The Goldilocks Rule: Creating a Motivating Social Anxiety Growth Game

Dear friend,

We launched Roadmap two weeks ago.

But I've already noticed big opportunities to make it more useful for overcoming Social Anxiety. There are probably many reasons why Roadmap didn’t motivate people like I’d hoped, but one is glaring.

We broke the Goldilocks rule.

When we do that, it kills motivation to overcome Social Anxiety.

The Goldilocks Rule of Motivation

The Goldilocks rule is simple.

If a challenge is too easy, we’ll become bored and unmotivated. If a challenge is too hard, we’ll become discouraged and, once again, lose motivation.

But when the challenge is just right, we’ll experience peak motivation.
Image: James Clear

I want everyone who uses Roadmap to feel like it was built for them -- like they’re accurately rewarded for taking steps of courage. So we’re going to make some changes.

More Categories for Challenges

Your struggle with Social Anxiety looks very different from someone else.

When you first open Roadmap, it asks you to select the top three categories you struggle with.

Choosing a Social Anxiety struggle

We received feedback that it was hard to pick a top three when there are only five categories. And, some people didn’t have up to three things they struggled with.

So from now on, we’ll allow people to choose anywhere from one to three categories. We’re also going to add some new categories like Disagreeing With People, Confronting People and Sharing Your Work.

Personalized Ratings for Anxiety Challenges

Even within those categories, we struggle differently. You might be terrified of sharing an idea on social media but have no problem sharing it with a person.

Motivation dies when the reward doesn’t match the effort. So now, we’ll first figure out how hard each challenge is for you.

Rating social anxiety challenges

We’ll then use your anxiety levels to assign each challenge a point value in our game.

  • Low Anxiety - 5 miles
  • Medium Anxiety - 15 miles
  • High Anxiety - 50 miles
  • Very High - 150 miles

Levels That Aren’t Too Hard or Too Easy

Ok. This is my favorite part.

When each challenge is accurately rated, we can see your growth. Each level in Roadmap should be hard enough to push and motivate you, but not too easy that you’re bored.

So we’ll start by getting consistent at your low anxiety challenges. And then, we’ll slowly introduce medium anxiety ones. It’s like increasing the weight at the gym.

Duration (days) Objectives Speed (miles / week)
Level 1 3 3 x 5 miles --
Level 2 7 7 x 5 miles 35
Level 3 7 6 x 5 miles
1 x 15 miles
Level 4 14 11 x 5 miles
3 x 15 miles
Level 5 21 16 x 5 miles
5 x 15 miles

We’ll keep track of your miles per week -- a metric of how much you’re overcoming Social Anxiety. When we increase it, it means you’re growing! I think that’s awesome.

Your Turn

If you’re trying to overcome Social Anxiety, remember the Goldilocks rule of motivation. Find challenges that are just right. Hit peak motivation. For now, we’ll get busy with building this personalization into Roadmap.

Let me know what you think in the comments! And if you’re not already part of the Roadmap beta, you can sign up below 🙂



TiOluwa Olarewaju

TiOluwa Olarewaju

I write about emotions and build tech products to help people live fulfilled. Some people call me sassy, but my friends call me T.O.
Austin, TX