Why We Avoid Taking Action

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

    Two things for you to think about

    Speak as if you know what you’re talking about. Listen as if you don’t. Act as a way to find out.

    Most people wait until they are certain before they act. But you will never be certain of anything until you act.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Two things for you to ask yourself

    What are you waiting around for certainty for before acting? Is that certainty ever realistically going to come without doing anything to find out?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Take action this week on something without being certain of the result. Let me know what you learn.

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

    New This Week

    How Modern Dating Became Such a Dumpster Fire (ft. Sadia Khan) – Let’s be honest: the modern dating landscape is a shit show. From declining marriage rates and rising infidelity to the nightmare of dating apps—it’s brutal out there. With all these supposedly “easy” ways to meet new people, why are the people who want long-term, stable relationships so fed up with the dating world? In this podcast episode, dating and relationships coach Sadia Khan provides her refreshing, thought-provoking perspective on how modern dating is sabotaging long-term happiness, and what you can do about it. Check it out.

    Last week’s breakthroughs (and a question answered)

    In last week’s newsletter, I asked you to distance yourself from someone who is not in your life for the right reasons. This hit our first reader hard:

    This is an issue I’ve had for most of my life, having people in my life for the wrong reasons. Sometimes they were in my life just to have someone to party with, and I was OK with it because I wanted to do the same. Sometimes I felt lonely and made bad decisions when choosing ‘friends’ or guys to date.

    It always led to drama, being used, and hanging around people that simply didn’t give a fuck about me and that made me feel even more lonely and hurt.

    It wasn’t until I had hypertensive emergency that I realized I had to make major changes in my life, and cutting these people out was one of them.

    I wasn’t their party buddy anymore. I wasn’t interested in talking about guys or hearing their drama anymore. I just started being ‘selfish’ and doing me. I ignored messages, declined invites, and it felt liberating.

    For sure I was the ‘bad guy’ and had people talking behind my back, but I simply didn’t care. They weren’t my friends. I didn’t need to be liked.

    I now have friends that are real friends, with the same healthy habits and hobbies. They care about my health, check in on me, and never bring me drama or make my nervous system feel out of whack. My cut-off game is strong now because I never wanna go back to the feeling of being surrounded by people and still feeling lonely.

    We could all benefit from rooting the wrong people out of our lives. But what if we’re the problem? This is precisely the question Kat asked herself:

    This week’s email was a good reflection point as I’ve been thinking back on a relationship I walked away from.

    At one point, I realized that I wasn’t very supportive of my former friend. She’d excitedly tell me something she did and I’d struggle to find something nice to say. Not because I didn’t want her to be happy, but because our moral compasses were different and the things she was excited about pushed my ethical boundaries. I couldn’t support her actions when I disagreed with them or thought they were inconsiderate.

    I recognized this and asked myself, am I being a good friend if I can’t be happy for her? Which led to, if I cannot be happy for her as she is, why am I still her friend? I realized I was staying in the friendship to be ‘helpful,’ hoping she would learn to be more considerate; I wanted her to be someone else, the person I wanted her to be and not the person she currently was.

    I wasn’t showing up the way I want to as a friend, and the friendship wasn’t helpful for either of us. I chose to step away from it. It was hard, but it was the right choice.

    To end, a question:

    Wholeheartedly agree with the ‘cleaning up your friend circle’ approach.

    However, as I discovered over the last six months, once I start doing that, I almost have nobody left. When you start distancing yourself from toxic people you realize most people in the world are pretty toxic or flawed.

    But we still need friends. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    There is a huge difference between “toxic” and “flawed.” Everyone is flawed. Flaws are okay and need to be okay, otherwise you will spend the rest of your life alone.

    Toxic is different. Toxic is when people are manipulative, demeaning, self-serving, or codependent. The whole world is not toxic. When you remove the toxicity from yourself, you will begin to find them. And you’ll realize, they were around you all along—in fact, they’re probably the people you used to talk shit with.

    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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