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Beyond approval addiction

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Just making a quick check-in... had a good day today - while I'm still in the early stages of the PU course, I'm finding the focus on healthy leadership really great... it's a much more positive and cooperative framing/mindset than so many of the other resources out there... I really enjoyed taking the role of leader in conversation at my lunch meeting today, and I could see that it was a more positive experience for the man I was meeting with as well... feeling good!

Today's actions:

  • Two social calls (widening my social circle)
  • Lunch meeting



Well, it’s been a demented two weeks for me… the project I was working on finally came to a climax yesterday, and I’m happy to say it seems to have been a big success… the final furlong was crazy, though… lots and lots of moving parts, wheels falling off carriages right, left and center, and a whole lot of frayed nerves and frustrated ‘personalities’… We got there though, and it’s been a hit..

There were a couple of particularly difficult personalities, who started getting into what I can only describe as ‘aggressive complaning’. I can generally handle that stuff without losing my shit, but the more important thing for me is how it impacts me internally and emotionally. Framing is so important here, and I made a point of seeing those moments as opportunities to embrace disapproval and judgement from others… there may always be conflictiv situations in big projects, especially when deadlines get close and high-stress/pressure starts to emerge… the important thing for me at a personal level, however, is getting comfortable with the disapproval of others…

The whole project was good practice for leadership skills, but I’ve been a disconnected from other areas of self-development work, especially the social stuff, which I’m getting back into today..

Glad to be reconnected to the forum and looking forward to a little more sanity for the next few weeks..

Todays actions:

  • Social outreach - 2 calls

Well done, Zen, congrats on the new project!

If you want to share some of those cases of aggressive complaining, happy to read and give some feedback / opinion.

By the way, the title of this journal says "addition", let me know if you want me to fix the typo -"addiction"-.

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Hi there Lucio,

Yes indeed... that would be great if you could correct the typo in the journal title... I noticed it myself but it was too late to fix it... Thanks!



Sorry took me longer because I was clicking on the top post and thinking "why doesn't it work anymore". But it was the top post of the second page, duh! 🙂

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Great... thanks @lucio!

Hi there folks,

So I went to a French recovery meeting this evening... it's definitely something I need to do a lot more of, both to practice and improve my French, and to push past the insecurity I have about speaking French in public...  The approval-dependent side of my personality doesn't like to do anything were I might look 'stupid' or come across as foolish, and it's something I really want to get over... As in so many other little day-to-day interactions, it provides an opportunity to throw a spotlight on my fears around the opinions of others, and to squash them...

It was surprising to me just how anxious I was when it came my turn to speak... perhaps that's partly because I haven't done it in a while, but I can see that it was definitely useful and I'm glad I did it... I'm planning to go do another one tomorrow evening...

All the best,


Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Rock on, Lucas.

"Stagefright" is as common as it can be overwhelming.
There is a mantra repeated often among speakers:

A survey showed that number 1 fear of people is public speaking, followed by death.
So most people in a funeral would rather be in the casked, than delivering a eulogy.

And yes, speaking a language you haven't mastered yet is such a quick and powerful way of taking you back to a "low-competence situation".

At that stage, you can't rely anymore on skills for your confidence, and everything has to come within you.

That actually might be a great way to test how truly antifragile one has become.

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I do remember my first public speech at a Toastmasters meeting.
Overwhelming and I ended up speaking too fast.

Lucas, I can resonate with learning French! (Maybe not in business situations.)
I am still far from competent in the language in any form (spoken, written).

I heard stories about Paris not being friendly towards foreigners.
A while ago, I went there anxious but eager to practise my French. (why else did I learn French for?)

When my mindset initially was on "not making mistakes", I was anxious in every social situation.
I read the Google-translate message on my phone for a few minutes before daring to practise the phrases.
And I felt embarrassed whenever the waiter for example gave me the puzzled look. ("What on earth is this guy saying? Is he speaking French or English?")
By now, you can tell that I am a beginner.

Remembering that it was a holiday and I was there to have fun with learning the language,
I decided to hold my google translate in one hand and speak on the go.
When confused, "Attends une seconde" and "Pardonnez-moi" were my go-to words.

People were actually quite forgiving of my mistakes.
Looking back, it has become a funny memory of how I struggled to learn the language.

It has been a while since I practised French as well.
Probably going to be a bit anxious when doing it again.
But quite possible to re-frame it as excitement from a growth mindset since the physical sensations are quite similar.
Antifragile training indeed!

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Lucio BuffalmanoZenDancer

Hi there folks!

I haven't posted in a while.. got a bit lost in the end-of-year work crush and then getting back into the swing of things for 2021. I'm back into life in locked-down Paris, though, and still in need to opportunities to practice French. I've decided to rent a spot in a coworking space for a couple of months. It's all socially distanced etc, but will at least put me in an environment where I'm pretty much obliged to speak French each day...

I've also been making a lot more outreach calls. Having been in 12-step fellowships for many years, this latest phase of growth and learning in my life has really made me see how prone I have been to making myself small and seeking safety rather than a bigger social life. I've been to a few SLAA meetings (sex and love addicts anonymous) because I really identify with the 'social anorexia' characteristics they talk about... it's been hugely positive so far, though I do think there can be a risk of over-psycho-pathologising everything...

Anyway, looking forward to getting further out of my comfort zone in the week ahead!

Thanks folks,


Lucio Buffalmano, Matthew Whitewood and John Freeman have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew WhitewoodJohn Freeman
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