Would You Date Yourself?

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

    Two things for you to think about

    The only real dating advice is self-improvement. The best way to meet an incredible person is to become an incredible person.

    Would you date or marry yourself? If not, then that’s a fucking problem.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Two things for you to ask yourself

    Are your expectations of your partner in line with your expectations of yourself? Are those expectations realistic?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Here in the US, it’s Valentine’s Day this week, a (supposedly) romantic holiday. Use this week to reflect on your romantic relationships (or lack of them) and align your actions with your expectations. I’ve observed over the years that many people who are chronically single or struggling in relationships, it’s because they inaccurately gauge what they’re giving and what they’re getting in return.

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

    New This Week

    I Tested the Worst Self-Help Products Ever Made – Did you know that you can program your brain to be smarter by shining lasers into your eyes? I’m kidding. Of course you can’t program your brain. Nor should you shine lasers into your eyes.

    But that didn’t stop the SuperMind Brainwave Syncronizer from being released in 1988. The product was quickly banned. Why? Because it was giving people seizures. Oops.

    In my latest YouTube video, I review some of the most ridiculous and terrible self-help products from the last 50 years. I also explain what makes bad self-help products, well, bad. And why people are so easily duped into buying them. This was a fun one. Check it out.

    3 Questions That Determine 99% of Your Happiness – We tend to overestimate how much you have to do to actually be happy. But what if I told you that achieving happiness is much simpler than you think? The smallest lifestyle changes can have the most unexpected knock-on effects towards positive change. It’s actually quite incredible once you experience it.

    In this podcast episode, we delve into three of the most important questions that you can ask yourself in determining your own levels of happiness. Check it out.

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    In last week’s newsletter, I asked you to stop giving a fuck about embarrassing yourself and go do something cringeworthy.

    Danielle shared the rewards from pushing through her cringe:

    This past year I decided to move through my fear to start a Youtube channel (which is pretty much the definition of cringe for a new creator).

    My fear of judgment and embarrassment held me back from doing this for years. I was so afraid of what other people would think about me, especially my close friends and family. What if I fail? What if no one cares what I have to say? What if people make fun of me?

    I was so afraid that I actually cried while making my first video, but I also decided at that moment that I wouldn’t let my fear stop me. I would never know what I was capable of if I didn’t try, and the only guarantee that I would ‘fail’ would come from giving up.

    My first video was cringy as hell, but I was honestly so proud of myself for doing it. I kept going (getting a little less cringy each time), and have been so blown away by what’s come of it. I’ve connected with people all over the world, learned more about myself, expressed my creativity, and learned not to take things so personally.

    Jeanne had the biggest cringe of her life last week, and things actually turned out OK:

    I’m from a conservative Christian family, community, and city in the Midwest and lived within a 25-mile radius my entire first 48 years. I moved to a new state four years ago and for the first time in my life realized I didn’t just have to do what I was ‘supposed’ to and I could pick my friends, hell I could actually question my beliefs!

    So long story short I am beginning a journey of becoming a sex coach. And last week I inadvertently shared on social media way more details of my personal sexual journey than I ever planned to share. I cut/pasted the wrong text under the picture I wanted to post.

    It was the biggest cringe in my life so far. I was sick. But the loving texts, calls, and posts are rolling in with how much courage I have and their love and support.

    Finally, cringe doesn’t only come with social media blunders, it can go much deeper, as Anna is experiencing:

    Strangely enough, the thought that came into my head in response to your question this week was ‘I’m embarrassed to be a single 39-year-old woman.’

    I’m in the midst of deciding if my current relationship should continue or not and, well, I’m leaning towards not. I have tried so hard to make this work and I’m so unhappy. But I am terrified of being a cliché: the well-educated, with a great job, my own home, divorced middle-aged woman… I don’t want to be ‘that.’

    To be single again just feels pathetic and mortifying. I know that is not a good reason to stay in a relationship that is not working. I know I need to let go of that shame and hold on to what is possible on the other side. I have no idea what could be out there for me… but ugh… this is going to suck.

    Women get judged extra harshly for this. Without getting into all the reasons that might be so, perhaps simply see this as an opportunity to own it and try to change the social perception around the single middle-aged woman?

    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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