Second-Guessing

This is the second in the series of quick writes about what I’m calling “Your Confidence Slip is Hanging.” 

 I grew up in a generation where you wore slips. A slip is an undergarment similar to a skirt but made out of material like silk or something like that, and the purpose was to make sure your stuff wasn’t showing through your dress or your skirt when you’re out in public. So, it was common for us to say to somebody, “your slip is hanging.”It was sort of an embarrassing thing to have your slip hanging because back in the day, it indicated that either you didn’t know how to dress, or maybe you had on a cheap half-slip that was creeping down, so it kind of said something about you, you know?

 When I say your confidence slip is hanging, I’m talking about “tells” that sometimes we are not even aware of. However, when we know which slip is hanging, we can transform our thinking and habits, thus transforming our confidence levels.

I don’t care to be second best, and I don’t care to second-guess. Second-guessing. I’m writing about this particular practice as sort of a love letter to two women who I love with every bit of my heart. They are strong, loving, creative, brilliant, and seemingly confident. But too often, that second-guessing slip hangs. For instance, my friend loves to go out and have a good time and eat great food. But, more than once, I’ve seen her say something like, “I wanna try this lobster omelet .”And then, her partner might say something like, “Why are you going to do that?”. Immediately, she begins to shut down. I can see her body language change, and she usually ends up second-guessing herself. Sometimes, she actually abandons her first decision. Other times, I might say, “Get what you want. Make the decision and live with it. If you like the lobster omelet, then good. If not, send it back and try something else.” What bothers me is that I never really see her fully recover after she has given in to the second-guessing. And let me tell you something about this woman, she’s brilliant, beautiful, well-traveled, well-educated, and one of the best friends one person can ever have. But, too often, her second-guessing slip hangs, and I can see the negative impact it has on her confidence.

Another friend has been struggling for several years because she wants her own business. Her experiences have shown her that she really does not like working for other people, yet every time she decides that she will pull the trigger on starting her business, her second guessing slip starts to hang. We talk, we coach, she comes up with a plan, and then over time, she slowly abandons her plan for something easier or familiar. Then, a few weeks or months after she makes that decision, she comes back to the same place of self-doubt, unhappiness, and second-guessing.

Now, I know you’re wondering: “You say these women have it going on.” 

They do! They’re amazing women who are doing extraordinary things in their lives and the lives of others. Does this mean they lack confidence? Nope! It just means that there are certain areas in their lives where they give their power to others and fail to invest in or commit to what they know is right and good and true for them.

Luckily, they have friends to remind them or point out when their second-guessing slip is hanging without judging them.

Now, let’s be honest. Most of us have second-guessed in some pretty important areas of our lives, primarily due to what we think someone may say or think of us. But this is the thing I want you to think about: You know that quote that says something like you only get a first chance to make a good impression? What about if it was something like you only get the first chance to make a good impression on yourself? What if what you believed about yourself had nothing to do with what other people think? What would you do then? Just as I say to my girls whom I love and adore, I’m saying this to you: You really don’t need to impress anybody but yourself. If you live your life to make yourself happy, you are more likely to bring joy and happiness to others. Regardless of what other people say, I don’t believe that bringing joy to others means sacrificing pieces of ourselves. So, let’s start practicing impressing ourselves. You’ve probably done it before! Haven’t you experienced those times when you just instinctively threw caution to the wind and said, “No, this is what I’m gonna do? This is how I’m gonna do it, and you do it, and then you sit back and say, “Baby, I am bad, and I know it!” What if you did this more often, more intentionally, in places that absolutely matter to you? I’m guessing that you will stop your second-guessing slip from hanging. In fact you might just throw the dang thing away!

 

 

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