Success Engine: You Are Not Broken

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Today At A Glance

  • Question: Do you have the best information for improving your mental health?
  • Deep Dive: The problems with the modern-day mental health narrative.
  • What I’m Thinking About: How our emotions impact our decisions.

reading time: 3 minutes


Do you have the best information for improving your mental health?

From 2002 to 2019, 148% more US adults received mental health treatment or counseling. While it’s great that the mental health narrative is spreading, we must be careful. That’s because a quickly spreading narrative often becomes distorted.

Unfortunately, many use the wrong information when working on their mental health. As a result, they end up making their situation worse.

In this week’s deep dive, I’ll discuss two places where the modern-day mental health narrative goes wrong. Then I’ll share some helpful tips for dealing with difficult emotions.

Deep Dive

If you like this week’s deep dive, my full-length video and article go even deeper.

Problems With The Modern-Day Mental Health Narrative

Some mental health disorders involve intense negative emotions like anxiety, sadness, and fear. People with these conditions experience emotions that are so strong that they disrupt their daily lives.

Unfortunately, misinformation about these disorders has made people think that all negative emotions are bad, which is incorrect and creates two major problems.

Problem 1: The Spiral

When you think that all negative emotions are bad, you start believing that something is wrong with you whenever you experience them. This belief creates unnecessary problems.

For example, assume someone who doesn’t have a mental health disorder goes through a breakup after a 10-year romantic relationship. As a result, this person feels lonely.

If they believe it’s wrong to feel lonely, they’ll begin to feel guilty whenever they experience the emotion. Next, they’ll feel anxious about feeling lonely in the future. Finally, when the loneliness returns, they’ll ask questions like, “What’s wrong with me?” which inevitably leads to feeling angry and resentful about their situation.

Unfortunately, this problem isn’t limited to loneliness. Any negative emotion can kickstart the spiral. And sadly, I think the spiral is the root cause of many mental health problems. Because once you get caught in the spiral, your life and mental health can easily spin out of control.

Problem 2: The Illusion Of Control

It seems like everywhere you look, you see messages like “stop negative thoughts,” “end anxiety,” and “always be happy.”

Unfortunately, these messages lead people to believe they can control their emotions. And I believe this is one of the most harmful ideas in the modern-day mental health narrative.

Everyone feels negative emotions, and that’s completely normal. In fact, it would be strange if we didn’t. Even though negative emotions can be challenging, they play an essential role.

For example, fear helps us know when we’re in danger. Remembering a painful past can teach us valuable lessons. And worrying about the future is vital for our survival.

So understand that it’s ok to experience negative emotions. Feeling nervous before a first date, sad when your dog dies, or lonely after a divorce is completely normal. And denying this fact often leads to the spiral.

How To Deal With Difficult Emotions

1. Don’t Let Negative Emotions Influence Your Behavior

Negative emotions can be problematic when they take over your life or lead to poor decisions. It happens when you let them control your actions.

2. Take Positive Action Despite Negative Emotions

For example, try to go out and socialize if feeling lonely makes you self-isolate. Don’t let your emotions hold you back from living your life.

3. Try Mindfulness Meditation

Research shows that even short meditation sessions can be beneficial. So give it a try if you’re struggling with negative feelings. My app Awair can help you get started for free.

4. Realize You’re Probably Not Broken

True mental health disorders are less common than we think. Don’t assume something is wrong with you because you experience negative emotions. Many people mistakenly label normal feelings as disorders.

Liking cleanliness doesn’t mean you have OCD, and struggling to focus on boring tasks doesn’t automatically mean you have ADHD. Likewise, feeling anxious doesn’t mean you have an anxiety disorder.

Changing your belief from “I’m broken” to “I’m ok” can have a powerful impact on your life. So embrace your emotions and strive for a healthier mindset.

Want More?

Check out my full-length video and article on mental health.

What I’m Thinking About

How Our Emotions Impact Our Decisions

When it comes to decision-making, we often believe we are logical beings, carefully weighing the pros and cons before making a rational choice. However, the truth is that our emotions heavily influence our decisions.

Emotions have a way of coloring our perception and subtly guiding our judgment, sometimes without us even realizing it. They can sway us towards certain options and push us away from others.

I often step back and ask myself how my emotions influence my decisions. This task is challenging, but it can lead to some powerful discoveries.

Recently, I realized that I was too worried about perfection, so I reminded myself that good and done is better than perfect and not done.

So here are my questions for you.

  1. How have your emotions influenced your recent decisions?
  2. Could you make a better decision if you ignore the emotion?

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that the information presented in this email is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The creator of this email is not a licensed financial advisor and any decisions made based on this information are at your own risk. It’s important to consult with a qualified financial professional before making any financial decisions, as this information does not consider individual investment goals, risk preferences, or financial situations. Please remember that past performance does not guarantee future results, and all investments involve risk, including the potential loss of your initial investment.


Chris Thornham 80/20 Financial Planner
Take Control Of Your Finances

Reduce financial stress, reach financial freedom, and achieve financial goals like buying a home, paying off debt, and investing for retirement.

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