The Butterfly Effect of Confidence

The Butterfly effect of confidence

 

Once upon a time, there was a butterfly, somewhere in the world.
And whatever the fuck that butterfly did that day, it provoked a chain reaction of shitty events. Thanks for your input, butterfly.

The consequence? A tsunami of self-doubt.

Crushed confidence carefully paired with thoughts along the lines of “how did I get this whole life thing so wrong?”, a dish I would eat on a daily basis. Add a touch of strong karma belief, and you’ll find yourself stuck in a not-so-helpful logic of “I deserve all of this”.

butterfly brain

You got it, the past few months have acted as a life slap in the face. A slap that took its toll in terms of self-belief, but that also shook me enough to make me grab that chain reaction by the balls and make it go where I want to.

My way.

 

1. By taking risks

Paradoxically, I’ve decided to get my confidence back by stepping out of my comfort zone, doing what I’m naturally good at. It might sound basic, but the following logic is actually a massive revelation to me:

Do something you’re good at  ->  Feel valued  ->  Build confidence.

Dead fish

 

 

2. Having imperfect heroes

Social media platforms are great fun, but they also make the vicious circle of comparison so much more dangerous. You fall into the trap because you feel shit about your life/yourself, and you come out of it feeling even shitter.

Why do we do it to ourselves? I don’t know. But it is a useless habit that I’m working on killing, by focusing on what I do have and replacing my old “heroes”.

One of my new heroes is Tobias Van Schneider – I have a lot of time for the guy. I love reading his newsletters, blog posts, etc., and find his personal journey quite inspiring. But the thing I like the most about him is that he’s openly imperfect.

Tobias Van Schneider, my imperfect hero
Tobias Van Schneider – Photo credit: Dale Pimentel, urbanbeardsman.com

 

 

Sure, it came as a bit of a shock at first. How can such an influential online writer publish a post with SO MANY TYPOS?? The latest one was so obviously unedited that it felt like a provocation, which made me look at it from another angle and realise:

The sooner I accept my heroes’ imperfections, the sooner I will accept mine.

Nb: this process is more manageable if your hero doesn’t have a “my perfect life” type Instagram account.

 

3. Listening to my sister

My sister always says, “if you don’t compliment yourself, no one will”.sister
Guess what? Girlfriend’s right: why would we wait for external validation to start feeling good about ourselves? If, like me, you are guilty of such life wasting behaviour, just ask yourself:

Did Beyoncé get where she is by believing she wasn’t good enough?

You know the answer.

You’re good at something? Don’t apologise about it: HONE it. And listen to my sister: always make sure the first person to know about how awesome you are is YOU.

 

4. Realising that, actually, I’m doing great

Despite what a part of my brain believes, putting pressure on myself will not get me there quicker. Neither will it help me feel better.

Here is the thing: what I’m trying to build at the moment feels as challenging as climbing Mount Everest. Only no one, including myself, would expect me to climb Everest in one go. If I were to climb Everest, I would take the time to stop and look. Look at the distance I have climbed, embrace that newly acquired perspective and let the sense of achievement fill me with pride.

If I do just that, right here, right now, I’ll realise one thing: I’m doing great.

 

Everest
Everest – www.cntraveler.com

 

To go with all this, I make sure that I surround myself with people that lift me up. People that bring an atmosphere of support and positivity, that leave me feeling energised and inspired. Because nobody’s expecting me to climb Everest on my own, so why should I?

So here is to the people who bring unconditional love, support and kickarse vibes to my life:

THANK YOU,

YOU ROCK.

 

heart rain
http://borzui.tumblr.com/

 

How death taught me a valuable life lesson.

How do I make this stop?

I seem to have hit that phase of life where people drop like flies. I was definitely not expecting that for another ten years. Can I not just go back to the “WE’RE ENGAAAAGED!!” phase, as irritating as it was?

engaged
It feels like only yesterday I was lecturing friends about Life and Death: “Show me thy grief and I shall cure thee with my wisdom”. Because you know, as a creative, my innate gift was naturally extended to a deep understanding of the universe. That exclusive access to invisible layers of reality only us lot can enjoy.

Then my life changed. A lot.

 

Sunday 6th September 2015: the day I realised I had acted like a complete douche all my life. The day I learnt I knew nothing.

The most unsettling slap I ever took. The most beneficial one too.

Lapin
This guy.

Death taught me a lesson I vaguely knew but didn’t care enough to study. And realising that really sucked.

But despite all the pain, panic and regrets I’ve been dragging since that day, the penny has finally dropped, and seeing the world with brand new (red puffy) eyes has had a major positive impact on my life:

I realised that people -myself included- aren’t immortal.

[I KNOW, RIIIGHT??!!]

Here is what I’ve done so far with this ground-breaking discovery:

  • I make sure I reply to my mum’s emails within 48h
  • I make more time for the people I love
  • I cut down my hours as a startup director by half and spend the other half on fulfilling personal projects
  • I make more time for reading and writing (followed Tobias van Schneiders advice & wrote my Big List)
  • I learn to let go.
  • I have slowed the fuck down and am taking better care of myself.

let go

Death made me stop and realise that I had taken a path that had nothing to do with me. Sure, I learnt a hell of a lot along that path, but it was time to accept the bigger lesson and get back to the road I belonged. Steering the wheel demanded me to grow a bigger pair, but all efforts were for the worthy cause of ridding myself of regrets [work in progress].

So goodbye, Death, you’ve been a brutal but efficient teacher. Let’s not rush into the next class.

Hello, Life, I’m ready to listen.