#8: Escape Negative Thoughts, Stoic Social Skills, and the Art of Leadership

Plus recommended resources and off-the-beaten-path links

🏹 Stoic Wisdom Arrows

🙋What Is Stoicism? Allan and Jon Discuss: Creator of WhatIsStoicism.com, Allan, shares his journey into Stoicism and how it has helped him find meaning and purpose in life. Listen here.

🌪️ How to Escape Negative Thoughts: What does one do when one can’t stop the incessant compulsion to ruminate and overthink? Here’s my answer.

🍃 The Art of Leadership and Self-Reflection: Tune into my conversation with Justin Noppé on what it means to lead with wisdom. Listen here.

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🧰 Stoic Toolbox: The 3 Levels of Wise Interpretation

In CBT one of the 10 classic cognitive distortions is self-blame or other-blame. Reducing the complex web of cause and effect to “he did this” or “this is all my fault” is not even close to reasonable. And with this in mind, you can examine the way you make sense of your misery, especially when it comes to placing blame, to see where you’re at in your journey and where you have to go.

  1. The Ignorant Person: Blames others and the world for their misery.

  2. Stoic-in-Training: Blames oneself for his misery.

  3. The Wise Person: Never needs to blame themselves or others for his misery but examines and corrects their initial judgment.

Read the full article here.

Technique Try Out: Anti-Approval Seeking

In the book Not Nice, Dr. Aziz provides 15 examples of approval seeking. When you seek approval from others too much, he writes:

“…it can feel like you’re walking through life like a student who is wandering the halls without a hall pass. At any time, someone might jump out and chastise you for doing something wrong, and they’d be justified. This creates a chronic unease and fear that makes it very hard to relax, let go, enjoy your relationships, feel love, and be in the moment. It undermines your self-esteem because you value others’ opinions more than your own; it sucks the joy out of life.”

Here is the list:

  1. Avoiding No

  2. Hesitation

  3. Nervous Laughter

  4. Difficulty with Endings

  5. Overly Agreeable

  6. Avoiding Disagreement

  7. Fear of Judgment

  8. Fear of Upset

  9. Pressure to Entertain

  10. Second Guessing & Conversational Replays

  11. Habitual Apologies

  12. Submissive Body Language

  13. Putting Others First

  14. Not Stating Desires

  15. Attempting to Fit In & Impress

Dr. Aziz recommends you locate the one you do the most, and then whenever you are in that situation repeat the mantra:

“I don’t need your approval.”

Give it a try this week, and keep the mantra ready at hand.

This comprehensive course with 10+ video modules featuring Jon Brooks and Eric Brown, is designed to help you conquer social anxiety and develop unshakable confidence.

🥾 Off the Beaten Path

Here are a collection of things I’m currently finding interesting and worthy of sharing here. They are not limited to Stoic philosophy.

🎼 What I’m listening to:

A lot of layered meaning in the lyrics, and beautiful melodies, and created by a really talented and creative mind.

📚What I’m Reading

Really enjoying this book. Written by a self-confessed workaholic who had a heart attack and nearly died, then started deeply investigating how he was living. This book is the result of his search.

📱 App I’m Using

I am not a big fan of aiming “streaks” when it comes to habit tracking. Instead, I like to use habit trackers as memory devices that give me an overall picture of my lifestyle. This app uses a gorgeous grid layout to help you visualize your habits from a zoomed-out perspective.

🤝 Friend of Wisdom

I hope you enjoyed this episode of The Stoic Handbook Newsletter. Feel free to reply and let me know what you think.

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