Notes to Self: Part Four


so continues the series on Joy the Baker.  I make notes to myself.   How to live.   How not to live… and how it’s ok if I burn the cookies. 

Short Version:  Everyone is as scared as you are.  If they’re not, they’re just faking it.   Chill.

Long Version:  Sometimes you lose yourself.  It happens more easily than you’d like.  You enter a situation on your own, and you just don’t feel as confident as you should.  It’s silly, really… but it’s real.  Forgetting your confident coat is like running out of the house without your bra on… and you really need a bra.  You’re over 30.  The time for free-form experimentation is long over.

Sometimes it’s superficial.  You’re not wearing the right shoes.  The top you chose rides up in the back (wwwhhhyyy!?).  You don’t accessorize well.  Your car is too dirty to valet.  Ooooh the list of reasons why you’re not good enough and why everyone is cooler, more prepared, and less scared could go on for centuries, leaving you feeling iffy-at-best going into social situations.

Sometimes it’s brainy.  You haven’t read the correct books, and you don’t quote the New Yorker.  You’ve got a good arsenal of Far Side comics committed to memory, but that doesn’t really fuel a political discussion.  Wait… remember the Far Side where the moose has a bull’s-eye tattoo?  I think the caption is something like “bummer birthmark, Fred.”  So there’s that.  When ‘bummer birthmark, Fred” is the only thing that comes to mind in a serious literary conversation… that’s when the terror sets in.  Why is everyone smarter than us!?

Sometimes the fears are work and school related.  You’re not at the right level.  You’re two promotions away from being happy at work.  Your blog traffic sucks.  You’re not taking the right classes with the right professors.  You’re not in the right clubs.  Everyone knows what they’re doing and where they’re going and you’re the only one floundering.  Your mind is filled with too many Blues Traveler lyrics.  That’s the problem.  If you could find a way to extricate those… then all of your problems would be solved (this is actually probably true).

Stop it!  Joy, you’re beating yourself up.  Remember this:  everyone is just as scared and unsure as you are.  They may not have the exact same fears or worries… but they have them.  For sure.  Some people are just better at hiding their fears than others, but we’re all in this together.  When in doubt (which may be more often than we’d like), remember that you’re good enough exactly right now, stop fussing with your hair, get out there, and live!  Exactly right now… you’re, we’re dang good enough.

Part Three: Switch

Part Two:  You’re Allowed

Part One:  Be Bold

210 thoughts on “Notes to Self: Part Four

  1. this note to self is my favorite yet. especially because fear is my greatest enemy. with the new school year starting, meeting new people (maybe even guys?), and applying for new jobs/opportunities also arises, so i know this note will be a great piece of encouragement for me.

    i love that you speak so much truth and i love that it applies to everyone; every stage + circumstance in life.

    thank you for writing a note to yourself that really is a note to everyone else, too!

  2. such a simple thing, yet so hard to remember. I am good enough.

    putting a bra on, leaving my greasy ponytail as-is, and walking out the door to go live some life.

    thank you xo

  3. Love it. I just spent the weekend powering through my fears and as a result had a brilliant time. Coming home one of the other participants admitted she had been shaking with nerves at one point, to me she had looked calm and happy the whole time. Never be limited by your fears!

  4. also i posted my comment in all caps and it does not like caps… so i’m sad. so um… please read my last comment in all caps please and thanks.

    1. I’m not liking the change to all lower case letters. It feels like I’m being forced to dot my i’s with little hearts. Not my style.

      Joy? Can you give us back our caps?

  5. Can I just say how much I love you? Your posts are always beautiful and inspiring. Out of the 10+ blogs I follow, you are by far my favorite. You should never feel unsure because you are so amazing <3

  6. Someone gave me some advice once j use before I had to go into a really scary presentation. They said “Remember, you know your work better than anyone else in the room”. It worked and though I was still as nervous as heck, I could swallow it and get on with it.

    You are right, everyone is afraid. But that’s never a good enough reason to let it stop you from doing something!

  7. joy, thanks for voicing what we all know (and so easily forget) that everyone’s feeling, or has felt… the reminder is always such a relief when it shows up.

    oh… and i am SO relieved to know i don’t need to wear a bra every single day for another 3 years, at least. thank god.

    you are the most amazing person i only know through reading and podcasting. for real.

  8. This couldn’t be more appropriate as I freak out about the 17 (Ah!) people coming to my house tomorrow for dinner….when maybe I should be grateful and excited that 10 turned into 17 and remember that people are always excited when free dinner is involved

  9. So true! Just started year 2 of med school, and constantly being surrounded by super-smarties can defs take a toll on my self-confidence, especially in the “not smart enough” category. I think sometimes you just have to force yourself to stop, realize whatever you did to get to where you are that day (baked cookies! went to the gym! got into law school! wrote a blog post!)…and understand that you’re pretty awesome for accomplishing those things, no matter how small they are. You did those things! Way to go everybody!

    1. Thanks Joy and Hannah. Man, I do this too – I am by far my own worst critic.

      People are so good at dismissing what they a can do to focus on what didn’t go so well. Killer recipes on a popular blog, getting into med school and making it to your 2nd year – these are amazing things! We need to celebrate!

      Woop woop everyone!

  10. Wow this was timely tonight. I’m currently working a contract where I’m feeling out of my depth and I got contacted by not just my boss but the VP of our division today to talk to me about my schedule. I have been feeling pretty scared about my whole situation.

    And you know what? I am good enough. I’m smart and fast and knowledgeable and I wouldn’t have been chosen for this project if I weren’t. I need to remember that, address the issues with my client manager factually and calmly, and remember exactly what you said: everyone is scared of something.

    Deep breath and carry on tomorrow.

    Thanks, Joy!!!

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