Experience Makes You Confident

Experience Makes You Confident

There is no real confidence without experience. What we know without hesitation is the outcome of experience. Everything else is guessing.

To get experience you have to do the thing, the whole thing. You have to go from A to Z, from here to there, from beginning to end. And when you do, you know more, and you are secure in the knowledge of what you know.

Read about fire. Think about fire. Look at pictures of fire. Draw images of fire. Do you know fire?

Stick your hand in fire. You know fire.

Stick a raw potato in fire. Eat a cooked potato. You know fire.

If someone asks, Should I stick my hand in fire?, will you be insecure telling them no? If someone asks, Will fire cook food?, will you wonder if it does? Of course not.

That’s the confidence that comes from experience.

The Opposite of Ideal

The Opposite of Ideal

Embrace it.

I strive and strive for an ideal state of being. But what would I accept if it was all taken from me and I could only have a tiny fraction back for the briefest of moments? I imagine I would see everything that bothers me as the greatest of gifts. Can I learn to do that now, when it could be of use?

This is the imaginary scenario I set up for myself after a day of bitter complaining due to a total stress tsunami. Husband was served earful after earful of despair. Was he fortified by these revelations? Facial expressions indicate a firm no. He served a few back and I slid into panic. We can’t both tank.

What caused it? Just all of it, the overwhelming daily grind to the national nightmare to the international impenetrability to the galactic nonchalance. Something is going wrong in every arena. There is no respite. I cannot have what I want. I wake up with 48 hour’s worth of to do’s. No matter how efficient and productive I whip myself into being, it’s not enough. No matter how much I relax, it all comes back. I can’t find equilibrium. Give me a new goal, please!, I beg of myself while stirring the onions.

Myself looks at my son who is standing in the kitchen needing a role model, not a narcissist. He is asking me questions about something. I could go ballistic because his need is ONE MORE THING, or I could just be here now and do it different.

Okay myself says, here’s the new story: it’s never ever ever getting better so let go of that. But!….don’t freak out, to help you adjust to this new radically and permanently imperfect situation, humor us with quick mind game. We think it will change your perspective.

Imagine if in five minutes, all of it, every last problem, was gone. Gone because really gone. Dead, disappeared, dried up, abandoned, betrayed. All gone. You’d be on your knees begging for crumbs of return. Give me anything! Okay! Stop blubbering and you can have crumbs.

It’s all back! Sweet relief! But there are dirty dishes everywhere. You can make soup, but you’ll be making it next to last night’s crusted over skillet.

I am going to test drive this experiment. I see my favorite orange glazed Le Creuset cast iron skillet. It’s crusty with last night’s stir fry. I can barely see the orange under the decade’s layers of burnt on grime. Who cares, we are re-united! So much better to have you next to me dirty then cracked in two and thrown in the garbage. Lucky me! Instead of feeling cheated out of cooking space, I will focus on that nearness of your being. Having a dirty dish is better than having no dish. Okay, I can work with that. I’m feeling that. This game will get me through one more night.

I was nice and funny and kind and slow to anger. For one more night. Every day is a battle. Every trick in the book helps. I really am glad to be here. Thank you life. Thank you imagination. Gratitude bests grievance. Knockout punch.