We have a million reasons to love our friends: they understand us, they support us and they know just what to say when weâ€™re having an off day. Through the years my friends have helped me understand that thereâ€™s always a new day and a new way to look at a bleak situation.
Today Iâ€™d like you to meet one of those friends, at lease electronically through her words. Charâ€™s words are like roots because they ground me, bringing me back to a place where I can think clearly and make decisionsÂ about what to do. I call her advice three roots of wisdom. Iâ€™ve heard these words on some of my darkest days, so I know they work.
Hereâ€™s the first. Imagine you are in the middle of a sticky situation with someone you donâ€™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, â€œâ€¦and more will be revealed.â€
When she says this, you remember that life is a process. Thereâ€™s a natural unfolding of events and personalities. Yes, love at first sight is real (and oftenÂ 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.
Hereâ€™s a second root of wisdom. Youâ€™ve made a major life change and are planning a new life. Your head is overloadedÂ with all the things that need to happen. Your mind creates aÂ 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, â€œYou donâ€™t have to figure it ALL out right now.â€
If youâ€™re like me, you sigh, because sheâ€™s right. â€œRome wasnâ€™t built in a day,â€ and herÂ words give our mind permission toÂ rest; metaphorically setting the project in front of you like a giant ball. Itâ€™s okay to admit you donâ€™t know all theÂ steps. All you have to do is begin at a logical startingÂ point. Take the next reasonable step and then the next. When Iâ€™m especially frustrated, I also remind myself that the project is not infinite. It might be big, but given enough time and energyâ€”it will end.
The third root helps when negative thoughts fill your head. Letâ€™s say you have been asked to give a speech in front of your peers on a topic you donâ€™t know very well. YouÂ hateÂ public speaking and dread this event. You might say something like this to Char,â€œIâ€™m not a speaker. I donâ€™t like to get up in front of my peers and besides, some of them know moreÂ than I do. I’ll probably embarrass myself.â€
Char will most likely let you get these negative feelings out into the openâ€”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: â€œSo whatâ€™s yourÂ new story?â€
At that point youâ€™ll need to close down your pity-party and affirm what you wish to be true. You begin your new story like this:â€œIn the past I have not enjoyed speaking to groups, yet my boss must have faith in me, or I wouldn’t Â have been asked to speak. I am willing to give an interesting andÂ informative presentation and will look forward toÂ the blessings this opportunity brings.â€
Char believesÂ that the new story is a way to shape yourÂ 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 â€œnew storiesâ€ youÂ strengthen the roots that hold youÂ steady during the storms ahead.
So there you have itâ€”three of the many wise roots that support confidence. Iâ€™m curious about which other roots ground you? Share your wisdom about ways youâ€™ve discovered to live on the brightÂ side.
May your self-trust build confidence,