Letter From The Editor: How to be more confident in the year ahead

I was reading a science-fiction novel the other day about a galactic empire that’s on the brink of collapse. The head of the empire is thrust upon the responsibility with little choice, and she expresses doubts about being able to save people in the chaos. She asked one of the characters how she always seemed so confident. The answer, “Confidence is not about knowing you’re right. Confidence is about knowing that you can make it right.”

This is true. If there’s anything I learned in the pursuit of my personal definition of success, it’s that I’m rarely right about anything - at least, at first. It took me a few years to realize this because I’ve always believed that I was smarter than everyone else. Really, though, so much of what I’ve accomplished is because of luck and my inherent ability to grind at a solution. I’ve also always been optimistic that a solution is indeed forthcoming. That’s it. That’s the “secret” sauce, such as it were.

I know so many people who refuse to start or try things simply because they don’t know what will happen next. They’re not sure if their assumptions are right, if they have the skills and talent to execute the plan. I hate hearing, “I don’t know if I can do this”. No shit Sherlock, of course you don’t know - you haven’t done it yet. Even if you’ve done it a few times that doesn’t mean you can do it flawlessly forever more. All of life is just about picking a direction and figuring things out. Choose a goal. Make a plan. But never forget: the plan is NOT the goal. You have to be flexible AF with your plans if you are to have any chance of reaching your goal.

This doesn’t just apply to work or business or school. It applies to making new friends, hobbies, potty training your pet, trying on a new look, traveling to a different country.

Now that we’re all thinking about how we want our 2019 to be, I wish for you to be more confident in going for the things you want. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you worked to deserve. Explore all the possibilities available to you in the moment; don’t say no to things before you’ve tried them.

Trust that even if you don’t know that you’re right, that you can find a way to make it right. Take your time; you’re not racing against anybody, no matter what Instagram has you believe.

Art by Liz Lanuzo