In order to have real confidence, you not only need to succeed at what you’re doing. You need to COMPLETE things (of course, some things should be dropped). If you’ve been avoiding things in your life, then you can’t have confidence. — Benjamin Hardy
I’ve been thinking about how good it feels to complete things. Introverts and avoidantly attached people tend to greatly dislike interruptions during their work. Interruptions feel so annoying. I thought it was solely because it takes me so long to return to the deep level of concentration I was in before the interruptions, but now I also think it is because disruptions keep me from completing things.
What stops us from completing tasks
My daily schedule has been crammed lately with work, wedding and winter tasks. The winter here in Minnesota has been brutal (more brutal than usual). We received 39 inches of snow in February alone! That is a record for us. When the weather is nasty, as we all know, tasks get added to our day. For instance, if it snows more than two inches, we have to shovel the sidewalk and clear our driveway. Since I am the only one home most of the time, I get to take on those tasks. I do get help from Mark and the kids when they are available.
While we are dealing with winter, the wedding planning tasks pile up or get haphazardly squeezed in throughout the day and night. While I’m dealing with wedding and winter tasks, my writing and course creating work gets put on the back burner.
Are you completing things you value?
I value highly my writing and course creating. I also value quality time with my family and friends. Taking care of the house and yard, feel like interruptions and distractions that stop me from completing the work I value. This creates anxiety for me.
Last Monday, I had the damn ice dams removed from our roof. I had been staring at them and fretting for weeks. The removal was very expensive, but the alternative was having ice get under the shingles and melt. This could cause catastrophic damage to the interior and electrical in our house.
The day after the ice dams were removed, I finished one of the courses I’ve been working on. That same day, I also purchased my wedding dress. That night my mood was markedly lighter and happier. I stood taller and had the energy to joke and offer support to others. I enjoyed my family more that night and I felt like the best version of my self.
I’ve written quite a bit about values and how they guide us and help us get through obstacles. Another fine point I want to put on the importance of values is that the work we complete in the name of our values gives us confidence. The works’ completion helps us evade anxiety. It fortifies us.
Keep occupied but not too occupied
I recently read, Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes. The paperback version of the book was published in 1969, so I’m taking her antiquated references to sedatives, shock treatment and housewives with a grain of salt. But, overall the book has excellent advice and suggestions for creating relief for the nervously ill.
Here is one of Dr. Weekes helpful quotes:
When you have achieved confidence by your own efforts, nothing can take it away again. No future defeat can quite destroy it.
Dr. Weekes is big on her patients finding light occupation in the company of others to help relieve their nerves. Dr. Weekes warns that if we throw ourselves into any and all occupation solely to run from our worries, it won’t work. She recommends light occupation. Something that gets us out of bed in the morning but does not stress us out. I think she is dead right.
When we have projects to work on and finish, we spend less time ruminating and re-igniting our sensitive nervous system. Companions help us stop focusing on ourselves. They engage us and give us a perspective other than the agitated one our fatigued mind and body provide.
Making progress on my creative work, making a decision about my wedding dress and resolving the ice dam issue all gave me the completion I needed to re-fortify my strength and confidence.
If you are suffering from overwhelm and anxiety, I encourage you to make time to complete something you value. The longer we let issues remain fragmented and unfinished, the more anxious and defeated we feel.
What have you completed lately? How is your confidence? What could you close out today?
I’m excited to announce my latest courses on brendaknowles.teachable.com:
If you have wondered why you or your partner drift away from intimacy and togetherness this course will have answers for you. If there is withdrawing or distancing between you and your loved one and you would like understand why, Is It Introversion or Is It Insecure Attachment? will help.
Are you or your partner an introvert? Does he get tired and want to go home after a few hours of socializing? Does she seem happy to be intimate one day and need space the next? Introverts Explained can help you gain understanding about yourself or your partner.