We have a million reasons to love our friends: they understand us, they support us and they know just what to say when we’re having an off day. Through the years my friends have helped me understand that there’s always a new day and a new way to look at a bleak situation.
Today I’d like you to meet one of those friends, at lease electronically through her words. Char’s words are like roots because they ground me, bringing me back to a place where I can think clearly and make decisions about what to do. I call her advice three roots of wisdom. I’ve heard these words on some of my darkest days, so I know they work.
Here’s the first. Imagine you are in the middle of a sticky situation with someone you don’t know very well. You wonder, Is this person is telling the truth? Are they exaggerating? You really want to get to the bottom of it but feel stuck. Char looks at you with a knowing grin and says, “…and more will be revealed.”
When she says this, you remember that life is a process. There’s a natural unfolding of events and personalities. Yes, love at first sight is real (and often temporary), but time has a way of revealing other sides of a personality or situation. Sooner or later, if you pay attention, things will become clear.
Here’s a second root of wisdom. You’ve made a major life change and are planning a new life. Your head is overloaded with all the things that need to happen. Your mind creates a list that grows and grows until you’re so confused, you want to forget the whole thing. Char knows how you feel, hands you a cup of tea and says, “You don’t have to figure it ALL out right now.”
If you’re like me, you sigh, because she’s right. “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and her words give our mind permission to rest; metaphorically setting the project in front of you like a giant ball. It’s okay to admit you don’t know all the steps. All you have to do is begin at a logical starting point. Take the next reasonable step and then the next. When I’m especially frustrated, I also remind myself that the project is not infinite. It might be big, but given enough time and energy—it will end.
The third root helps when negative thoughts fill your head. Let’s say you have been asked to give a speech in front of your peers on a topic you don’t know very well. You hate public speaking and dread this event. You might say something like this to Char,“I’m not a speaker. I don’t like to get up in front of my peers and besides, some of them know more than I do. I’ll probably embarrass myself.”
Char will most likely let you get these negative feelings out into the open—no use letting them grow into an ugly mess inside your head giving you a migraine or indigestion. But at some point, expect her to call for the question: “So what’s your new story?”
At that point you’ll need to close down your pity-party and affirm what you wish to be true. You begin your new story like this:“In the past I have not enjoyed speaking to groups, yet my boss must have faith in me, or I wouldn’t have been asked to speak. I am willing to give an interesting and informative presentation and will look forward to the blessings this opportunity brings.”
Char believes that the new story is a way to shape your future. The old story has been chipping away at your foundation, your confidence; while the new story brings positive words that support positive feelings. With enough “new stories” you strengthen the roots that hold you steady during the storms ahead.
So there you have it—three of the many wise roots that support confidence. I’m curious about which other roots ground you? Share your wisdom about ways you’ve discovered to live on the bright side.
May your self-trust build confidence,