A friend wrote me recently, wanting help with a course she is taking. She asked me how I cope when I feel inadequate or when I lack confidence.
I had to think about that one! I decided I have several different methods of dealing with lack of confidence, depending on the occasion. I will list them each, with their own coping skill, okay?
- When I am forced to relate to someone I feel is wealthier, prettier, skinnier than I am. I realize that if we all feared this, then that person would have NO friends. And maybe truly has no friends. It makes me think of them as a normal person with feelings, instead of an extension of their wealth or appearance, and instead of accusing them of rejecting me before it even happens. I guess I think more about their feelings than mine.
- When I have to speak on an unfamiliar topic. I make outlines, and practice, practice, practice. Still I will be nervous, but this helps.
- When I think I may be lost, or I may become lost, because my navigation skills are so below par. I ask for directions a lot. I tell myself to calm down because anyone living in this, the wrong place, might have to go to the right place, where I meant to go, so there must be a concrete way to get there. I guess I just realize it is not a total disaster and it is fixable.
- When I have too much to do and yet, have to get it all done. I make prioritized lists and stick to them. Also, I delegate.
- When I am asked to do something I know I cannot do. I just say NO. I figure I would want anyone else to tell me truthfully if they cannot do something for me, so I just tell them. Truthfully.
- If I have to apply for a job. I make myself relax, do my best, and figure “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
- If I think I need to tell someone they are wrong. I weigh out the consequences for this person and if it is serious, I try hard to begin and end with something nice to say, but slip the bad news in the middle. If it is not serious, I try hard to get over it, to accept this person’s ability to make a mistake in his thinking.
- When I have to drive in the capital. I just grip the steering wheel until my knuckles pop, grit my teeth until I have a headache, and go. I will be SO stressed out afterwards, though!
There you have it. I could not think of any more for my friend, but probably will just before I fall asleep tonight! Ha. 🙂
What about you? Do you know any good coping tricks? Feel like sharing? We all could use ideas . . .