The Friendly Mind

5 Things Confident People Don't Do + Dreamwork

Published about 1 year ago • 4 min read

Hey everyone,

Quick reminder that there's still time to register for my upcoming workshop, Healthy Boundaries and the Art of Saying No.

And now, on to the newsletter...


For better self-esteem, ask yourself: What do I admire about other people?

Self-esteem isn’t a mystery: When you consistently do things contrary to what you value, your self-esteem will suffer; but when you consistently do things that are aligned with what you value, your self-esteem tends to improve.

The trick is in getting clear about what you really value. And a nice way to do this is to reflect on what you admire about other people….

What we admire in others is a reflection of what we value.

Here are a couple things I very much admire in others:

  • Courage, especially emotional courage. I admire people who are able to do hard but important things in the face of difficult emotions. For example, giving someone negative feedback despite the fear that they won’t take it well.
  • Reliability. I admire people who do what they say they’re going to do when they say they’re going to do it. They say they’re going to get up early and walk for 30 minutes and they do it.

Unsurprisingly, my self-esteem tracks pretty well with how these show up in my own life: My self-esteem suffers when I compromise my values in order to feel better emotionally in the moment; but my self-esteem seems strong and healthy when I follow through on commitments I make to myself or other people.

Healthy self-esteem depends on knowing what you value and acting in accordance with that. The twist is that it’s much easier to act according to your values when you’re clear about what they are. Reflecting on what you admire about others is great way to get clarity about your values, and as a result, improve your self-esteem.


To live your healthiest, longest life, you need to understand what’s going on inside your body.

People age at different speeds. And generic, annual blood work doesn’t properly evaluate your biological age. But InsideTracker does. InsideTracker is a truly personalized nutrition and performance system, designed to extend your health span and slow down the aging process. Created by leading scientists in aging, genetics, and biometrics, InsideTracker analyzes your blood, DNA, and fitness tracking data to identify where you’re optimized—and where you’re not. You’ll get a daily Action Plan with personalized guidance on the right exercise, nutrition, and supplementation for your body. Add InnerAge 2.0 to any plan to calculate your true biological age, and see how you’re aging from the inside out.

For a limited time, get 20% off the entire InsideTracker store using the link below:

Explore InsideTracker →


5 Things Confident People Don't Do

What if we need a completely different approach to building confidence… What if becoming more confident is about what you should do less of rather than more of?

Read the article →

Rethinking the Battle Against Depression

Maybe “battle” isn’t the right metaphor for dealing with depression in a healthy way…

Read the article →


Overcoming anxiety disorders

A reader asks:

Is it possible to overcome an anxiety disorder completely?


But let’s clarify a few things…

  • An “anxiety disorder” means you have anxiety that’s reached a level of intensity such that it’s significantly impairing your life, and as a result, you’ve been given a diagnosis by a mental health professional.
  • So, can you get your anxiety to a point where it’s no longer significantly impairing your life and the diagnosis is no longer warranted? Absolutely. It takes work and patience. But it’s definitely doable. I spent the first 6 years of my career helping people do just that.
  • However, overcoming an anxiety disorder is not the same thing as never struggling with anxiety any more. We all experience anxiety—sometimes a lot of anxiety. That’s a perfectly normal, if painful, part of the human experience.
  • That said, even if your anxiety struggles are “sub-clinical,” it’s still possible to experience a lot less anxiety by improving the way you think about and respond to anxiety, building better habits, and generally improving your emotional fitness. That’s a big part of what I write and teach about in this newsletter and my courses.

I would encourage you (and anyone else struggling with anxiety) to think less about getting rid of or overcoming anxiety, and instead, reflect on this question:

What would it look like to have a healthy relationship with my anxiety?

Nobody gets rid of anxiety. And the people who are most skilled at managing anxiety well are the ones who have a healthy relationship with it.

That’s what this newsletter, The Friendly Mind, is all about: Treating all your emotions not as enemies to be eliminated, but as friends to be understood, even when they’re being difficult.

Got a question you'd like to see me to answer here? Ask me anything →


An Introduction to Dreamwork

In general, I'm not big on dream interpretation. But the systematic and structured approach described here caught my eye:

"Many types of dreamwork focus on single dreams, but that puts a bunch of pressure on the act of “interpreting” any one dream, which is kind of impossible and also not the point. Looking at a single dream—much like looking at one hour plucked from your decades on this planet—is arbitrary. There’s a ton to learn from their progression."

Read the article →


Have a nice week,


Hi, I'm Nick Wignall. You're getting this email because you signed up for it at

Or maybe someone awesome shared it with you? If so, give them a big hug, then subscribe to this newsletter for yourself.

The Friendly Mind

by Nick Wignall

A weekly newsletter sharing practical advice for emotional health and wellbeing from psychologist Nick Wignall. Read by 40,000+

Read more from The Friendly Mind
Share this post