Instant Confidence Booster: Think Of All The Idiots Out There


As you probably know, I'm in the process of publishing a book, You Should Write A Book!, which is thiiisss close to being ready for the editor.  It's taking longer than it probably should because I keep coming up with more to add to it.

I have stories to tell, y'all.  I can't wait for you to get your hands on this tell-all.

The back-end stuff to writing a book is what takes so darn long.  Getting the stories written and organized is a pretty big job, sure.  But the editing junk, the design junk, the publishing junk, and the legal junk... that's what takes forever, and I'll be honest: it's sometimes a complicated process.  

Recently, I went to the county courthouse to make my company name all official, but I couldn't answer some of the very basic questions they asked, including the very first one: "Will you register as an incorporated business, or a non-incorporated business?"

"Uummmmm...," I muttered, as my eyes glazed over.

I wasn't sure, because my main company is incorporated, but the one I was registering as a subsidiary isn't incorporated.  What if I said the wrong one?  Is there a benefit to registering one way versus the other?  Will I get a tax ding if I register one way versus the other?

She asked me a few other questions, and I didn't know the answer to any of them.

Little sweat beads started to form around my hairline (this happens when I'm nervous).  I got a little shaky, and suddenly felt like I was lying to this woman.  Like a bank robber.  I felt like a bank robber.  Like I was there to steal someone else's business forms, claiming them as my own, and paying the $23 fee, so they wouldn't be able to pay it themselves.

Why do I over think the easiest stuff?  

I was a slightly-above-average student in school.  I consider myself to have at least average intelligence, but I'd say I skew a teensy bit above average (if I do say so). 

Here's what I do when I find myself in situations like this.

I think to myself, "Think of all the dumb people out there who have done this very thing.  If they can do it, surely I can do it!"  

And voila: instant confidence booster.  

Now, I suppose you could look at this philosophy and say that it should have the opposite effect.  That the fact that dumb people can navigate these situations that you're having trouble navigating should make your confidence go down, not up.

But you can't look at it like that.  You have to frame it like this: "Look at all the idiots out there who have done just this.  If they can do it, think how awesome it'll be once I do it."  

By the way, this technique can be used in all kinds of situations.  

You can use it when parenting:  you think to yourself how you haven't been cooking fully balanced meals for your kids lately.  You've been eating out a lot, and you've even had a few cereal-for-dinner nights.  You feel guilty.  Then you think, "Look at all the idiots out there who have done just this, and their kids have turned out to be perfectly healthy, productive citizens."

Here are some great resources to show you the kind of people there are out there.  This'll make you feel better, guaranteed:

1. Comments on news articles, like CNN, or Huffington Post, that are shared on social media.  The more controversial the topic, the more material you'll find in the comments section. 


2. Watch an episode of Cops.  You'll be shocked at the decisions some people make, and it'll make you realize just how capable you are, in the whole scope of life.

Anyhoo, back at the County Courthouse, I straightened myself up, held my shoulders back, and said very confidently, "Unincorporated!"  The clerk looked back at me oddly and raised her eyebrows, surely finding my response a little more exuberant than she was used to, and said, "Okaaayyy," and handed the appropriate papers over to me.

Now, at tax time next year, I may very well have a surprise tax bill if I registered as the wrong business entity, but what the heck?  It's not like that hasn't happened to plenty of dummies before, and they've muddled their way through juuuust fine.

Now you!  Do you ever feel like you should be smart enough to figure out things that you're having trouble figuring out?  Tell me in the comments!