It's got integrity, and it's me. If one gallery doesn't like it, another one will. Still, being a salesman invoked a totally different set of skills from those of an artist--or so at first Anthony believed. It felt as though being an artist and a huckster of art were mutually exclusive roles. How could he be one without sacrificing the other? But that's where the as if technique proved of enormous value. Because in order to sell to galleries, Anthony didn't need to be a salesman. He needed only to act as if he were one--wear the clothes, talk the talk, act the part. When I finished--probably only a minute or two later--I felt the way one feels after vomiting bile, rot, and other poisons you've brought on yourself: Spent. Also better, momentarily. But while I hadn't seen myself spitting fire, John and Hattie had witnessed the whole mess of it. Hattie, on John's knee, was paralyzed by surprise, and her eyes were as big as planets. John's face was hard. He was sitting right in front of me, but when he spoke it was as a person far away. Do not act that way in front of our daughter again, he said. I could say nothing. I only stood, vibrating with conflict adrenaline. I'd been intensely sure of myself while screaming, but now my family was unsure of me. By awakening different perspectives in your mind, you will tend to be less swayed by thoughts of depression and anxiety disorder. Because you know better through CBT, you're more mature, both in the emotional and intellectual terms.

This, in turn, brings you to the realization that CBT is not a life-long process of therapy. Sure, it can go on for longer periods in more advanced cases, but it will stop the moment you learn to take care of your mental health on your own. At the very core, the method attempts to reprogram your mind to think in other ways, and not the just boxed-up perspective you've had before you started. The sooner you start and the better effort you put in, the sooner and better you'll feel. As with any scientific approach, CBT operates through an interpretation of how our minds and behaviors work. From the word cognitive, we derive the fact that CBT deals with our daily thoughts. The premise of the program assumes that our actions (behaviors) are heavily influenced by what we feel. In turn, what we feel is closely connected to what we think. Look for this breakthrough in the next 30 days. Aim for creativity in the next 30 days. Make up experiments and daily challenges that will interest you to keep you engaged in this challenge. Here are some examples of fearful tasks that some of my clients have found work: talking to at least one new stranger every day, do the workout you've been avoiding, take cold showers or experiment with some sort of fasting for an extended period of time (like a 24-hour or 48-hour period without food). Also you can try Tim Ferriss's suggestion of doing absurd challenges. For example, go to a busy place, such as a busy fast food restaurant, and lie down on the ground without saying anything to anyone for about 30 seconds. If people ask you if you are ok, just say, Yes, I'm fine. Thank you. Or instead of lying down, break out into a crazy dance and sing as loud as you can to the tune you are listening to on your smartphone. Both examples are not exercises in acting like a fool, but they will challenge you to get out of your comfort zone by confronting your fear of being judged by others for looking stupid. At any time he could revert back to his shy, introverted self. If anything, the sales cover gave him some much-needed armor: If a gallery owner said no, it was the tough sales guy who took the hit, not criticism-sensitive Anthony.

The idea was liberating. Anthony felt free to exaggerate. He imagined his sales persona as someone brash and eccentric, forthright and fun--a cross between Picasso and a guy I knew in high school. He got himself new clothes a la Lyle Lovett; he trimmed his beard into a goatee; he let his hair go rakish. The final touch was a scarf--the signature artist's scarf. It wasn't just a prop or costume touch, though; For the rest of the day, I felt as if I were floating in a vacuum, a place where fear and nasty self-criticism used to rule my self-awareness, but now, it seemed, no one did. I thought I'd regain my psychic footing when we were back in the States--surrounded by friends and family instead of covered mirrors--but that didn't happen. Our first stop was a wedding in Los Angeles. During the reception, I told two of my closest girlfriends--both former roommates--about my experiment: laying off the hair product, skipping the jewels, and wearing the all-black stagehand's outfit I was currently suited up in. My friend Nida, an art director with a keen eye for inconsistencies in design, listened politely as she sipped her champagne. Then she smiled broadly and said, I can see why this is interesting, but I just don't think of you as one of those women. She shook her head, dismissive. You know, Amanda ventured, this strikes me as being more about your marriage, or motherhood, or work issues than just your appearance. She fixed me with the look she uses for men who are behaving like children and said, You do know you can't hide how beautiful you are. I'd been having a lovely time at this wedding of our mutual friends, but now folded my arms across my chest and said nothing, flummoxed. Therefore, our thoughts have a way of influencing what we do. Finally, when something comes into the action of our own accord, it further cements the thoughts we have.

This forms the basic premise of CBT. Think of it as a triangle of influence, cycling between thinking, feeling and acting. It's a continuous effect that solidifies itself the less change it experiences. To put this in a more appropriate context, imagine an irrational fear of heights. For someone experiencing Acrophobia, being in high altitudes induces intense fear and panic. It's backed by a mistrust of their sense of balance. Their legs feel wobbly and they imagine the prospect of them falling and incurring injury or death. When a person suffering from Acrophobia sees or finds themselves on an elevated surface, their fears come into shape. As you recall earlier in this piece of writing, being judged and being seen as an imbecile are two of our biggest fears. These sort of silly challenges in which you purposely make an ass out of yourself for an audience will reveal to you what a big waste of time it is to worry about what others think about you. In the final analysis, who the fuck really cares? Exactly my point. I beg you to please use common sense when you experiment with these types of challenges. Must make sure you don't do something illegal that will jailed, like running around in your underwear or acting like a chicken in a library. These are just some ideas for you to think about for the next 30 days. It doesn't all have to be dread and suffering. Mix some fun and craziness into it. Not only will you get a huge laugh while learning to not take yourself so seriously, but you'll discover the power of humor in teaching you humility. it served as a symbol and a process cue. Just feeling it around my neck acted as a reminder, like a rabbit's foot, of what my character needed to be, he explained.

My role was to be positive. Affirming. Hugely confident. Anthony began with galleries he knew in SoHo. Acting the part live didn't turn out to be all that hard. I strode in like Picasso, he recounted, pushed my glasses up on my head, and stroked my goatee. I was loud, I was colorful. I even got the owners involved in my presentation, holding canvases while I trotted out others. I'd expected my girlfriends to be intrigued by my beauty diet, not to see through its unhappy bravado or rough me up with so much loving skepticism. I'd expected them to side with my idea, not with me. After the wedding was the family reunion in Las Vegas. There were some nice family moments, but these were overshadowed by a gastro bug that landed Hattie in the hospital with dehydration. After that, the inner Voice sounded a lot like the emergency-room physician: Why weren't you giving her fluids constantly and counting her wet diapers? The answer was that I'd been worrying about family politics, worrying about John's mood, worrying that the rice was too salty for an infant and the air-conditioning too cold, and worrying that I wasn't a good-enough daughter and daughter-in-law. In the airport lobby on our way to the East Coast, I caught sight of a rack of newspapers, all covering, ad nauseum, Paris Hilton's stint in jail. This aspect of American culture upset me; by contrast, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post had done a recent weekend feature on lax regulation of agricultural pesticides and rising numbers of self-poisonings by farm women. Sadly, I felt an unhappy connection between myself and the American dailies: we were both looking in the wrong direction, sweating the wrong details, fighting trivial battles when much greater injustices were at stake. This is when they start channeling their thoughts on the matter. When the thoughts of heights and the consequences start, the feeling of fear sets in.