Who else? <3method ?

A common TV trope features someone who’s down on their luck and forced to borrow from someone with questionable moral scruples: a loan shark, the Mafia, a representative from Wells Fargo.

As fate would have it, they fall further and further behind, until they’re in an even greater bind. Soon they’re being pursued by the loan shark, who threatens to break their legs, or by Wells Fargo, which forces them to remain on hold for hours. The rest of the story unfolds as the protagonist desperately tries to resolve their dilemma. What will they do? How will they get the money? 

“Getting the money” makes for a good plot foundation, since money is something that everyone wants. And when you don’t have it, it becomes all that you think about.

But what if you didn’t have to “get the money”? What if you just decided to not care?

I started thinking about this after I paid too much for something recently. I didn’t negotiate well, and it bothered me for a day or two. Why did I do that? I thought later. I should know better.

I felt bad, I realized, because that’s how I’m conditioned to feel. The psychological principle of loss aversion holds that we are irrationally afraid of losing. We would rather give up the chance to win big than deal with the likelihood of small losses.

“Irrationally afraid” is the key point, especially when it comes to money. Most of the time, there’s no loan shark threatening to break your legs. When you make a mistake and lose money, you simply have … less money. Fretting over it isn’t going to help. Not only that, but the more time you spend fretting, the less time you have at your disposal to make new money or otherwise just live your life.

Even if it’s a relatively large amount of money you’ve lost due to some mistake, the problem is still temporary. There are only two possible outcomes: you’ll either get the money back (somehow) or you won’t.

I was talking with my friend Amanda after I made the mistake, and she said I shouldn’t worry. Specifically, she said this:

“The thing about money mistakes is that you can always get more money.”

I realized she was right: paying too much was a mistake, but not one that will make much of a difference years from now. This is true of most mistakes that have to do with money: unlike other kinds of mistakes, money mistakes rarely have permanent consequences.

A protagonist who worries about money mistakes can make for good TV, but it’s a bad way to live the life in which you’re the protagonist.

Life is about deciding what to pay attention to. You pay attention to what’s important to you, in both positive and negative ways.

Part of paying attention is choosing what to worry about, and money is one of the most common worries. We know that rich people worry as much about money as poor people do, so merely “getting rich” doesn’t solve money problems (though, to be fair, most people who are poor would love to experience being rich for a while in order to make up their own minds).

This is not like saying “being poor is better than being rich” or even “money is not worth thinking about.” Instead, it means money is worth thinking about on a higher plane of thought.

(For example: What IS money, actually? In short, it’s something that at least two people or institutions agree is worth something else. This is true whether it’s cash, cowry shells, or cryptocurrency.)

***

When you feel stressed about money because of decisions you’ve made, maybe you should consider the all-important question: “What’s the worst that can happen?” Most of the time, you realize a) the worst-case scenario isn’t that bad, and/or b) this scenario isn’t likely to occur.

As I reflected on my recent money mistake, I thought back on times in my life when I had less money, before I learned to feel rich at the W Hong Kong breakfast buffet. The same truth applied even then, whether I recognized it or not. Sometimes I did recognize it, and sometimes I missed it.

I recognized it when I decided to invest much of my savings and future earnings in my quest to visit every country in the world. I still remember some of the negative comments my guest posts on personal finance blogs attracted back then. Clearly, accepting the challenge of “going everywhere” was a wonderful decision! I would do it all again tomorrow.

In fact, I justified my choice at the time by saying that it didn’t cost all that much, relatively speaking. Now I think: well, that’s true, but also not really the point. Even if it had cost much more, it was still a wonderful decision that I would do it all over tomorrow.

Back to the thesis: most mistakes that involve money are temporary; they do not have long-lasting consequences.

  • If you find that you’ve been spending too much, you can learn to save
  • If you’re in debt, you can learn how to get out of it
  • If your income is low, you can focus on increasing it

Millions of people have done each of these things, so surely you can, too.

Perhaps most of all, however, you can decide to worry less about all of these things. Money causes great stress and worry, and not only among those who are truly poor. Yet it’s all for something temporary!

What would happen if you turned your attention to more important matters?

###

Image 1: Vitaly Taranov
Image 2: Tim J

Important Post

How are you supposed to be confident about something when you have nothing to feel confident about?

Like, how are you supposed to be confident at your new job if you’ve never done this type of work before? Or how are you supposed to be confident in social situations when no one has ever liked you before? Or how are you supposed to be confident in your relationship when you’ve never been in a successful relationship before?

On the surface, confidence appears to be an area where the rich get richer and the poor stay the fucking losers they are. After all, if you’ve never experienced much social acceptance, and you lack confidence around new people, then that lack of confidence will make people think you’re clingy and weird and not accept you.

Same deal goes for relationships. No confidence in intimacy will lead to bad breakups and awkward phone calls and emergency Ben and Jerry’s runs at three in the morning.

And seriously, how are you supposed to be confident in your work experience when previous experience is required to even be considered for a job in the first place?

The Confidence Conundrum

If you’ve always lost in life, then how could you ever expect to be a winner? And if you never expect to be a winner, then you’re going to act like a loser. Thus the cycle of suckage continues.

This is the confidence conundrum, where in order to be happy or loved or successful, first you need to be confident… but to be confident, first you need to be happy or loved or successful.

So it seems like you’re stuck in one of two loops: either you’re already in a happy and confident loop, like this.

Or you’re in a loser loop, like this.

And if you’re in the loser loop, well it seems damn near impossible to get out.

It’s like a dog chasing its own tail. Or Domino’s ordering its own pizza. You can spend a lot of time cuticle-gazing trying to mentally sort everything out, but just like with your lack of confidence, you’re likely to end up right back where you started.

But maybe we’re going about this all wrong. Maybe the confidence conundrum isn’t really a conundrum at all.

If we pay close attention, we can learn a few things about confidence just by observing people. So before you run off and order that pizza, let’s break this down:

  1. Just because somebody has something (tons of friends, a million dollars, a bitchin’ beach body) doesn’t necessarily mean that this person is confident in it. There are business tycoons who totally lack confidence in their own wealth, models who lack confidence in their looks, and celebrities who lack confidence in their own popularity. So I think the first thing we can establish is that confidence is not necessarily linked to any external marker. Rather, our confidence is rooted in our perception of ourselves regardless of any tangible external reality.
  2. Because our confidence is not necessarily linked to any external, tangible measurement, we can conclude that improving the external, tangible aspects of our lives won’t necessarily build confidence. Chances are that if you’ve lived more than a couple of decades, you’ve experienced this in some form or another. Getting a promotion at your job doesn’t necessarily make you more confident in your professional abilities. In fact, it can often make you feel less confident. Dating and/or sleeping with more people doesn’t necessarily make you feel more confident about how attractive you are. Moving in with your partner or getting married doesn’t necessarily make you feel any more confident in your relationship.
  3. Confidence is a feeling. An emotional state and a state of mind. It’s the perception that you lack nothing. That you are equipped with everything you need, both now and for the future. A person confident in their social life will feel as though they lack nothing in their social life. A person with no confidence in their social life believes that they lack the prerequisite coolness to be invited to anyone’s pizza party. It’s this perception of lacking something that drives their needy, clingy, and/or bitchy behavior.

How to Be More Confident

The obvious and most common answer to the confidence conundrum is to simply believe that you lack nothing. That you already have, or at least deserve, whatever you feel you would need to make you confident.

But this sort of thinking—believing you’re already beautiful even though you’re a frumpy slob, or believing you’re a raving success even though your only profitable business venture was selling weed in high school—leads to the kind of insufferable narcissism that causes people to argue that obesity (something that is more detrimental to your health than smoking cigarettes) should be celebrated as beauty and that it’s, like, totally OK to carve your name into the Roman Colosseum, because, you know, selfies.

A lot of people soon realize this doesn’t work and so they take a different approach: incremental, external improvement.

They read articles that tell them the top 50 things confident people do, and then they try to do those things.

They start to exercise, dress better, make more eye contact, and practice firmer handshakes.

This is admittedly a step above simply believing that you’re already confident and that you don’t belong in the loser loop. After all, at least you’re doing something about your lack of confidence. And actually, it will work—but only for a little while.

Again, this type of thinking only focuses on external sources of confidence. And remember, deriving your self-confidence from the world around you is short-lived at its best and completely fucking delusional at its worst.

So no, external improvement is not a sustainable solution to the confidence conundrum. And feeling as though you lack nothing and deluding yourself into believing you already possess everything you could ever dream of is far worse.

Read that again.

The big charade with confidence is that it has nothing to do with being comfortable in what we achieve and everything to do with being comfortable in what we don’t achieve.

People who are confident in business are confident because they’re comfortable with failure. They realize that failure is simply part of learning how their market works. It’s a reflection of their lack of knowledge, not a reflection of who they are as a person.

People who are confident in their social lives are confident because they’re comfortable with rejection. They’re not afraid of rejection because they’re comfortable with people not liking them as long as they’re expressing themselves honestly.

People who are confident in their relationships are confident because they’re comfortable with getting hurt. They’re not afraid to be vulnerable and tell someone how they feel and then establish strong boundaries around those feelings, even if it means being uncomfortable (or leaving a bad relationship).

Building Confidence Through Failure

The truth is that the route to the positive runs through the negative. Those among us who are the most comfortable with negative experiences are those who reap the most benefits.

It’s counterintuitive, but it’s also true. We often worry that if we become comfortable in our failures—that if we accept failure as an inevitable part of living—that we will become failures.

But it doesn’t work that way.

Comfort in our failures allows us to act without fear, to engage without judgment, to love without conditions. It’s the dog that lets the tail go, realizing that it’s already a part of himself. It’s the Domino’s that cancels its own order, realizing it already has the pizza it wanted. Or something.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to publish this article comfortable with the fact that some people will probably hate it. And eat my pizza.

I think posts about self-improvement are fab who agrees?

How are you supposed to be confident about something when you have nothing to feel confident about?

Like, how are you supposed to be confident at your new job if you’ve never done this type of work before? Or how are you supposed to be confident in social situations when no one has ever liked you before? Or how are you supposed to be confident in your relationship when you’ve never been in a successful relationship before?

On the surface, confidence appears to be an area where the rich get richer and the poor stay the fucking losers they are. After all, if you’ve never experienced much social acceptance, and you lack confidence around new people, then that lack of confidence will make people think you’re clingy and weird and not accept you.

Same deal goes for relationships. No confidence in intimacy will lead to bad breakups and awkward phone calls and emergency Ben and Jerry’s runs at three in the morning.

And seriously, how are you supposed to be confident in your work experience when previous experience is required to even be considered for a job in the first place?

The Confidence Conundrum

If you’ve always lost in life, then how could you ever expect to be a winner? And if you never expect to be a winner, then you’re going to act like a loser. Thus the cycle of suckage continues.

This is the confidence conundrum, where in order to be happy or loved or successful, first you need to be confident… but to be confident, first you need to be happy or loved or successful.

So it seems like you’re stuck in one of two loops: either you’re already in a happy and confident loop, like this.

Or you’re in a loser loop, like this.

And if you’re in the loser loop, well it seems damn near impossible to get out.

It’s like a dog chasing its own tail. Or Domino’s ordering its own pizza. You can spend a lot of time cuticle-gazing trying to mentally sort everything out, but just like with your lack of confidence, you’re likely to end up right back where you started.

But maybe we’re going about this all wrong. Maybe the confidence conundrum isn’t really a conundrum at all.

If we pay close attention, we can learn a few things about confidence just by observing people. So before you run off and order that pizza, let’s break this down:

  1. Just because somebody has something (tons of friends, a million dollars, a bitchin’ beach body) doesn’t necessarily mean that this person is confident in it. There are business tycoons who totally lack confidence in their own wealth, models who lack confidence in their looks, and celebrities who lack confidence in their own popularity. So I think the first thing we can establish is that confidence is not necessarily linked to any external marker. Rather, our confidence is rooted in our perception of ourselves regardless of any tangible external reality.
  2. Because our confidence is not necessarily linked to any external, tangible measurement, we can conclude that improving the external, tangible aspects of our lives won’t necessarily build confidence. Chances are that if you’ve lived more than a couple of decades, you’ve experienced this in some form or another. Getting a promotion at your job doesn’t necessarily make you more confident in your professional abilities. In fact, it can often make you feel less confident. Dating and/or sleeping with more people doesn’t necessarily make you feel more confident about how attractive you are. Moving in with your partner or getting married doesn’t necessarily make you feel any more confident in your relationship.
  3. Confidence is a feeling. An emotional state and a state of mind. It’s the perception that you lack nothing. That you are equipped with everything you need, both now and for the future. A person confident in their social life will feel as though they lack nothing in their social life. A person with no confidence in their social life believes that they lack the prerequisite coolness to be invited to anyone’s pizza party. It’s this perception of lacking something that drives their needy, clingy, and/or bitchy behavior.

How to Be More Confident

The obvious and most common answer to the confidence conundrum is to simply believe that you lack nothing. That you already have, or at least deserve, whatever you feel you would need to make you confident.

But this sort of thinking—believing you’re already beautiful even though you’re a frumpy slob, or believing you’re a raving success even though your only profitable business venture was selling weed in high school—leads to the kind of insufferable narcissism that causes people to argue that obesity (something that is more detrimental to your health than smoking cigarettes) should be celebrated as beauty and that it’s, like, totally OK to carve your name into the Roman Colosseum, because, you know, selfies.

A lot of people soon realize this doesn’t work and so they take a different approach: incremental, external improvement.

They read articles that tell them the top 50 things confident people do, and then they try to do those things.

They start to exercise, dress better, make more eye contact, and practice firmer handshakes.

This is admittedly a step above simply believing that you’re already confident and that you don’t belong in the loser loop. After all, at least you’re doing something about your lack of confidence. And actually, it will work—but only for a little while.

Again, this type of thinking only focuses on external sources of confidence. And remember, deriving your self-confidence from the world around you is short-lived at its best and completely fucking delusional at its worst.

So no, external improvement is not a sustainable solution to the confidence conundrum. And feeling as though you lack nothing and deluding yourself into believing you already possess everything you could ever dream of is far worse.

Read that again.

The big charade with confidence is that it has nothing to do with being comfortable in what we achieve and everything to do with being comfortable in what we don’t achieve.

People who are confident in business are confident because they’re comfortable with failure. They realize that failure is simply part of learning how their market works. It’s a reflection of their lack of knowledge, not a reflection of who they are as a person.

People who are confident in their social lives are confident because they’re comfortable with rejection. They’re not afraid of rejection because they’re comfortable with people not liking them as long as they’re expressing themselves honestly.

People who are confident in their relationships are confident because they’re comfortable with getting hurt. They’re not afraid to be vulnerable and tell someone how they feel and then establish strong boundaries around those feelings, even if it means being uncomfortable (or leaving a bad relationship).

Building Confidence Through Failure

The truth is that the route to the positive runs through the negative. Those among us who are the most comfortable with negative experiences are those who reap the most benefits.

It’s counterintuitive, but it’s also true. We often worry that if we become comfortable in our failures—that if we accept failure as an inevitable part of living—that we will become failures.

But it doesn’t work that way.

Comfort in our failures allows us to act without fear, to engage without judgment, to love without conditions. It’s the dog that lets the tail go, realizing that it’s already a part of himself. It’s the Domino’s that cancels its own order, realizing it already has the pizza it wanted. Or something.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to publish this article comfortable with the fact that some people will probably hate it. And eat my pizza.

Tremendous

You’re working hard on all the right goals… so why does it feel like there’s something missing?

Because fulfillment comes not just from achieving your dreams, but enjoying your life along the way.

If your day-to-day feels stale, stressful, or just lacks that spark of inspiration you used to feel, it’s time to bring back the missing ingredient —

FUN!

Having fun shouldn’t be something you have to earn, but a daily practice. Research shows that being playful actually makes you smarter, healthier, and more creative. It also helps you avoid the #5 regret of the dying. But most importantly, prioritizing fun simply makes life more enjoyable.

In this MarieTV, I answer a question from Leona, who asks:


Fun is an inside job, always within your control, and a choice that you have to make every single day.
Click To Tweet


Though I’ve been a single mom and gone through some pretty difficult circumstances, I have very few regrets. But I do have one thing I need to correct at once, otherwise I will regret it very much… How do I have a ton more fun in 2021?

If you’d like to have more fun this year, it’s time to rediscover that silly, playful, childlike part of yourself.

Watch this episode to learn three science-backed strategies to de-stress, be spontaneous, and start enjoying life again.

View Transcript

Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

Listen Now

DIVE DEEPER: Learn how to be ambitious without stressing out all the time and avoid the five regrets of the dying with Bronnie Ware.

How are you feeling in the fun department these days? Are you a little fun-anemic? Do you need to turn up the dial on play? Or are you already enjoying your everyday life to the fullest? No judgement here — just be honest with yourself.

Whether you’re feeling stuck in a rut of stress, work, and responsibilities or you’re already a walking piñata bursting with whimsy and joy, turn your insights into action now.

In the comments below, let us know:

How will you #BringTheParty to your life today?

Remember, it can be as simple as a dance break or playing your favorite music while you do the dishes. The more you bring the party, the stronger your relationships will be, and the more enjoyable life becomes.

Don’t wait for permission. You deserve to enjoy your life — today and every day.

XO

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