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How can I be better about not assuming the worst and having some confidence?

Freaking out in your head about nothing?  Feeling like you suck?  Or that nothing is ever going to work out? Listen up then.

Here is an exchange I had the other day.

jump by Paca Lopez
Photo by Paco Lopez

Here’s the situation.  The person was freaking out in their head over something.  She was sort of panicking about how she thought she might have come off to someone in a conversation.  It was someone important to her and the person was not physically present with her anymore– so she couldn’t just talk it out with him.  She asked me what she should do.

I said, address the issue in a text or whatever manner you can communicate with him right now, succinctly getting straight to the heart of the matter.  Something like, “I hope you don’t think I was blaming you yesterday.  I just needed to rant.” etc.

Then, I advised, until you can actually talk to the person, stop thinking about it.  Once you’ve said what you need to say, move on and think about something else.  It’s a waste of your time to repeat it in your head feeling bad about it.  It will resolve in the future, know that.

Later, after she was able to connect with the person she told me, “Oh my gosh it was all in my head.  He wasn’t fazed by our exchange in the slightest.  It was all in my head.”

Then she had a moment where she was really down on herself, like an “Ugh!” She asked, “How do I get better at not assuming the worst and having some confidence?  I hate acting like that.”

Here’s the crux.  This is why I’m sharing it.  We all hate acting like that.  This advice applies to EVERYBODY.  We’ve all had those moments where 1. we created something agonizing in our brains 2. it turned out to be utter bullshit and 3. felt a lack of confidence in ourselves.  It’s universally human to have had these experiences.  I don’t think any of us get out of this life without it.  And I get it, you don’t want to feel like that, and neither do I.  So here is what I told her.

“Well, you learn from experience like the rest of us.  Notice the cues that you usually use, a panicked emotional over thinking or whatever it is.  Then, next time you experience this you say to yourself, “Hey, wait a second.  This is just like that other time– where I was making a really big deal out of something that was really nothing.  I’m just going to let this go as a bullshit thought and move on.”

This is me, giving you a little kiss of encouragement.

The good thing is that she, like me, like you, now has an experience behind her that she can remember.  Mistakes are great for that.  Especially those lovely ones you create in your head.  You get notice your own cues.  And you get to use your own experience of how it was all crap to overcome the situation the next time it arrises in you.

I promise you, it’s possible.  Here’s one of my most memorable stories where I did this myself from a previous blog.  Perhaps it was the first time I ever did it– I’m not sure.  But I still remember the experience poignantly and reference it in many ways. Change in yourself is possible.  And it’s not even that hard.  Sometimes all it requires is you recognizing and then jumping over a few mental hurdles that you created yourself.  It’s no biggie.  Live and learn as they say, live and learn.

And then get on being your bad ass (in a good way) self again!




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