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Extreme Support Challenge: Day 15: Endless Problem Syndrome

Life is essentially an endless series of problems. The solution to one problem is merely the creation of another.

Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

At the beginning of my Support Challenge, every time I asked for help I would get a vulnerability hangover. The first few days were spent in almost non-stop anxiety, because I had so many uncomfortable feelers out there, all of which could have come back rejected.

All of that anxiety was a problem, but it’s a better to be anxious about being rejected than it is to be anxious about wondering if I’d ever live up to my potential.

Before I would numb to avoid looking at all the ways I procrastinating or failing to live up to my full potential. Now I numb from being more vulnerable than I can comfortably sit with in the aftermath. I could look at that and say, “I’m still doing the same damn numbing despite all this effort!” But the progress I’ve made is equivalent to the difference between an addict recreationally using painkillers to get through my everyday life, and someone using them prescriptively to recover from surgery.

If I’m not careful, it’s easy to lose perspective. It’s easy to get discouraged by the ways in which all these problems keep cropping up despite my efforts. When in truth, these qualitatively better problems cropping up BECAUSE of my efforts.

And the fact that I’m writing about all the things that I’m learning now that I’m getting plenty of support, instead of writing about asking for support itself, isn’t a sign that I’m straying from the challenge. It’s a sign that what’s challenging for me has evolved. And I’m following that evolution.

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