Does Fear Control You?

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499 people had breakthroughs so far this week. Will one of them be you?

Two things for you to think about

Fear doesn’t control us by dominating our emotions. It controls us by quietly convincing us that our comfort is more important than happiness.

The only real risk is taking no risks. The only real failure is having no failures. The only real pain is the avoidance of pain.

Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

Two things for you to ask yourself

When in your life have you chosen comfort over happiness? Are you choosing comfort over happiness right now? What have been the repercussions of that choice?

Who would you be if you felt no need to stay comfortable and safe? How would your life be different today?

Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

One thing for you to try this week

What is something you can do this week that is both uncomfortable yet good for you? Try it and see what happens.

It could be something as big as ending a bad relationship or as small as getting yourself to exercise for twenty minutes. But do it and note how it makes you feel about yourself—not how it makes you feel, but how it makes you feel about how you feel.

(Note: I call these ‘meta-emotions’ and wrote an article about them here.)

Ideally, it feels bad but makes you feel good about having felt bad. This is the sweet spot. This is where we want to live. This is who we want to be.

Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went.


A quick note from Mark

Welcome to The Breakthrough, my new weekly newsletter.

Every Monday morning, I will send you one (or more) ideas to think about, one (or more) questions to ask yourself, and one (or more) actions to take at some point during the week.

Then, I’d love to hear back from you on how it went. Each week, I will feature people’s stories in this space of some breakthrough they had in their lives, large or small. The idea is that the newsletter generates a virtuous cycle:

  1. I provide some small, but impactful, ideas and suggestions.
  2. Those small ideas and actions lead to real breakthroughs in readers’ lives.
  3. Sharing those stories back to the newsletter list then generates ideas and inspiration for more people’s breakthroughs.

So, please, if the content of this email or the action you’ve taken as a result of it has sparked any sort of change or breakthrough in your life—it could be as small as realizing you’ve been wrong about something all along or as large as selling your house and living on a boat in Tahiti—reply to this email and let me know.

I’d love to hear about it. And it will help the community that we’re building here together.

Also, if you love the concept for this newsletter, then I’d also ask that you forward it to people you know who might love it as well. The more people we can get on board, the more impactful the experience will be for all of us.

Obviously, this is an experiment. And it may fail spectacularly.

But it’s an important enough idea that I am comfortable with that potential failure. In that way, I feel good about the prospect of feeling bad. That’s the sweet spot. And I’m living in it.

Until next week,

Mark Manson

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author
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