our feelings.


Travel through your week with an awareness of what's making you feel great and what's making you feel bad. If it makes you feel bad, is it the absence of something that makes you feel good or is it the opposite of something that makes you feel good? There’s information in that too. Another thing you could do is think about the future. When you think about the future, what makes you feel great? What would be a great future for you and what makes you feel bad or sad? I do the same exercise. There you’ve got present, past and future ways of gaining information about yourself that you can then write about and have this wonderful visual collection that represents you in some way that you can then boil down and find real clarity through.

That reminds me of something that came up in the Men's Circle, which was how the typical masculine energy is very logic. It's very cerebral. It's all about thinking through things, making logic, making sense of it. Although that is an incredibly powerful place and it's gotten us very far in where we are now, it can also be limiting as well. When we stay too focused on this logical space, we can disconnect from our feelings. It's our feelings and what I was hearing you say was follow your feelings. I even invite you to take this whole weekend and say, “I'm only going to do things that make me feel good. I'm not going to do anything that anybody else expects me to do.” Maybe I'm supposed to go to some party or some get together, and it doesn't feel good to me. I'm going to say no. I'm going to feel my way to my own bliss.

Maybe that leads you to a random pottery class or maybe it leads you out into the mountains or maybe you have no idea. Helping ourselves get out of here in this place that can literally drive us crazy and create all these borders, boundaries and blockages and move back into our heartspace, which is truly where our passion is. That's where our childlike nature is that unfortunately, has gotten lost but it doesn't mean that it can't be found. It is however going to be a journey of moving from the minds of the heart so that we can begin to remember what it's possible to feel like without all of these changes, struggles and challenges that we've accepted to be our reality as we move into adulthood. That's something important and another tool for people to begin to practice as they're finding their foundation and that clarity.

We literally are moving at hyper-speed and it is so important to take the time to step back. Click To Tweet

I found very interesting was the use of the word logic. While things are in your head, that logic is based on all the assumptions and habits that you've learned through your life, including maybe the blueprints your family gave you or your friends gave you, whatever. What better way to challenge those assumptions than by externalizing them in some way and finding out if they're real. Where you think you're applying logic, you're just actually applying a bunch of rules that you've learned in the past that probably need challenging. We all have habits and behaviors that were possibly very useful to twenty years ago or ten years ago or 30 years ago, but don't serve as a tool anymore and they need to be reappraised. That in itself is very logical. Life is this project that we have limited time and resource. If you're going to make the best of it, then you probably from time to time, need to have a little rethink about who you are, where you're going and are you facing the right direction?

That's huge having a stop and having a pause. We live in a world where it is so fast. Our parents used to say that like, “It just gets faster,” and it literally does. What used to take us all day long to feed ourselves now takes us as little as five minutes. We can go to the store and pick up a Bulletproof bar and all of a sudden, we have lunch. We literally are moving at hyper speed. It is so important to take time to step back, to step away from what we call it mindfulness is the monkey mind so that you can begin to see what story is being told because ultimately you guys, you're the narrator. If there's any aspect of your life that you're not super thrilled with, whether it's your relationship, your job, your body, your energy or whatever it is, the only person who has control over that is you.

It's about getting out of the way of yourself and taking that time in creating that space so that you can see that you're writing the story. If you're so busy just trying to keep up with the Joneses, you're not going to be able to see the power that you have and the ability that you have to begin to change some of the patterns and habits, to begin to create the life that you want, the life that’s driven by purpose instead of driven by fear. Another thing that's important is that our logical mind we’re dealing with our parents and our parent's parents who grew up in the great depression, who grew up in World War II. There was a lot of scarcity there. There was a lot of fear and scarcity, not only death and just a lot of pain, and that is no longer our story. At this moment, there is so much abundance everywhere.

DFP 4 | Overcoming Self Sabotage
Overcoming Self Sabotage: One thing that's great about having a coach is the fact that they're going to hold you accountable.


We are more connected than we've ever been, and some can argue it's creating a disconnection but it depends. Right now, we're creating this online community and you guys are connecting. You're connecting to yourself, you're connecting to others, you're connecting to us. You're connecting to this understanding of consciousness and a greater expansion of it. It's so important to be aware of how we create our story now is dependent upon some of the past conditioning that our parents gave and where it came from as well, and that we're no longer in that story now.

I wonder if we're going to make this session as impactful as possible. We could ask what specific actions could they take off the back of this to find that little bit of space? To externalize those thoughts and to find some clarity so that the next time we talk, if they come back, we can help them take the next steps, what to do with that clarity. What can you do that will give you that space and where would it be and how are you going to do it?

What can you do to create that space between you and the media and even you and yourself or you and your external environment in order to create more clarity on who you are and what you want or what makes you happy? What are some of the things that you can do? These are like you're holding yourself accountable. The thing that's great about having a coach is the fact that we're going to hold you accountable. You can't get out of it. It's like we're going to meet you every week and be like, “Did you journal?” When somebody is holding you accountable, you're more likely to do it. Even holding yourself accountable by sharing these things is going to be important in helping you to truly stick to what it is and making these changes. We have a comment that says that she can journal. Another comment that says that he likes the guitar. He said, “I’m going to do three things on my list that I keep putting off.” We have another comment that says, “Being here in Hawaii.” All those things are good. What else do you have for us?

We are more connected than we've ever been in. Click To Tweet

I like the journaling one. There's so much power in journaling, letting your own thoughts wander on with a pen and piece of paper, you find out so much about yourself.

One comment said, “I do three things on my list that I keep putting off.” That's a doing action which is great and awesome, and you should absolutely do those things. That's commitment like goal-oriented and I invite you, after you do those three things, how can you celebrate by creating space? Maybe you can go to the beach or maybe you can go to nature. Maybe you can go to a park and then take your journal, sit, or do something. There's a big difference between task and goal-oriented, masculine, getting things done and then more passive in the being, sitting and allowing that space to resonate. We have one comment here that says, journal down by the river by myself on what makes me happy. One comment says, breathe. That's always a good one.

I'm more than happy for anyone who wants to connect with me and have a real discussion about who they are and what they want. I'm more than happy to give my time. There's only one way to get people to understand the power of coaching or the power of positive change and that is to give them that experience directly. I'm more than happy for people to contact me and do something a bit more specific with them. I would encourage people to make that space and do something specific about connecting themselves with who they are in a way that they've never done before. It needs to be something different or you're going to end up living the same life as you are now. If you're reading this, I'm guessing you want to live a different life in some way.

DFP 4 | Overcoming Self Sabotage
Overcoming Self Sabotage: Take yourself seriously because you matter.


We have one comment that ended up saying after he finishes his three things, he’ll go off to the cliff by the sea and enjoy himself. One comment says, “I have a journal. I just need to write in it. Writing makes it real.” It's so true and getting into that habit. I had fallen in and out of habits of writing and journaling and I do notice a significant difference. I will go back to a journal that I've written a year ago or two years ago and it is amazing how many things have turned into reality for me just writing it down. Sometimes you don't even realize how powerful you are, but when you write it down, you can remember like, “I remember once upon a time this was only just a dream,” and then that actually happened. It gives you more confidence as well in your ability to create.

If we want to bring some power to the people that we're connecting with right now or help them empower themselves, why don't we challenge you all to arriving with us next session with a list of ten or so values that you've boiled down from a hundred or so jottings on a piece of paper and the list of the way you consider your life segmented. Those important strands of your life as you see them. Arrive at that session with that information to hand. Not on your mind but on a piece of paper in front of you, so that if nothing else, you've empowered yourself with an incredible amount of information about yourself. I challenge you all to arrive at our next session with that.

This can even be like creating clarity challenge. One of the things we spoke at the Men's Circle was it's great to bring awareness to something. Unless you have action that follows up that awareness, it's not going to move you forward into the direction that you're desiring to go. This can be creating clarity challenge where we invite you, we will give you tools every Tuesday and we’ll challenge you because we all like challenges. The ego likes a little bit of a challenge that creates a game. I love that you inspire that action, David. All of you who are reading, come next episode with your journal and we'll start there. We'll start there with what are some of the things that you found, and you might be surprised at some of the things that you didn't even think of. You write down 100 things, come with ten and maybe even come with some that you didn't even think of and that will help you to create clarity. Then we can move into our next session from that place.

Both of us could reiterate the importance of taking your value seriously. The fact that I spent so many years doing a variety of things I didn't enjoy and then save up money to escape for a couple of weeks, a year to somewhere sunny and that sudden realization that, “What if I have a life where I didn't have to escape? I didn't have to vacate it by taking a vacation. That's so stupidly simple. Why did I not embrace that so much later in life?” Sunshine makes me feel alive and energized and awake. That makes me able to function a lot better and a lot more efficiently. It means I can have more money in less time. I could indulge with the things that I love. I can have better relationships. I didn't take it seriously and that was not serving me well. It's such a simple thing, sunshine. I just needed someone to give me permission to take it seriously. You, Amanda, you've traveled the world. You've done all these amazing things. You found the things that make you tick and inspiring other people is one of them and here you are doing it. It's so wonderful that you listened to yourself and took yourself seriously.

How we create our story today is dependent upon some of our past conditioning. Click To Tweet

Thank you, David. I reflect that right back to you. That's a huge, beautiful note to leave all of our beautiful community here who's joined us with, is take yourself seriously. You matter. We've lived in this conditioning that you're being selfish if you're putting yourself first. That's absolutely the wrong way to look at things. When you serve yourself first, when you think about yourself, you are therefore able to give so much more to others. When you fill yourself up, then you have this ability to continue to regenerate. It's from that place or from within ourselves that we begin to help each other grow and evolve as a collective. You matter, how you feel matters, what you do matters and never, ever underestimate the worst of your own self and your happiness especially.

With that being said, we've opened up some spots in our calendars for this community right here, right now to talk with us about where you're at in your space. David works with as many different clients from all over from New York. He just moved back from New York over to San Diego. We're available online and on Skype sessions and you can find us. Send us a private message. You can also go to David's or my website. Is there anything else, David, that you want to offer before we get excited to see you on Tuesday for the second tier of our creating clarity challenge?

Take yourself seriously. Life is short. No matter what your worldview is, you know that you are only conscious of this life. Right now, and every second that passes is gone, it will never re-arrive. Right now, these seconds are jumping away, why not make the very best of it? Why not take an hour every day for the next five days to do some deep introspection and externalize it? Talk to people about it, talk to us about it, write about it, draw pictures about it. Do some crazy, silly stuff for now that you wouldn't normally do that's going to teach you about yourself, then you’ll have real, tangible sense of direction that enabled you to prioritize, act, move, feel better. All the wonderful things we've been talking about. Amanda and I, we've done that. We're living that life and now we've probably still got a long way to go to get where we want to go but we're all on this journey together and we'd love to help you guys.

That sums it up, I can only speak for myself but you relate as well, David. It's finding your purpose and finding what makes you feel alive. There's no better feeling in the entire world than that. Everybody deserves to be able to feel that and everybody deserves to be able to escape the old story and the old paradigm of you having to do something to survive. What we're so passionate about is helping you find your joy and your passion and your bliss. Having gone through work with coaches in our past and gone through a lot of challenging journeys just to get to where we are. That's why we're so passionate about bringing this whole month-long challenge for you.

The last thing is definitely you should take yourself seriously, but I don't think you should take life too seriously. Make sure that you remind yourself to play and enjoy a little bit as well while you're at it. Connect with David, connect with me. We're here for you. We're creating this community. We want to deal with you, we want to grow with you. We want to see you step into your ultimate power and live the life that you dream like we've been able to do. We hope that you connect. We'll see you on the second edition of the Creating Clarity Challenge. Remember, all of you who have been here, we challenge you to write ten things down from your list of hundred and bring it to your next session so that we can start there and start to build that foundation that we're talking about.

Thanks, Amanda.

Thank you, David. I look forward to seeing you and all of you, beautiful people, as well.

Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode. I cannot tell you how much your support means. If you found this content helpful in any way, shape or form, I would love it if you share this with your friends and family. If you haven’t yet done so, please go on over to iTunes and leave us a review. Your reviews help us rank higher, which means more people can get inspired by this content and together, we can support one another to continue on our journey towards our highest and best selves.

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About David Highley

DFP 4 | Overcoming Self SabotageMy passion is to help others find theirs. For the past 30 years, I have been involved in the field of personal development.

I have qualifications in Coaching, Counseling, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Psychology, and Leadership in both England and the US. As a coach, educator and consultant, helped hundreds of people design goals and achieve them.

Originally from London, England, I now live and work in New York and San Diego, and have clients all over the world.


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