“Don’t Be Nervous” is Horrible Advice


You know when you’re actually brave enough to admit that you’re nervous about something? Maybe a speech or some type of performance? You open up, doing the right thing, feeling and expressing your nervousness to someone you trust, and then they come back and say, “Don’t be nervous.”

Wow. Fuck that.

Whatever you resist persists. So the more you resist your nervousness, the more you’ll have it.

Sure, maybe your friend means well, maybe they’re thinking about how they’ll love you no matter how you end up doing so it doesn’t make logical sense for you to be nervous.

However, the person saying “Don’t be nervous” is no more qualified to give you psycho-somatic advice than a poor person is to give you advice about money.

Here’s a better pointer: BE NERVOUS. If you’re feeling it, then really feel it. Breathe your breath into it and accept that feeling as all that exists.

Because until you accept what is there, there will never really be room for anything else.



“Be Yourself” = the worst advice ever.

It’s just too vague. It’s like telling someone, just be mature. Or just be confident.

Just be sexy.

Just be open-minded. Just be joyful.

See, if they’re not already feeling these things in that moment, then offering this simplified advice to people won’t ever work.

Seriously, try telling an angry person, Just be happy! ….no workie. It works for a happy person though.

For someone who’s already confident, it’s easy to tell someone else to just be confident, but it’s terrible advice!

Here’s why. Being yourself, being confident, being mature or sexy or open-minded or joyful aren’t things that you do. They’re states of being. And these specific states of being happen as a result of taking specific actions.

Being yourself happens when you KNOW WHO YOU ARE first, when your values are clear, and when you’re relaxed enough to take actions in alignment with your thoughts and words. And there are several different selves inside of you, so being yourself in one situation may look totally different in another situation.

Being mature happens when you’re able to recognize highly emotional events for what they are and properly managing your actions and emotions around these events.

The next time someone comes around with a coy, self-righteous smile on his face and says, “Just be yourself.” Tell them, “that is unhelpful advice. Go figure out what you’re trying to say and come back when you’ve come up with something more specific. I’ll be waiting for you. Thanks”

Or you can always just say, “You’re an idiot.”

And then when they get mad, tell them, “Just be happy!”

Good Advice
Good Advice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)