How to Be Yourself by Ellen Hendriksen – Notes, Quotes and Highlights

Know your best “you” is in there. It’s the you that surfaces around people with whom you are comfortable—your confidants, your closest family—or when you’re savoring your solitude. That’s the real you.

Just like a commitment to working out strengthens the body, a commitment to practicing thinking and acting differently strengthens the brain.

All our preparatory freaking out and after-the-fact self-flagellation not only doesn’t help; it actually sets us back, which is the exact opposite of what we were going for.

If arguing with our Inner Critic and changing our dire thoughts and fears was Replace, creating for ourselves a supportive environment from which we can try hard things is Embrace.

If you’re anticipating, 5-4-3-2-1 reels you in from the future; if you’re ruminating, it gently shepherds you back from the past.

Allow yourself to listen to every sound without responding. If your mind starts making a grocery list or playing back laundry detergent jingles, just bring it back to the sounds around you.

“I can do hard things. I’ve done lots of hard things in my life and I’ve always come out the other side.”

“I start talking to them as if a relationship had already been established, as if we’d known each other for a very long time.”

Failure to get a yes didn’t mean that he was a failure. It just meant that this time didn’t work out and he could try again.

It’s also called fake it till you make it. And it works. Why? When you see yourself doing it, you start to believe you can.

We don’t have to wait until we feel like doing something before we do it. Instead, we start doing it, and the feeling will catch up.

Rather than seeing social anxiety as a ball and chain that keeps you mired in place, you can pick up the ball and bring it along.

Rather than waiting until we feel ready, we can get out there to practice, and our confidence will catch up.

In technical speak, facing your fears is called exposure, which sounds like either a misdemeanor or something that happens at latitude, but really, it’s just a fancy name for practice.

The success of your task is independent of the outcome. The only bar: Did you do it? Yes? Gold star for you.

Getting over anxiety was like getting into a bath of hot water: at first unpleasant, but after a while they’d get used to it and feel better.

Act as if you were not anxious, drop your safety behaviors, and not only will you feel better; you’ll also get a better response. And guess what? No one can tell you’re acting. Guess what else? Eventually, you won’t be.

“It was surprising how easy it was to get a yes. I realized how many opportunities I missed because I was afraid of people rejecting me, but I was just rejecting myself.”

When we selectively zoom in on turned backs and grumpy scowls, we miss the nodding heads and smiling faces surrounding them.

What we imagine in our mind’s eye—the funhouse mirror—is distorted. So don’t ask your anxiety how you look. Instead, remember that seeing is believing.

We’re each at the center of our own worlds, but we forget that every other person is in the same position.

“Exposure” is simply the word for going through your fear, not around it, and realizing not only is it not so bad, after some practice, it’s boring.

If something rude is said it says more about them than you. Being judged does not render the judgers correct.

We hold ourselves to strict, near-impossible standards but are understanding and compassionate to everyone else.

Remember that people put their best foot forward on social media, posting only the highlight reel of their lives.

JOMO, or the joy of missing out. JOMO is the deliberate choice to enjoy the moment one is actually in.

If we wait until we’re guaranteed to lob a perfectly timed, wittily incisive comment, we’ll probably stand there silently.

Ending conversation is another safety behavior—we’re trying to save ourselves from the anxiety. But we trade the anxiety of the moment for loneliness in the long run.

But don’t base success on the other person’s response. Don’t base success on how nervous you feel. Base success only on what you do.

People are touched when you show up to their events, and more important, it moves your friendship to another context and therefore another level.

What’s your favorite line so far?

Click here to get a copy of the book. 

Published by

Forever Winter

Just reading and writing my way out of this messy adult life! I have transitioned from having piles of notebooks stacked underneath my bed from writing on the internet and allowing people worldwide to read.

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