Starts With Us | Finding the Way Out

Finding the Way Out

4-Week Challenge

This 4-Week Challenge is an invitation to look deeply within ourselves and work with each other to fight the toxic division that’s tearing our country apart. Based on decades of research from Starts With Us Expert-In-Residence Peter T. Coleman, Ph.D., this challenge is designed to empower you so that we can all find the way out, together. 

How to Prepare

1. Check Out the Science. To begin, take a moment to review the 5 scientific principles outlined above (from the book The Way Out: How to Overcome Toxic Polarization). 

2. Start Small. Begin with easier (5-minute) exercises to get going. If this 4-Week Challenge still feels too much, try our 7-Day Courage Challenge first. 

3. Locate the Tension. Start by reflecting carefully on how polarization is damaging your life and relationships, your role in it, and potential partners you might identify to reach out to. 

4. Make Time by Subtraction. Develop a clear sense of what you could stop doing each day to make time for these activities and reflections, like unplug from your devices for an hour.

5. Find a Friend. Consider doing this challenge with a friend or two or three, so that you have someone to complain to and celebrate with.

6. Innovate! If you feel so moved, design your own activity. Review the principle for the day, and give some thought to how you want to try it out.

If you find that the challenge is beneficial, please share it with your friends, family, co-workers, and community! We can do much by ourselves, but we can’t shift the toxicity unless we do it together. Remember, it starts with us.

Week 1: You!

Week 2: Your Politically Challenged Relationships

Week 3: Your Political In-Group

Week 4: Our Community