Pieces of Me

Don’t Bet Against Yourself

Social media: one stop shop for photo stalking, exercise validation, cooking videos, cat meme’s and inspirational quotes. There are so many inspirational quotes that many defeat their own purpose. I gloss over most of them. But one caught my attention, can’t remember where I saw it to link to, but in a gist it said “don’t bet against yourself.”

Hardly ground breaking, perhaps not even innovative, but it was something I had never really thought about. Taking bets against myself, actually choosing the other side over me? Why on earth would I ever do that?

Well as it turns out I do and often. I worry. I get anxious. I dwell. I turn over the possibilities, mostly only considering the negative ones, over and over in my head. I say it is too much. Too hard. Everything is bound to go wrong. All of these are taking bets against myself. Every single time.

When I read the quote on social media, I was in the middle of a summer of completely overhauling the house. The tasks I was taking on were huge, there was even one afternoon when I chain sawed down a tree in our backyard – all by myself.

That is when it hit me. I’m the winning horse. The bets need to be on me, not against me.

Sure there are going to be moments in life where real worry is warranted. Real concerns or anxious also warranted. But most of the time, I need to try and actively set it aside.


I say “try” because I really believe the mindset is a hard thing to change. I come from generations of worry. Worry is in my genetic code. My grandmother worries. My mother worries. I am next in line to the throne of worry.

But change can be achieved in small steps. Each time I can feel the worry rise up I take a deep breath and tell myself to stop it. Every time the negative thoughts start to spread their wings I get myself in such a flurry thinking of all possible positives instead.

Most of the time worry achieves nothing. It really does. Most situations sort themselves, often for the better and in ways we hardly expect, and worry only serves to bring us down. In times when worry is the default, these are times when we need to lift ourselves up the most and stop taking bets against ourselves.

I hope for some of you this post goes without saying, that you are nodding along and saying welcome to the light side Josefa. But for some of you I hope the words “don’t bet against yourself” plant themselves somewhere firmly in the back of your mind and rise up as a reminder next time the default worry kicks in.

If you were standing in front of that bookies office, money in hand, ready to hand over your cash, would you really take the odds against yourself? Would you?


Linking up with #IBOT
Catch up on my last blog post Binge Watching Mad Men

  • Rebecca Bowyer

    Definitely good advice! #TeamIBOT

  • LydiaCLee

    Nice post – similar to most of us at yesterdays #IMustConfess…no, won’t bet against myself anymore.

  • Great advice xx

  • TeganMC

    I bet against myself a lot too. Your words about worry reminded me of something my psychologist says to me often. She says that worry only serves a purpose in that initial jolt, anything past that and you’re beating yourself up with it. Worry serves a purpose in everyday things like checking both ways before crossing the road, or buying enough food for our family for example but that’s only when it lasts a moment.

  • This is such a great post Josefa to which I can certainly relate. It’s taken me quite a few years, probably all of my 30s to be more confident in myself and choosing ‘me’ rather than betting against myself. I still fall back into the hole occasionally, but I have realised that amazing things can and do happen when you bet on yourself.

  • This is so thought provoking for me. The worst thing is that if I am totally honest I would actually bet against myself at the moment.

  • Sarah from Bubsandbeans

    This is great, It’s funny that a statement so simple can have such a profond affect on how you view yourself. I will have to stop betting against myself!

  • I’ve definitely done this, and I do look for reasons while I’ll fail even as I try to find hope that I won’t. But if the long journey of infertility/IVF/adoption we went on taught me anything it is that worry is entirely wasted.

  • I would. Every time. But it wasn’t always the way, Josefa. Like you, I acknowledged the way I was sabotaging myself and consciously made an effort to stop it. Once you remove the permission, you will notice when you are doing it and you can tell yourself to stop. I just used to say over and over, “no, stop, I don’t do that anymore”. Eventually you forget to do it at all.

    That said, sometimes I would definitely pick someone else, for sure. If they were the better person for the task at hand. Self-awareness works both ways. x

  • I need to get better at backing myself. I’ve always been better at cheer leading others than myself. Something to think about.

  • I’ve never thought of it like that, but putting it that way, sometimes I would bet against or for myself depending on the situation.

  • I love this post! You’ve got me thinking …
    There are days I definitely bet against myself.
    Then there are days you can’t stop me from crossing the finish line in fanfare. But is it me crossing the finish line or is a product of me?
    There is something i have discovered about myself this year … I have been hiding behind my books and my blog and my projects … instead of standing up front and promoting MYSELF as the product I have put all my energy into trying to market what I produce. I have had a realisation that perhaps I need to be promoting myself instead. So yes, I need to be backing myself rather than my ideas.
    Does that make sense?
    I think you’ve nailed it Josefa. I love this post and will be sharing it with my clients.

  • Worry is rarely useful, which doesn’t stop us doing it unfortunately. I think too, as creative types, our imaginations can run away with us and make implausible things seem possible.
    I’m glad you’re betting on yourself now Josefa. It’s a good thing to do. xx

  • I never thought about worry as betting against myself. Thanks for the food for thought Xx

  • I am trying to work on worrying and doing less of it! I love the idea of betting on, instead of against, ourselves. Here’s to more of that! PS High five to you for chainsawing a tree all by yourself!

  • Move over sista! I’m next in line for the throne of worry 😉 Seriously, I relate to every single word, but something tells me you already knew that 🙂 It’s a hard habit to change. My anxiety is off the hook today and your post has helped. Time to starting betting on me x

  • Love this. I had a similar epiphany when I saw the quote (Smaggle, wasn’t it?) too. I constantly worry. I play things over and over in my head so many times before they happen. If they happen at all, that is. Now I try to remember those words. You’re betting against yourself. Stop it. You’ve got this. x

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