Don’t rely on others for your identity

If you’re worried about your job isn’t cool enough, you’re perhaps in it for what it contributes to your identity. Perhaps you’re worried by your girlfriend’s ex-boyfriends and think you’re a lesser man because of it. Maybe you’re stressed about your kid’s grades in school, or annoyed by your neighbor who has a bigger car and a younger wife. You’re thinking about an old classmate who now owns a mansion. You’re worried by the funny yet weird things your wife blurts out. You love her but you worry what others think. And any relationship you have is in part not for the relationship itself but the identity you derive from it.

Any time you rely on people/things/jobs/etc for your identity you’re going to get annoyed/stressed/angry/sad/etc because of the flaws you’ll find in them, and it’ll make you anxious because you think it makes you see yourself as a lesser person.

For me, the only thing that instantly releases all anxiety is to remind myself that the only long-term solution to any of this is to just be a better person. Tell yourself: Whatever mistakes I’ve made, or the people around me, I’ll do better tomorrow. Be healthier, walk more, run more, read more books, write more, think more, understand more. It’s all within my own control. And that’s beautiful.