BETTER THAN HAPPY – Episode 222

I do not have curly hair in Utah. I had curly hair in NYC, with the humidity. But I do not have curly hair now. I’ll leave the last half of this episode on curly hair care to my oldest, who’s hair is worthy of conceit!

Let’s talk about the first half of the episode, CONFIDENCE.

“Confidence is AMAZING! Is there any one of us who would not like to be more confident? I dare say, No.”

Confidence feels good! Also, something I’ve seen, confidence makes us more effective. Let’s look at examples.

As a housekeeper. As an employee. As a mother. Right?

How about in physical intimacy? Bry and I have been listening to Jennifer Finlayson-Fife. Brilliant. If I am confident in myself, I am able to show up for my husband the way I want to – that relationship is much richer.

Another example. I taught toddler gymnastics, once upon a time. I had never taken a gymnastics class in my life. But, armed with a youtube video and a fair amount of confidence, those children shined under my tutelage.

“Add confidence to the mix…you will be more effective and you will enjoy the task more.”

And, let’s understand this, confidence isn’t just recognizing that you are GOOD at something. It’s not just a feeling that you are right, that you are strong enough and pretty enough and … enough.

Confidence is recognizing and embracing both the GOOD you see in yourself, and the WEAK or flawed or even bad you seen in yourself. Embrace the parts of you that you like as well as the parts of you that you don’t like. “Make peace with ALL of it.”

Possible lines in the future-me script, when I drop the ball or don’t show up as I’d like:

  • “I’m not good at that, but that’s okay.” Here I am not making excuses for myself, but owning what I am not good at, kindly.
  • “That was not me at my best. Now what?” Here, I am kind to myself while admitting my shortcoming, and committing to working on it. That is confidence.

And when I am more patient with myself and my weaknesses, I tend to be more patient with others with their weaknesses.

I want to talk about agency for a minute here.

How do I embrace both the good and the bad in myself? How do I chose to believe those gentle thoughts about myself? What does that look like?

Yes. Of course it is a choice. We can use our agency to choose what thoughts we think of ourselves. We choose to accept some thoughts and reject others. Of course!

But, we also use our agency to choose what sources we allow to influence our opinions and preferences that lead to those thoughts, in the first place. We allow others to “teach us what we like”. We allow sources to train our brains: magazines, social media, the people we choose to surround ourselves with everyday.

“They tell me what my clothes should look like, and what my kitchen should look like, and what my hair should look like. And I believe them…You need to pay attention to the images and messages you are putting in your head. They are teaching you what you like.”

It seems to me, the step before kicking thoughts that don’t serve us well out of our heads, is choosing who/what influences the thoughts that come to our minds in the first place.

Chew on this: “We set the thermostats as to temptations.” That was Neal A Maxwell, According to the Desires of Our Hearts, Oct 1996.

Who/what am I allowing to tempt me, persuade me, and influence me – to teach me?

I don’t want People Magazine to teach me what relationships look like. I don’t want H&M to teach me what beauty looks like. I don’t want advertisements to teach me what fun looks like.

Let me share where I would rather choose to learn:

SUZANNE. Oh, that’s what it looks like to love myself – the good parts and the weak parts!

TEAM OF RIVALS. Oh, that’s what it looks like to lead a team.

BOYS IN THE BOAT. Oh, that’s what it looks like to work hard – no excuses.

BROOKE CASTILLO. Oh, that’s what it looks like to be okay, not being okay.

(I still choose to let Restoration Hardware influence me as to my kitchen.)