Is This the Cure to Anxiety?

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    83 people had breakthroughs this week. Will the next one be you?

    Two things for you to think about

    It’s not people’s job to show you what’s interesting or great about themselves. It’s your job to find it. This is life, not a sales convention.

    Curiosity is the cure to social anxiety. When you’re focused on discovering who they are, you will stop worrying about what they think about who you are.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Three things for you to ask yourself

    Think of some people in your life that you’ve written off, felt judged by, or judged yourself—what is something you could learn about them? What could you try to find out about them? What might you have in common?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    You guessed it: this week, go try to find one of those things out.

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

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    Last week’s email asked you to do three things: seek out a productive conflict, seek out some productive anxiety, and seek out a little bit of productive selfishness. Then see if the world ends (spoiler: it didn’t).

    Mindy got a good night’s sleep after initiating a difficult yet necessary conversation:

    You always seem to send advice at the right place and time. I’ve been dealing with a man I met about 6 weeks ago and the last 10 days I’ve been very stressed about it and it has been disrupting my sleep greatly. I decided I could not allow this situation to disrupt my life. So I sent him a very nice, calm, and factual text. In it, I asked to sit down face to face to have a conversation… communication! If we can’t communicate then there is no relationship of any kind. We should both just move on. His response was do what you need to do. I was very proud of myself for taking the high road. I was proud that I stood up for my well-being. That night and the past few nights I have slept really well.

    A few weeks ago, I asked you to stop being past-obsessed and add something to your life. Elizabeth went and did just that, and in the process transformed her anxiety into hope for the future:

    I believed it was impossible for me to drive again after an accident three years ago but, inspired by your email, I took the first exploratory step and booked a refresher driving lesson. Then today, I met a friend from school (who I haven’t seen since) and she has TWO cars she might be able to sell me… Amazing to even *think* it’s possible I might drive again!

    And even though I dreamt about being in an accident last night, I’m going to take this week’s advice and learn to live with the anxiety it’s provoked.

    As others have said, wish me luck!

    Embracing a little productive selfishness, another reader stopped stressing about carving off personal time from work:

    ‘I want to be perfect in everything’ was my thinking before reading your book The Subtle Art and articles about productivity.

    Now I’m at peace and know that only 4-5 hours of work is enough for a day. And the rest of the time I can spend with my loved ones. I used to be very stressed and had this mental burden all the time that I’m falling behind, but not anymore.

    Finally, a reader’s tip for starting a writing habit. Last week we saw how Stefanie’s fancy journal motivated her to write. This week we hear from Rich who had a different approach:

    A couple years ago, I did as Stefanie did: went and bought the super fancy posh journal and the super stupid expensive pen and proceeded to not use them at all. I can’t bear the thought of defacing it with my scribbles. Plus, I’m a much better typist than freehand writer… So, entered an online journaling app. So far I’ve written well in excess of half a million words using it, and my advice here is: find a solution that works for you.

    As always, send your breakthroughs by simply replying to this email. Let me know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.

    Until next week,

    Mark Manson

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
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