Community//

On Delusional Self-Confidence

I almost never know what I’m doing, but trust that I can figure it out. The first time I was in San Francisco, I looked out towards Alcatraz and thought: I’d survive that swim. Once a personal trainer at the gym was balancing on a ball and doing squats with a weighted bar while we talked […]

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I almost never know what I’m doing, but trust that I can figure it out.

The first time I was in San Francisco, I looked out towards Alcatraz and thought: I’d survive that swim.

Once a personal trainer at the gym was balancing on a ball and doing squats with a weighted bar while we talked about my fitness goals and I thought: I could do that.

When I sat in meetings at my last job and listened to my boss gossip about clients, I thought: I can run a better business and be a good person.

Anytime I’m at a restaurant eating something I really like, I eat extra slowly trying to identify each flavor because I’m certain that I can improve on it at home.

This delusional overconfidence means I’ve engaged with many DIY projects from making homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs, to painting the entire interior of someone’s house for money when I was only 16 and hadn’t ever painted before, to most recently starting a business.

I almost never know what I’m doing, but trust that I can figure it out.

Setting my mind’s eye on a task and subsequently (hopefully) achieving it takes varying amounts of time depending on the goal. Graduating college early took three years, being able to run a 5k after being the girl who’d hide behind the bleachers in gym class took a month of training, and learning all the words to Flo Rida’s Whistle took one car rides back and forth from New York. I’ve found that the amount of time something takes to accomplish almost always correlates to the significance of the reward.

Right now I try to keep this in mind when parts of building the business feel slow and painful. There are some kinds of painful that I can ignore. Like the kind of pain from trying surfing. Paddling out over breaking waves in a post-mastectomy body is no joke. Each of the many times I fell off the board I yelled “OH SHIT!” and then, despite the burning sensation from my compromised pectoral muscles, I would pull myself back up on the board. Physical pain has always felt manageable.

The pain I find hardest to ignore is the mental anguish of feeling like I might not reach a goal that simply requires hard work and strategic thinking. Over the past year especially, when things start to feel bad, I turn on my “Little Engine That Could” inner monologue. In my heart I know that I’m not going to just puff-puff-puff my way up the mountain. Any success I may encounter will be held up by a foundation of failures.

Each failure is fertilizer for the seeds of my strategic plan. From all of this shit- and let me tell you, there has been a lot of shit- I plan to grow the most magnificent garden. I haven’t tried it yet, but when I saw the Gardens of Versailles, I knew I’d eventually get to planting one.

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