Yin-Yang of Confidence and Fear

In What Next I relay the story of how Julie and I decided to buy an investment property in California but what I left out was how perfectly we compliment each other, how we balance each other. When Julie was feeling apprehensive about this big decision I was confident, calm, and reassuring. When I began to have doubts, wondered if we were making a mistake, Julie took the role of the voice of reason and strength.

Confidence and FearJulie was the Yin to my Yang as I was hers. What I’m seeing now, in a painfully real way, is that the Yin and Yang are within us as we fluctuate from confidence to fear and back again. As I move closer and closer to opening my spa, with all the details that need attending to, I cycle through the range of emotions. It takes a toll.

In Adversity on Purpose I talk about how successful people seek out difficult situations, investments or business opportunities for example, in spite of the risk and the obstacles in their way. They do this because they know that what lies on the other side of the struggle is success. I know that, too, but the cycle is unavoidable.

If all I had was confidence, where would the attention to detail come from? If I was sure things would work out, why would I check and double check my progress? It’s the fear, the worry, the concern, that keeps me on track. Conversely, without confidence, why wouldn’t I just give up? Without belief in the prospect of success, why would I be so dedicated? It’s the faith we have in our own abilities that drives us forward.

The confidence and fear cycle goes on but compliments each other as we continue forward over obstacles and up hills. How have you used this dichotomy to your advantage?

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Worry More

I saw two very different people, within 24 hours, post this same quote:

“No amount of guilt can change the past,
and no amount of worrying can change the future!”

My first reaction was, “wow, that is deep,” that whoever said that (I know who but you’ll have to keep reading to find out) must have been very wise. Then I thought about the word worry. Is worry really a bad thing? Can worry change the future?

WorriedI think the answer is yes, worry can change the future, for better or for worse.

Imagine if, like the song Don’t Worry Be Happy, you didn’t worry, if you just did whatever you felt like. That’s what children do, people who can’t see the consequence of their actions. I actually worry a lot and that’s a good thing (I’m also very happy). Worry keeps me grounded, helps me to remember that my actions affect other people including me. I have a sincere respect for consequences and I want to make sure that the consequence of any action will be positive.

The downside of worry is that we often worry about things that seem big, seem insurmountable, but turn out to be much less significant than we imagined. We tend to make mountains out of mole hills only to realize that it wasn’t that bad once we get through the problem.

I say, worry, but don’t let it paralyze you. Let worry guide you to investigate, explore, test, and monitor your progress. Worry enough that you won’t make a stupid mistake because you were too confident but don’t worry so much that you have no confidence.

The original quote was by Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab and probably appeared like this:

لا يمكن لأي قدر من الشعور بالذنب تغيير الماضي،
ويمكن لأي قدر من القلق تغيير المستقبل

 Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab died in 644 and according to Wikipedia, “was the most powerful of the four Rashidun Caliphs.” What does that mean? That wisdom is found throughout the world and throughout the various religions. What this post means is that just because something is wise doesn’t mean it is always correct.

What do you worry about and how has that helped or hindered you?

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