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Hello friends,

I've never written about this before. You'll soon know why (it can be confusing).

Over the past decade, my work led me into a software development approach (possibly familiar to a bunch of you) called Agile. And in the past couple of years, my interest in the topics of stress, anxiety, and overthinking led me to cognitive behavorial therapy.

The connection between Agile and cognitive behavorial therapy is what I want to describe for you all. But first, a couple definitions. Let's start with Agile methodology. When you google it, this illustration comes up (from agilenutshell.com): 
Agile is a very common form of project management used by technology companies. Where companies would once work to perfect their product before pushing it live to the public, the focus now is on pushing out a "minimum viable product." This simply means getting something out into the world to start learning. Once its out, the information that flows back creates a new feedback loop. Change is natural, and development shouldn't happen in a vacuum. In other words, you need your work to be seen by others in order to get the feedback you need to improve.    

Back to definitions. This time cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT.
CBT is a commonly used therapy modality used to treat anxiety. CBT is also incremental, like Agile. 

Here's the hard part. For people with social anxiety, (or perfectionisms) the ability to shift fear-based restrictive internal boundaries in real life is a huge part of recovery. Changing our internal monologues is crucial. Taking risks in real life around others...that's where the growth is. 

The equation I'll give you to chew on is this: Agile methodology (incremental external behavior changes) + CBT (incremental internal feedback changes) = feeling better. If we could start pushing action out into the world the way the Agile methodology tells us to, while using CBT techniques to improve our internal state, we can become learning machines that are also tuned into the impact of change.

It's a lot, I know. I'm blending two worlds. Writing this is an experiment for me.The way I'll know it worked? If I hear positive feedback from you.

Otherwise I move on to my next experiment.
Love,
Meredith
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