How to Be More Confident and Less Worried About Everything

The title of this post comes direct from a reader email, and I liked it so much I wanted to make it the title of this post. Thanks, sweet reader!

You may recall I wrote a top ten list, actually two of 'em, at the start of the year. I adore reading top ten lists, but I read so many in one sitting that I can only ever really recall numbers eight, nine, and ten. So when I write a top ten list I follow this rule: I make every number the same suggestion.

The sweet reader who gave the post its title requested I pen a top ten list covering How to Be More Confident and Less Worried About Everything.

Challenge accepted.

But here's the thing: I've got two ideas, so I think I'll forgo the top-ten-ing and make a List of Two.

Now, if you've read the Wilfair books, and you come by here, you know upbeatness is the rule, to the point of sheer annoyance. Oh, I know; I can sunny people half silly.

But these two suggestions, at initial glance, aren't too sunny. But, really, they are, ultimately, if you'll just hang with me. Also, I make these only as someone who has taken on a major project, with the inevitable ups and downs, so consider these merely friendly opinions from a pal, and nothing more. Let's not build 'em up!

Disclaimers done...

Suggestion#1: Make Friends with Failure

We're told to be easier with failing. This can be hard, if you're a results-driven person. You want a win every time. But that's not life on earth, for anyone, which means that every be-a-success book on the planet (and maybe a few on Jupiter and Mars) say to drop that noise and learn to love failure.

I'm going to go beyond that. You truly have to make failure a friend you look forward to seeing. Like, a natural part of your life. If you need to visualize what your friend Failure might look like, do. My friend Failure has a bob cut and a spray of freckles on her nose. I don't hate her. I don't necessarily phone her up and ask her over for cocktails, but when she shows, she can come inside.

Once you and Failure are pals, sensible chances are easier to take and confidence grows. Done.

Suggestion #2: Be Nosferatu

I was going to write "Be Bloodless" there, but "Nosferatu" seemed a more visual example. I'm rather sweet on the 1920s movie vampire, I'll admit, but you can be any night ghoul you choose.

Having confidence doesn't mean that I should apply all of my caring in equal measure to all things. Now hear me out. If someone cuts me off in traffic, I take the caring I'd feel toward that situation, which, honestly, I just need to immediately let go, and apply it to those areas of my life that I deserve my care: my family, my work, and so forth.

So when I say "Be Nosferatu" I'm suggesting that you be a little bit bloodless in certain situations that don't deserve your worry. I've found that when I redistribute my concern, the concern I'd give passing matters of little importance, to those things that absolutely matter, that simple act decreases my worry levels. Decreasing worry levels=rising confidence.

So again, like Failure having a bob haircut, I'm asking you to visualize here. Picture yourself as a vampire, or any bloodfree creature, about those moments in life that do not require your concern or worry. Be bloodless sometimes, over minor blips, and be bloodful -- er, is that a word? -- about the wonderful, care-rich parts of your life.

P.S. Outlandish visualization is one of my favorite things. "Be strong" is nice to hear, but it is a bit vague. But if someone says "be bloodless about minor matters, bloodless like a silent-film vampire," well. I'm definitely going to remember that.

P.P.S. Where can I buy Nosferatu's slim-cut, extra-long pea coat? Because want. (I joke because "Nosferatu" is actually devilishly scary and elegantly eerie and, if you ever can, I recommend seeing it with live theremin accompaniment.)


Amanda W said...

Good thoughts! That was my 2013 - basically learning to cut myself some slack. Or, you know, starting the process of learning to cut myself some slack. Because sometimes I'm a slow learner.

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