A Little Happier: If Others Think I Can Do a Job, I Can Probably Do It.

I love it when people know just the right thing to say in a situation. Here’s one of my favorite examples — when a friend found the right thing to say to me, when I was nervous before a job interview with Justice O’Connor.

(Spoiler alert: I did get the job.)

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Happier listening!


  • Alison Pike

    This came at the PERFECT moment. I’m appearing as an expert on a documentary tomorrow — having seen a draft(?) cut(?) whatever it’s called, I was super nervous. My performance makes me cringe. This little bit of happy made me realise that the producers are the experts. I’m fine, otherwise I would have ended up on the editing floor.

    • gretchenrubin

      Great timing!

  • Devidasan Chathanadath

    If you want to be happy, Be! Saying the right thing is the easiest, what is difficult is to say what is not right because to say what is not right, one needs to invent what is not right, if not wrong!

    One is able to say what is right is because one is happy, rather chosen to be happy because if you want to be happy, Be! Happiness does not arise because what you have said is right, but what has come out to be your right response has come out of the Self that is happy inside you out of the realization that “If you want to be happy, Be” as much as if you want to be unhappy, Be! The key is within, within you!


  • Gretchen, I just listened to this for the first time today. I’m sure most folks out there have that feeling at least once in their lives if not many. I’m one that thinks this often – especially after being fired for the first time in my life about a year ago (right before the holidays). It’s taken me a while as I have mental illness and getting right up and dusting myself off is harder than I can put into words. Sooooo, I decided to go back to college with a family to support. Grad school it is – at age 42 and I’m killing it. However, I still don’t feel like I’m good enough. (Not sure if I’m doing this to test myself and see if I can do the work or what?)

    Listening to this put tears in my eyes. Because I have been told this quite often recently that my potential is incredible. Maybe I should start believing it, at least a little bit. 🙂 Thank you so much. I needed this.

    • gretchenrubin

      I’m so happy to hear that it struck a chord with you.

  • Tomisha Bino

    I listened to this yesterday and, man, did it make a profound impact. I’m a researcher and I’m constantly struggling with imposter syndrome. This made me think: “These people, I think I’ve fooled into thinking that I can do the job are the same people I think are better and smarter than me.” Realizing that how imcompatible holding both beliefs is, I think I will finally start to “heal” my imposter syndrome.

    Thank you.