Obtaining Confidence

venus williams

Last week Venus WIlliams wrote an article in the New York Times about the 3 factors in obtaining confidence.

When you don’t feel good about yourself and your prospects it can be hard to have confidence.

At 53 I haven’t yet gotten what I wanted. My love and literary prospects haven’t panned out yet. Operative word in the last sentence: yet.

Venus Williams is on to something when she eschewed setting goals in favor of asking yourself: “Do I feel good?” This makes perfect sense to me.

The question “Do I feel good?” is relevant to whether you succeed.

The Dark Horse authors whose book I wrote about in the Flourish blog think achieving success doesn’t lead to happiness–it’s the pursuit of fulfillment that makes you happy.

Again, it’s the process not the outcome that counts.

Which ultimately reinforces my perpetual claim that fashion isn’t frivolous. If you feel good, you’re empowered to take on the world.

In terms of the fashion freedom I hinted at in a recent blog entry I don’t think you can feel good in ill-fitting clothes that aren’t becoming on you.

To know your style and flaunt it guarantees you will be a success in whatever you do.

If you don’t feel good–about what you’re wearing; about the people you’re working with; about an aspect of yourself or your life–you have the power to change this.

This is the truth: you can be happy even when you haven’t achieved the goals you set for yourself. Venus Williams is right and she’s a champion: the goals are irrelevant.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about living for today, which is the ultimate method for feeling good.

Doing What Gives You Joy

In this blog I want to return to other more positive topics.

Today I lobby for doing what gives you joy. Every day or as often as possible we should do what gives us joy. This is the ultimate adjunct way to heal from an illness as well as using traditional medicine.

This claim I don’t make lightly.

The fact is that when you’re happy, it will upset other people. Those who are miserable about their own lives won’t like it that you have and express your joy.

Yet what is doing what you love if not an expression of joy, if not a life force that can help a person heal?

I think of this today as the season starts to roll into autumn. The late summer and early fall are a magical time in New York City. Street fairs abound. It’s the perfect weather to talk long walks in parks.

Finding what gives you happiness and going and doing that is the key to living well in recovery. The older I get I’m emboldened to shout louder about this and other things.

It matters to me that everyone has the equal opportunity to recover and do well after becoming ill. You should view recovery as the chance to change your life for the better.

Obviously something wasn’t working before you got sick. Post-illness each of us has the choice to continue the way things were before. Or to risk making changes to grow and get better.

We have a second chance to find joy and happiness in our lives.

What gets lost in the critical nature of a few reviews of Left of the Dial is that doing what gave me joy helped me recover. If this is a sin, let me be guilty.

When I set out to write the memoir I wanted it to be a different kind of narrative. I chose to focus on everything that happened after I recovered. My goal was to show how how I healed through creativity.

Music, art, fashion, writing, and exercise have long been in my life the five elements that gave me incredible joy.

I’m going to end here by telling readers that if anyone else tells you either subtly or outright that it’s wrong to focus on getting your needs met in terms of being happy you should question what their stance is all about.

Be happy. You have the right to be happy.

It’s precisely when you’re in pain that you should do what you love.