The other day, I was encouraging my friend Lisa to start a food blog, and showed her my other friend Carly’s recipe blog as an example.
“But Carly knows what she’s doing!” she said.
Um, not true. I know Carly, and she started her blog absolutely clueless—just like I did a few years ago. And we both made (and continue to make) plenty of mistakes; Carly still Googles how to add images, affiliate links, grow traffic… the thing is, she just keeps going forward in the not-knowing-ness. That’s what makes her and her blog a success.
This brief exchange between Lisa and me highlighted everything I know to be true about the untruths we tell ourselves that hold us back the most. (Phew!) In a phrase: We always think other people have stuff figured out…but they don’t. We build them up and make ourselves feel bad. Everyone is just figuring it out as they go too!
Do any of these sound like you?
“Other people know how to flirt or date better than I do.”
I coached a woman who said she felt like a failure for being single for four years. She told me, “Other women just get this stuff. They are good with all the apps and the dating game—it’s like I missed the training on this whole thing.” Not true! Dating can be overwhelming for everyone.
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The good news? If you’re serious about meeting someone special, all you need to do is to meet one person. Not 300. Just one!
My last three engaged friends met in these unique ways: at a gym (they shared a personal trainer), on Coffee Meets Bagel (a good app I’ve heard!), and on a ferry to Jersey City from New York (yes, really—she asked him what he was reading because she saw a juicy news headline pop up on his iPad). I met my husband at a concert.
There are no rules. No limits on how to meet somebody or who they should be. No incorrect places or times to meet a fellow human. Being open and receptive is the only key.
“Other people are better parents.”
People are quick to acknowledge that parenting doesn’t come with a manual or guide. I think I’ve heard almost every parent say this in some capacity—some version of “Who the heck is crazy enough to give me control over this new life?!” My sister told me she was totally freaked out when we brought her first son home from the hospital.
But the truth is, there are all sorts of parenting styles. So long as you’re raising a kind, independent, healthy child, you’re doing great!
“Successful people just know what they’re doing.”
One of my favorite quotes is from comedian Ricky Gervais, who said, “The best advice I ever received is, ‘No one knows what they’re doing, either.'” And while I was cruising YouTube recently, I saw an old video of one of my favorite actresses, Rachel McAdams (Notebook swoon for a second with me, will ya?), who said, “Some of the best things in life and at work come out of uncertain moments. It’s when you don’t know what you’re doing sometimes—that’s when the magic happens.”
And it’s true—control is an illusion. True knowledge only comes with experience. And the only way to find yourself at any worthwhile destination is to buckle up and embrace it. There are no shortcuts, but you can choose to be in your life. You can welcome uncertainty. After all, what’s the alternative?
So stay off of Nosebook and trust the path ahead of you. If you do that long enough, everyone will be wondering (and asking) how, like Carly, you always somehow knew what you were doing.
Susie Moore is Greatist’s life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Sign up for free weekly wellness tips on her website and check back every Tuesday for her latest No Regrets column!