If you fall, get right back up

Photo by Blake Weyland on Unsplash

What do you do when you “fall“?— escape or stay?

The skaters I like are the ones who are hanging on by a thread. They wobble and reach for a friend, who are as unstable as they are. They cling to the railings with such desperation that it’s hard to believe they actually paid for the privilege.

Which one are you?

Confidence.

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Is there such a thing as a “confident person”?

  • Not exactly, but we are born with different temperaments. Our wiring contributes to the way we interact with the world. Just watch a group of babies and toddlers, and you will identify a variety of “styles.”
  • Some are hypersensitive and easily reactive to things that others may take in stride, so they register the hurts.They overestimate the risks.
  • Some are most comfortable hanging back, not exploring or taking risks. Theye are tentative and careful.
  • Others have high energy, low fear, and take risks, sometimes being too impulsive and overestimating their chances at success.
  • And then there are those who size up the situation and seem to have an inner “sturdiness” then enables them to interact confidently with the world.

We grow up in confidence or doubt

In addition with being born with a confident “personality,” our experience differs in how we were treated as infants and children.

  • Unfortunately, many people don’t get that. Their accomplishments are diminished. They do not feel worthwhile or deserving of people’s affection and admiration. If we didn’t get it from parents and teachers, we have to look in other places for people who say, “Yes! You can do it!” “That was good.”
  • A deficit in confidence in childhood shadows confidence in adulthood and may even require professional help to throw off the burdens it casts on your adult life.

Most of us are terrified of “taking a fall”

Especially as adults, we are very attuned to falling. I’m not just talking about falling on our asses on the skating rink. I’m talking about all kinds of other pitfalls like:

  • approaching someone who looks attractive, at a party, in a bar, in the park. You could get a response like, “You’re the biggest loser who walked the face of the earth.” but it doesn’t mean it was a bad impulse.
  • breaking the rules, or the protocols or the guidelines because you have an idea of how you can improve upon them
  • trying a new sport or activity that you are highly likely to suck at, but enjoy the hell out of anyway

Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?”

  • If the answer involves getting fired or arrested or hospitalized, you may want to think it through. But if it’s that you will look ridiculous, stupid, or pathetic, you may need a kick in the butt.
  • Ask yourself the “WHAT IF’s.” They are often loops of thinking that go around and around in our minds and have near total effect on our actions. What if your friends make fun of you? What if the woman you are trying to engage looks like she’d rather drink pond scum?
  • So What?

The most dangerous thing to do is nothing.

Photo by Ezequiel Garrido on Unsplash

It’s not the fall that matters, it’s the getting back up.

Being confident even when you don’t think you are:

Losers don’t try new things!

If you start to “trash talk” yourself, you can gently whisper to yourself to “shut up.”

  • Talk to yourself as you would to a good friend.
  • Be your own good friend as you listen to the things you say that foster or inhibit your capabilities.
  • Bounce!

Martha Manning, Ph.D is a writer and clinical psychologist, whose memoir, Undercurrents deals with her severe depression. Like heavy stuff with lots of humor.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store