Never Give This Up, No Matter What

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

    Two things for you to think about

    The person you have to spend the most time listening to in your life is yourself. Try not to lose their respect.

    Validation is approval from others. Self-esteem is approval from yourself. Never sacrifice your self-esteem to gain validation. Validation is easily regained once lost. Self-esteem is not.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Two things for you to ask yourself

    In what ways have you sacrificed your self-respect in favor of validation from others? What have the results in your life been?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    What’s one area of your life where you can stand up for yourself and prioritize your self-respect and values over the perception or judgment of others? Challenge yourself to do that once this week. What does it look like? What does it feel like?

    Email me and let me know.

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

    Last week’s breakthroughs (and a question answered)

    In last week’s newsletter, I asked you to practice curiosity in one area of your life by asking questions and seeing what comes back. Turns out this is a task Glori, a therapist, also regularly sets for her clients:

    I am a relationship therapist and I tell my clients that my favorite word is curiosity! When we’re curious, we’re less critical, more open-minded, it engenders empathy, and we have the opportunity to learn more about our partners.

    Some of the questions that I suggest they ask are:

    • What’s important about that to you?
    • Can you tell me more about that?
    • Is there something that you’d like me to do differently?

    If [both people] are willing to engage in this they can get to a place of navigating conflict and decision-making together.

    But curiosity isn’t just for therapists. Clients are riding the curiosity train to the therapist’s office as well:

    About a year ago, someone I had strong feelings for abruptly disappeared when I was going through a hard time. The other day, she sent me a text message out of the blue, wanting to reconnect. Her message had a strong effect on me, stirring up old hurts. After getting over the initial surprise, I came to the realization that I had to maintain my boundaries and protect myself, so I told her how I felt and made it clear I didn’t want any more contact.

    The experience wasn’t fun, but what it highlighted for me is that abandonment has been an outsized source of pain in my life and I have never handled it well. I can think back 35 years to times when I was left out of something as a teenager and took things much harder than I think I could have. On the flip side, I can remember times when I overextended and exhausted myself by not letting go of others when I should have.

    This is where I’ve decided to take my curiosity. I’ll be seeing my therapist for the first time in a while and exploring some old journals to find those other times when that feeling of abandonment cut me so deeply. It may hurt a bit but I know the journey is going to be worthwhile.

    And finally, here’s a classic case of curiosity beating anxiety:

    I’m starting a new job at a new school. I was getting caught up in all the anxiety of not knowing exactly where to go and how to do things or even who to ask for help. But if I reframe those thoughts into a curiosity, I can discover not only the information I need but also tons more about my new coworkers, the school building and all the offerings at this very cool tech high school that I am now lucky enough to be a part of!

    This week’s question is a practical one that might be helpful for all you hiring managers out there:

    I recognize curiosity as a positive character trait. How would I conduct a job interview to discover the curiosity of a job candidate?

    This is a great question and curiosity is definitely something I look for when I hire as well. First, you look for people who have a wide variety of experiences in their lives. Curious people tend to find themselves in all sorts of places and with some unexpected hobbies or stories.

    Secondly, I’d simply ask them, “What have you been most curious about lately?” or “What are you enjoying learning about at the moment?” and then gauge the answer by originality, enthusiasm, and unpredictability.

    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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