Do You Doubt Yourself? Good.

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

    Two things for you to think about

    There is no amount of money, love, or success that will permanently erase your insecurity or self-doubt—instead, it will just give it bigger stakes.

    You don’t remove self-doubt. You learn to act despite it.

    Do you doubt yourself? Good.

    There’s only one way to find out if your doubts are true—do it anyway.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Four things for you to ask yourself

    Where in your life do you doubt yourself? Do you let it hold you back? Why? What’s the worst thing that could happen?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Do something despite doubting you can do it. You might surprise yourself.

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

    New This Week

    40 Harsh Truths I Know at 40 but Wish I Knew at 20 – When you receive this I will have just celebrated my 40th birthday. In commemoration, I decided to document 40 life lessons that I have learned and wished I knew at 20. Many of these will be familiar to long-time readers. Many will be new. Either way, check it out.

    6 Things to Stop Doing in 2024 (to Change Your Life) – In the self-help space, everyone constantly talks about what you should be doing, which habits you should adopt, what new tricks will finally make you happy and shed those last five pounds. But rarely anyone ever discusses what you should stop doing. Or why you should want less. This is exactly what we dive into in this episode of my podcast. Check it out.

    Last week’s breakthroughs (and a question answered)

    In last week’s newsletter, I asked you to do something you’ve let your fear of criticism hold you back from doing. Our first reader finally took the plunge this week after months of being paralyzed by fear:

    Over the past year I’ve come to the realization that I want to change careers and pursue a more creative and artistic avenue. As a teenager I wanted to become a concept artist or animator and I was constantly drawing, but somehow I ended up in a corporate role. I kept it as a hobby, but it’s come to the point where drawing on the side is not enough.

    I’ve been thinking for almost nine months that I wanted to create an Instagram account, as a way to showcase some of my work and build a portfolio. But the fear of failing, or worse, the fear of being criticized by others has held me back. What if I’m not as good as I think? What if my friends and family were just being kind and I suck at drawing?

    The vicious cycle of constantly critiquing my own work, and not being satisfied with what I had created stopped me from taking the plunge…

    Until yesterday, when I created my account. Do not get me wrong, my fear has not disappeared, my imposter syndrome is still prevalent and my striving for perfection will always linger. But I’ve taken the first step.

    I’ve told some close friends who will keep me accountable and now I’m planning and drawing the content. Ironically the fear of not reaching my goal, because I was too scared to try, is what spurred me on in the end. I guess only time will tell if I can make something out of it, but I don’t want to live in fear and wonder what could have been.

    Congrats! Starting is often the hardest and most difficult part. Our next reader Jinyoung is encouraged to soldier on despite the harsh criticisms of the crowd:

    I just started a YouTube channel on my own, which took a decent amount of time planning and preparing, and the subscribers grew more than I expected (which is great and I’m thankful.) But what I realized is that even if 99% of the comments are kind, if 1% of them are mean or sarcastic, my feelings got really hurt.

    I don’t want to let other people stop me from what I want to do and your newsletter instilled in me a sense of courage. I will keep doing what I want to do even though there can be some mean comments and obstacles.

    Let me tell you, that 1% of hate will never stop feeling bad. But you eventually get good at simply not listening to it.

    Finally, José responded to my prompt to stop tearing others down with candid self-reflection:

    I struggle a lot when witnessing people do something that I wish I could do, but haven’t got around to doing due to fear, laziness, lack of will. The level of triggering anger I feel is sometimes astonishing. It is particularly pronounced (and I’m ashamed to admit this) when it’s somebody who is less privileged than I am.

    I really don’t know how to deal with this. Do you have any advice?

    You say it triggers you because you find yourself unable to do it. Channel that anger and frustration towards defeating your own inaction. Harness the energy of the anger so that it moves you towards doing it yourself.

    Anger, jealousy, envy—these feelings are human. They don’t ever go away entirely. The trick is to leverage them effectively. Turn them into fuel for yourself. Don’t be pissed they’re doing it. Be pissed you’re not doing it. Then go fucking do it.

    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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