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Emails to my Therapist

Email to My Therapist: Excellent Confidence Builder

Nicholas — Two things: 1. My somewhat-insane self-discipline seems to have gone on vacation.  2. Your confidence builder technique is turning out to be astonishingly effective.

1. The self-discipline:

I’ve lately been indulging in sleeping late, far too many Cherry Cokes, days without to-do lists. Not bothering to require a lot of myself. Not rushing anything or straining to accomplish. Not even worrying about this situation which has come about without my consciously choosing it.

In the big picture, this isn’t so dramatic, but it’s a change both unsought and wildly uncharacteristic.  It seems to be my reaction (one of them) to loved ones falling ill all around me and to being increasingly “older” myself.

2. The confidence builder, self doubt reducer

You say you don’t give advice, but you do and this recent piece is really good. The anxiety (one of them) that has always pulled at me: that there might be someone in the world who could do a better job of anything I’m about to undertake. Your solution: there’s always someone who could do better at a particular task or aspect of it. Of course there is. For anyone, any time. But what’s important is: simply give what I have to give. That’s my responsibility. Nothing more than that.

This works whether the project at hand is writing a book, critiquing a book, doing laundry or (God forbid) having somebody over for supper.

A simple technique. I’ve found it utterly convincing.

Just give everything my best shot. This is do-able, and relatively easy compared to straining to be the best in the world. Moreover, it’s all anyone can do.

What a relief, that that should be enough!


Thanks! I hoist a Cherry Coke in your honor.



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  • Kenju
    March 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm Reply

    You seem to be following our daily plan ( or not) of action (inaction). Yesterday, we binge-watched “Reign” on Netflix from 3 pm until 11:15 pm. Talk about a couch-potato!!

    • Peggy Payne
      March 13, 2017 at 3:17 pm Reply

      Wow, that’s a serious binge, Kenju. I’ll check out Reign. I binge-watched last week for the first time: 4 episodes in a row of The Crown.

  • March 13, 2017 at 3:59 pm Reply

    I like your prescription for self -doubt reducing, Peggy. I’m going to try to practice it. I could use some help in that area. And your binge-watching The Crown is perfectly understandable. It’s a really good series. I also recommend Call the Midwife.

    • Peggy Payne
      March 13, 2017 at 4:04 pm Reply

      I’ll be interested in knowing how it works for you, Sally!

    • March 13, 2017 at 4:47 pm Reply

      Joda’s comment about “try” comes to mind. bob

  • March 13, 2017 at 4:29 pm Reply

    I love this post, Peggy. Thank you so much for putting this n2 such good words. I to have spent so much of my life stressing and straining to be spectacular! What is that? I always had this image of myself being whisked into a limousine with never a though to the place I was being whisked away from or whisking to. I thank a lot of things for the fact that I am preferring to walk from place to place now, greeting people, animals, plants, flowers, fabulous television charaters here in the golden age of binge watching. It’s a gift of aging. I am so grateful.

    • Peggy Payne
      March 13, 2017 at 5:48 pm Reply

      Your gratitude is the best strategy of all, Randee.

  • March 13, 2017 at 4:49 pm Reply

    Sounds and looks like it’s happening as you’d like, naturally.

    • Peggy Payne
      March 13, 2017 at 5:47 pm Reply

      Yes, though, I didn’t know it.

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