In his book, The Art of Happiness, Dr. Cutler writes how he asked the Dalai Lama "One type of anxiety, which I think may be common, could involve fear of appearing foolish in front of others, or fear that others might think badly of you...Have you ever experienced that kind of anxiety or nervousness?   The Dalai Lama laughed and said that he did and explained that he can reduce this fear before giving a talk by reminding himself that his motive is to be of benefit to others and not to show off his knowledge.  Dr. Cutler discussed this with a student he had lunch with who had a problem with shyness.  A week later the student approached Dr. Cutler and said:

    You remember we were talking about motivation and anxiety the other day? Well I tried it out and it really works!  There's this girl who works at a department store in the mall whom I've seen a lot of times, I've always wanted to ask her out, but I don't know her and I've always felt too shy and anxious, so I've never even talked to her.   Well, the other day I went in again, but this time I started thinking about my motivation for asking her out.  My motivation, of course, is that I'd like to date her.  But behind that is just the wish that I could find someone whom I can love and who will love me.  When I thought about it, I realized that there is nothing wrong with that, that my motivation was sincere, I didn't wish any harm to her or myself, but only good things.  Just keeping that in mind, and reminding myself of it a few times, seemed to help somehow, it gave me the courage to strike up a conversation with her.   My heart was still pounding, but I feel great that at least I was able to get up the nerve to speak with her."




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