Inevitably, whenever I have a work trip or an event the next day, my daughter will wake me up crying and I struggle to fall back asleep. Sometimes, like last night, the struggle lasts for hours.
I meditated, I listened to rain sounds on Spotify for two straight hours, and I even took a pain pill to make me drowsy (hey, desperate times…). Nothing worked.
As I was lying awake last night tossing and turning, I thought about what my friend Archie spoke about at our Health and Happiness storytelling night on financial health.
Archie discussed the simple, yet profound, consequences of operating from a state of insecurity versus a state of security. In his story, these were illustrated through points in his life where he made financial mistakes and where he achieved significant financial gains.
Every time he made a bad decision, it had been during a period of insecurity. Insecurity caused doubt (in himself), and that doubt caused him to bad judgement calls (in opportunities).
“To put it simply,” he said, “When you are operating from an insecure state, bad things tend to happen. When you’re operating from a secure state, good things tend to happen.”
It made total sense.
I had experienced this so many times — and not just in a financial capacity. Recently I had a dry spell in my adult soccer league where I hadn’t been able to find the back of the net. It totally snowballed. I was nervous every time I touched the ball because I had put all this pressure on myself to break out of the rut.
And what happened? I played worse.
But after practicing my drills for a few weeks and playing as much as possible, I scored in my next two games. Not only that but my overall play has been much better and I’m having fun again.
Of course, this also applies to “real life” and not just recreation sports.
When your confidence is down, you don’t get the job you interviewed for, you don’t get the girl to fall in love with you and you don’t do well on the test. Your whole being is saturated with desperation — and that is incredibly toxic.
But when you approach goals and obstacles with confidence in yourself, you make clearer decisions and you tend to make the correct choices. As Archie said: good things happen.
Some people call it having a mindset of abundance instead of a mindset of scarcity. Others would call it “manifesting” what you want to happen.
Either way, I was putting so much pressure on myself to fall asleep last night that I was essentially tricking myself out of it. The paradox is that you need confidence to break out of insecurity, but it’s really hard to get your confidence up when you’ve had a string of misses.
For me to get to that space, I simply have to relax, remain clear-headed, and come from a place of gratitude. Being grateful makes me happy and being happy makes me confident.
Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone thinks to be a good boxer you have to be mad or angry to win. But that isn’t true. When I was at my best, it was when I was the happiest in my life.”
Once I take those initial steps to calm down, I try to visualize the worst case scenario. If I realize that the worst case scenario isn’t death or illness, then I will be okay.
Everything will be okay.
So finally after hours of trying to coax myself to sleep, stressing about how tired I would be for my shoot in New York City today and how my performance might lack, I turned over, closed my eyes, and thought about how excited I was to eat at my favorite pizza place, John and Tony’s.
I smiled big and fell fast asleep.
Rain Bennett is a two-time Emmy-nominated filmmaker, writer, and competitive storyteller with over a decade of experience producing documentary films that focus on health and wellness. His mission is simple: to make the world happier and healthier by sharing stories of change.
You can read the rest of “Right as Rain” here, and check back every Wednesday on Chapelboro for a new column!