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The Path of Confidence with Ethan Nichtern

Guest Interview

Hello beautiful souls! In his new book Confidence: Holding Your Seat Through Life’s Eight Worldly Winds, Ethan Nichtern explores how genuine confidence isn’t a destination we reach, but a way of being that we cultivate through daily practice. Just like mindfulness or compassion, confidence requires ongoing attention and care. It’s not about never feeling fear or doubt, but about learning to meet those experiences with presence, wisdom, and an open heart. In the book, Ethan talks specifically about tools we need to work with building confidence as we seek recognition for our work, genuine connection with others, and success in our endeavors, all without getting stuck in imposter syndrome, perfectionism, and other traps that knock us over in defeat. It’s a journey of learning to hold our seat amidst life’s ups and downs, again and again. What does practicing confidence look like for you? How do you navigate the moments when fear or self-doubt arise? Let’s explore this together in today’s episode. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this episode over on Instagram @angelpodcast . . . and THANK YOU for listening!

To learn more about Ethan Nichtern’s work:
Ethan’s book Confidence: Holding Your Seat Through Life’s Eight Worldly Winds is also available on the website


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Julie Jancius: Want to know what’s coming up on today’s episode. Here’s a preview.

Ethan Nichtern: And so I think a lot of, that sort of off the mat practice can just be saying like, I just want to highlight one thing. Let me just, because life is going to come at me very fast and let me just set one intention right. So that’s why you see, like, be kind of right. Whatever else, like, I may not be effective. I may not be, you know, I may not say that the brightest thing in the room, but just let me see if I can focus on this one element.

Julie Jancius: Hello, beautiful souls. You’re listening to the Angels and Awakening podcast. I’m, your host and author, Julie Jancius. Did you know that you can listen to this show everywhere podcasts are found? It’s true. Now I have three free gifts just for you. First gift, I give away a new reading each week to a person who’s left a five star positive review of this show, then submitted it to me using the contact form@theangelmedium.com. backslash contact. I hope I’m calling your number next. Second gift. If you’d like a new daily angel message, join me on instajngelpodcast. Third free gift. If you’d like to know the name of one of your guardian angels so that you can work with them even more closely, go to the homepage of my website, theangelmediam.com, and submit your contact info at the very top. I’ll email you back personally with the name of one of your Angels. Okay, as we begin the show, I want you to feel the presence of your Angels surrounding you. And just know that the loving, positive messages you resonate with today are messages for you from your Angels and loved ones on the other side. Hello, beautiful souls. Welcome back to the Angels and Awakening podcast. I’m m your host and author, Julie Jancius. And friends, today we have Ethan Nickturn here. He’s the author of Confidence, holding your seat through life’s eight worldly wins and several other titles, including the widely acclaimed, the Road Home, a contemporary exploration of the buddhist path, a renowned contemporary buddhist teacher and the host of the Road Home podcast, Nick Turn has offered meditation and buddhist psychology classes at conferences, yoga Studios, Yale, Brown, NYU, and he’s been featured all over CNN, NPR, the New York Times, Vogue. I’m so excited to have you here, ethan. Thank you so much. You’ve got this beautiful work that you’re putting out into this world and this new book, confidence. Holding your seat through life’s eight worldly wins, and I’m really excited to explore this with you today.

Ethan Nichtern: Thanks so much for having me, Julie. It’s great to be here.

Julie Jancius: Yeah. So I like how you put this concept into wins, because I love feeling the energy of things, and instead of looking at things as challenges or obstacles or crossroads, looking at things as wins feels better. Can you explain what those wins are and how they can really impact our confidence?

Ethan Nichtern: Sure. Sure. Yeah. I mean, well, so this book came from, really, whenever I talk to anybody about mindfulness meditation or their study of Buddhism, eventually we end up talking about confidence. And so I really went looking for ways that the buddhist teachings could have either metaphors or teachings or practices that directly related to confidence. And there are a lot of themes in. In Buddhism about this notion of wind. And, you know, there’s a lot of themes where we look at the energies of the world or the energies of our mind, the forces that move us, and in this case, the forces that can kind of knock us off our balance, knock us off our seat as winds. And there’s this classic teaching called the eight worldly winds. And these are basically the experiences of life that, if you live as a human in the world, are going to, affect you. There’s four of them are things we hope will happen and try to make happen and hold on to pleasure, praise, fame, or recognition, at least. I don’t know if we want to be famous, but recognition for our work and our way of being in the


Ethan Nichtern: world and just success overall. Right? So we have these wins that kind of, like, prop us up, and then we have these wins that knock us down, which are the kind of more feared aspects. Pain, criticism, insignificance, not being recognized, not being famous, not being known, and failure in general. Right. So I really liked. I was moved by that image of wind. there’s also, in Tibetan Buddhism, there’s this, which was the tradition that I inherited from my family, who studied Tibetan Buddhism and mostly practice and teach. There’s this notion of a being called the wind horse, which is kind of confidently riding the winds of life. And, you know, one of the images that really came to me that felt so central was I looked this up. You know, when you’re at, like, a. Outside a car wash or a car dealership, those guys, those, you know, balloon.

Julie Jancius: Guys, the ones that kind of, like, wave their hands and go all over.

Ethan Nichtern: Yeah, yeah. They’re called tube men. I looked this up. In Japan, they’re apparently called sky dancers. And, you know, when the breeze hits them, you know, I’m thinking of that Donovan song, catch the wind. Right? When the breeze hits them, they just, it’s like everything is right in the world. They’re cheering on everybody who passes. And then if the breeze hits them the wrong way, they just droop like, you know, the most. The saddest little beings. So I was really interested in, you know, looking at, you know, it’s also buddhist. Ah. Teacher Pema Chodran talks about the weather of the mind. I think there’s, first of all, there’s something about the metaphor of wind, of looking at what happens to us in life as just forces or elements kind of moving through us that helps, us sort of not take the whole thing so personally and also look at it as elements that were just working with. We’re not saying, can I not experience any more wind? It’s really more, how do I work with this? How do I hold my seat with the wind? And that notion of holding one seat, which is in the book’s subtitle, is a metaphor for meditation, but it kind of changes the idea of meditation from some escape from life as a way to take your seat and learn how to actually ride through a, really windy reality where we are going to experience pleasure and pain. We are going to want to be praised and be afraid of being criticized. We are going to seek success and droop just like those two men. When we fail at something, we do want to be known. We don’t want to be insignificant. And so how do we ride all of that? As if we were holding a seat? And so it just makes the whole thing very human, very earthly. Right. So I like, I really like the wind metaphor, and I really like the tube men. So I felt like I had to run with that to talk about confidence.

Julie Jancius: M tube men, metaphor is just perfect because I love those guys. You see them all the time. They make me so happy when they’re up. But, yeah, I think you get sad when they, they go down. You feel their energy.

Ethan Nichtern: Yeah. Yeah. I really want to talk to the, whoever the person was that said, this is how we’re going to sell cars.

Julie Jancius: That’s awesome. so in part of your book, you write that cultivating compassion for ourselves and others is foundational for genuine confidence. I want you to talk about, like, why is self compassion so important, and how does it help us ride out those eight worldly wins?

Ethan Nichtern: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, I mean, I think the. The first part of compassion that I talk about is just being able to empathize. Right. Just, which is just the basic ability of being able to feel what is being felt, you know, to empathize with another person. I know your mom. You obviously know how to empathize, right? To just feel like, what is this person feeling? And to make that sort of just inhabit that without it being a problem, without it being something foreign. And so when we start to practice self compassion, we’re just feeling what we’re feeling, and so with confidence. And, you know, this book is really about the struggle with confidence. That’s really why I wanted to write this, because as a meditator, as a buddhist teacher, this is something I’ve struggled with throughout my life. You know, the ways that we get knocked off, the ways we feel deflated, the ways we, you know, have a really hard time believing in ourself, they’re very normal. They’ve actually happened to every human throughout history. So I think that process of self Empathy is just fueling our humanity. Like, oh, how do I feel right now? Oh, I really don’t. I really don’t want to be criticized. And I know, you know, like, when you write a book as a writer, that that’s a big moment that you’re like, I don’t want to.


Ethan Nichtern: I don’t want to go on Goodreads or Amazon and read my reviews, right? That’s very normal, right? So just to empathize with that feeling and go, okay, nobody wants to hurt that way, right? And when you put something out in the world, you want people to like it, you know? So that’s very normal. And out of that, Empathy grows care and then grows, like, a sense of agency. Like, how can I actually help myself be content, be at ease, be well? And so I think we often have a hard time empathizing with ourselves. And that’s why I think of all the meditation teachings that have really made their way into western psychological society. Self compassion, which is a set of teachings that originally comes from Buddhism. I’m thinking of people like the therapists, and psychologist Kristen Neff, Christopher Germer have really made self compassion practice kind of a huge part of their psychological teaching. It’s because we have a hard time feeling what we’re feeling and normalizing it, you know? And I think that’s the first thing we all need to learn if we’re going to develop confidence. It’s not. It’s not something we’re already supposed to have. It’s like, oh, you’re afraid, you know? Yeah, welcome to a human body, you know, welcome to a human nervous system.

Julie Jancius: It’s normal from the outside looking in, it appears to me that most people don’t get a the functionality and step by step process of how this works because it happens so quickly in our daily lives, and so much is flying at us, and we have so many thoughts, and we just can’t stop to think about it because we have to get lunch made, and we have to get our kids out the door, and this person’s running late. And then you got to get somebody over to tutoring, or you got a, you know, x, y, and z, fire comes up that you got to go put out. But I think you’re onto something. We just had, Emma Seppala on yesterday, Yale professor who’s a happiness expert, and she has this quote that the happiest people she has found are the people who have the most compassion and the most self compassion for themselves. But let’s kind of break this down, for it’s happening in a split second. You see something, I mean, maybe you’re on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and you see something, somebody says something, it sparks a feeling within you. And then we shut down because we got to go to the next thing. How can we make space for ourselves to process things when we’re going so fast in life?

Ethan Nichtern: I mean, that’s why I think it’s interesting, because in Buddhism, the historical guy named the Buddha, he called these the worldly winds, which means that when you step into the world, and he meant when you’re done with your deep, reflective, isolated, silent meditation practice, then you step into interactions, and you can step into interactions with your family, you can step into interactions with work. I mean, social media, you’re stepping into interactions with, like, everybody at once, which is, we’re really not prepared for that. I think, oh, great. I, you know, I struggle with, you know, dealing with five people in my life. Now I get to deal with 5000 simultaneously.

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Ethan Nichtern: The reason that contemplative traditions emphasize periods of actually like, whether it’s like five minutes a day, which I think is a great way to start meditating those periods is you allow your mind to slow down


Ethan Nichtern: and you remove all the kind of stimuli of the world which do come at you fast, which do maybe trigger to use, or activate you. And you allow yourself to be. One friend calls it a flight simulator. You’re just watching what your mind and body does when you don’t have to, for a few minutes, interact with the world. And there you have a chance to just see kind of what happens how and stimulus leads to a, feeling and then leads to a desire to either chase a certain thought or chase a certain behavior, et cetera. I think it’s really important to take the practice, as we like to say, off the seat or off the cushion and into our life in the world. But you need a lot of compassion to do that because it’s like stepping into level ten of a video game. And that’s when we’re actually looking at how our mind works. And this is also why people do therapy and do relational retreats and all these things is you get to remove yourself m from the world for a moment to actually reflect what happens here, what happens for me. And so I think a lot of that sort of off the mat practice can just be saying, like, I just want to highlight one thing, you know, let me just. Because life is going to come at me very fast, and let me just set one intention right. So that’s why you see, like, be kind, right? Whatever else, like, I may not be effective, I may not be, you know, I may not say that the brightest thing in the room, but just let me see if I can focus on this one element of. And just acknowledging life is coming at us fast for everyone. And, you know, with where our technology is at, it’s coming at us so fast. And that’s also why we act like jerks a lot of the time on social media, because we’re having a reaction that we. That is actually undercutting our confidence in some way. And then, you know, we’re typing or whatever we’re doing before we even know what we’re doing because we’re not reflecting on it. I do think it’s important to have those periods of time, whatever kind of practice we do to step out of the world. I mean, it’s a weird thing to call this worldly, because we’re always, you know, even when the Buddha was, you know, by himself under a tree meditating, he was still in the world, right? But stepping out of relational life, you know, and, and taking some time to reflect, I think that’s something we all need to find ways to do. And then when we step back into the action, so to speak, we have to say, what’s my intention here? Can I make it really simple? And can I forgive myself if I don’t do so well at level ten of this video game? Which is where I think the self compassion comes in. Like, I’m just going to keep learning as I go, you know? And from that standpoint, life is a little bit like, a video game. You know, we say something stupid or we don’t respond well to a situation, you do actually get to do those things again. I mean, sometimes we make mistakes that ruin situations, but that’s relatively rare. So I think that’s the other thing about self compassion, is it allows us to just stay in the practice. Okay, I got activated there. I didn’t say quite the right thing or I missed that opportunity. I can try again. You know, I can make an amends and, then I can try again. So. Yeah, but, but there is a real. If this was a video game, the degree of difficulty of silent reflection is actually pretty high. To look at what the mind is doing and, and how we are reacting to things without really, always without awareness. And then you go into your worldly relationships and the degree of difficulty goes up, you know, exponentially. So we have to, we have to have some kindness for ourselves.

Julie Jancius: And when you say the degree of difficulty of just finding that silence and that stillness, is it just making time? Is, that what you’re talking about? Or it’s hard to, once you’re in that silent stillness, actually get to that place of self reflection and allow yourself to tune in.

Ethan Nichtern: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s, I just mean it’s hard to even figure out what’s happening in your mind and your body. So. And it’s unfamiliar. So a lot of people struggle, you know, when there’s, a silent meditation practice. Cause just stilling the body, which is why I think, you know, short periods of time and trying it in a lot of different ways. You know, a lot of times people, when they’ve meditated, they’ve only tried one type of meditation and said, oh, I was restless the whole time or I couldn’t stop thinking. But actually, even when you have a meditation session where you’re thinking the whole time you are actually more aware there, you’re actually making progress than, if you weren’t meditating because you’re actually noticing a little bit about what’s happening to you. But that’s still hard. You know, it’s unfamiliar, it can be unsettling, and your mind is still moving very quickly. So seeing how you’re


Ethan Nichtern: reacting to things happens very quickly. And then when you introduce, like, oh, here’s this annoying person I work with. I mean, we might be their annoying person. or you introduce, oh, here’s social media, and, oh, my gosh, now there’s this political debate on social media, and the reactions happen much, much quicker. And we have to just say, okay, I’m not going to catch everything. Let me just see if I can slow down and see what’s going on here.

Julie Jancius: So I just want to do a check in with our audience and tell me if this resonates for you, Ethan. But what I’ve been seeing a lot lately, and you and I are so blessed in that in our work, we get to spend more time in that reflective space. I’ve been seeing a lot of people around me, and I’m, not exaggerating. It’s probably been about ten in the last week who’ve said, I just want to move to a remote location and not have anybody else around me. So if you’re wondering, am I a person who needs to, like, hone in on this compassion and self compassion process and just feeling what I’m feeling, I think that’s a really, really good indicator right now that if you’re using that language of, I just want to move away from this all. I just want to be in a rote location where nothing can touch me.

Julie Jancius: There’s probably a lot underneath the surface that needs to be unpacked and, And that you have a lot that you’re dealing with and need that self compassion for yourself.

Ethan Nichtern: Yeah, yeah, for sure. For sure. I mean, you know, I think it’s on the. On the one hand, you know, some of it is just like, are you a city mouse or a country mouse? Right. And it takes all kinds. Right. But I think this, what you’re talking about is getting to this. I think all of us need to balance the amount of time that we are with ourselves in some way to really actually go in and see what’s going on and the amount of time that we are amongst other people, you know? And sometimes I think when we just want to run away from it all, it might be because we haven’t had enough time to, reflect, you know, to do that, to do that practice. You know, the way in my other book, the road home, I talk about looking at kind of life, unfolding our experience of life, where we’re always, we’re always interdependent with other people, right? Even if you run away, you’re still interdependent with the other members of your society. You’re interdependent with nature, right? So we always have that connection. But there’s a personal level of our life. There’s an interpersonal level, and then there’s a collective, or shared level. So when we have like a community board meeting, that’s the collective level, or parent teacher association or something like that, when we’re in connection with a friend or a partner, that’s interpersonal. And when we’re on a contemplative retreat of some kind, or we are just okay, I went off grid. I learned how to power everything myself. I’m growing all these vegetables. I’m raising goats or whatever it is. We’re deep in the personal level. And what I would argue is we need, everybody needs balance. And we’re usually good at practicing on one of those, levels, you know, or two of those levels, like as you know, Cause your mom, when your kid is very young, right. That’s actually the early phases of parenthood, especially motherhood. Like when I was talking about that book, I argued that’s kind of like you’re on an interpersonal retreat. You have very little time for the personal, and you have very little time to kind of raise your head and be like, what’s going on in the larger community or culture world, right? So, But I think the healthiest, you know, path, we have some of each of those levels that we’re checking in with on a, on a regular basis. So it could be when people want to leave it all behind. There is that quality of just things feel out of balance, you know, on those levels, 100%.

Julie Jancius: I wonder if we can talk about this, because you talked about the eight worldly wins, and, some of those are praise or that success and on, the flip side, that insignificance or that failure. And there’s some notion within our society and our world, I see it, especially here in the United States, that you’re not supposed to have wants or needs, but there’s so many people, and I see that in every single author that I interview, their heart is just so pure, and they just feel called to bring a message to the world and reach as many people as they can.


Julie Jancius: And it’s not an egoic way of egomaniac. Me, me, me. I just want this fame.

Ethan Nichtern: It’s.

Julie Jancius: I want to help serve. I want to help bring people back to themselves. I want to help people have a better experience of this life and. And live in a better way. What have you seen? And, how do you describe it? Within the eight worldly winds of wanting to have that? I guess pleasure, praise, recognition, success that you talked about before. Is it wrong?

Ethan Nichtern: Yeah. So, I mean, I think there is. Especially when you get into spiritual arenas, too, when you bring that in, especially in, like, eastern spiritual traditions, like Buddhism, there’s this real questioning of anything that looks like it’s ego. Right? M we have to really define what we mean there, because we don’t mean having certain experiences, like want or not. You know? I mean, some people, as you’re saying, like, really want to be known. And I always think it’s really interesting when you meet somebody who wants the good things that the hopeful win, the four hopeful wins. Pleasure, praise, fame, and success. When you meet somebody who wants them and they feel not conflicted at all about wanting those. And there is that part of you, if you’re a spiritual person or if you just came of age, I mean, there’s different spiritual and social conditionings that make that, like, so hard. But when you meet that person who’s just like, yeah, I want to be. I want to be famous. I want to be successful. I like good food, you know, whatever it is. And you’re like, how do you. How do you get away with that? You know, there’s that part of your mind that’s like, oh, really? It’s okay. It’s okay to want, you know? And it’s. That is just realizing it’s okay to want is the same side as realizing it’s okay to be afraid of the flip side, the feared side of each of those coins, right? Pain, criticism, insignificance. And, I mean, who wants to be insignificant, really? Like, who wants to fail? Like, you’re not supposed to want those things. we’re afraid of those things. So if it’s okay to be afraid of those things, then it has to be okay to want the other things. And there is. There is a questioning of when we fixate on an identity, right? That’s really what we mean by ego. Is there an identity that’s. That we’re fixating on? And then you mentioned the idea of service which is a big theme, I think, and is a big theme in Buddhism, too. that we are meant to acknowledge that we’re interconnected, that compassion is a big element. But that could also mean if we spent a lot of time being of service to others, it could mean that what we need to work on or practice is being of service to our own vision, our, own needs. You know, it’s interesting. None of this is problematic, right? It’s just we’re actually looking at. That’s why I like the metaphor of wins is it’s just like, these are just blowing all the time. Like, you can pretend they’re not blowing and be like, that’s peace, right? I don’t want anything. I don’t fear anything. And, ah, it’s kind of like if you meet somebody who’s saying, I don’t want anything. I don’t fear anything. I’m like, you know, sorry to see my french, you know, I love it. you know, and that’s like, when you. When you meet, like. Like, I talk about this in the book, like, you know, in terms of the chapter on, recognition and insignificance, I talk about, like, the kind of. I never thought I was going to be, like, a buddhist teacher or something. I always wanted since 6th grade. I want to be a writer, you know? And I like that idea of becoming a well known and successful writer specifically because it perfectly satisfied my kind of balance of extroversion and introversion, where you want people to know your work but not to know your face. That’s like, famous writers often can have that balance, right? So you can sort of look at, like, oh, this is how this works for me. And that’s okay. I’m not going to get away from that. Like, or maybe your desires change, right? Maybe your hopes change, but we don’t have to spend so much time problematizing them. We can put them in a larger context of, how can I use this to connect with others, right? It’s not just all about me, you know? So there is. There is some downside or danger in making our wants just about ourself. And, you know, ignoring everybody else, that’s. That’s a big problem in the world when we don’t see, oh, there are other. There are other sentient beings here. There are other people here. But just actually, I think we all need to, like, just hang out with somebody who has a completely pure relationship with wanting, you know, like the divas, except in whatever work


Ethan Nichtern: you’re trying to do, whatever way, just like they just let themselves want, because that’s not actually ego from, from the perspective of the teachings I come from, the ego is when there’s a big narrative around it, there’s a big fixation around it. But the idea of the eight worldly winds is those forces are just blood. That’s being human. You know, desire for fame, fear of insignificance, for example. That’s just human. You’re not going to get over those wins. It’s like you’re not going to stop the weather from being the weather. It’s how do we work with it, right. That’s the key thing. So, yeah, I mean, I think I got over the idea that I wanted to be a best selling writer. Just when I realized like, oh, that’s kind of actually like luck more than anything. And I’m just happy I get to keep like writing books and they get published and a few people read them and it helps the other work I’m trying to do in the world. Like, that’s enough. So, so when our wants hit the possibilities of the real world, sometimes they change, you know, and you realize I’m not going to get everything I want, but we should allow ourselves to just experience what we’re experiencing. Right. It’s actually the ego comes in when we’re not allowing ourselves, we’re constricting our experience in some way. So I think it’s really good to think about what we hope for or what we want.

Julie Jancius: What happens when we constrict it?

Ethan Nichtern: Yeah, well, it turns into, from a buddhist standpoint, it turns into a set of habitual patterns where we feel like I have to live in this constricted space. Right. Whenever anything comes up, I have to try to control my response and my experience so that it fits into this kind of limited, constricted space. Right. So if we’ve learned, for example, it’s not okay to want success, then whenever the possibility of success comes in, you learn like, oh, don’t, don’t talk too much about yourself. Or let’s say you have progressive political views about the distribution of wealth, which I do, but then you go, oh, somebody wants to pay you for something and you go, oh, I can’t really accept money. It’s like, well, your landlord or your bank can definitely accept money, right? But that’s a kind of constricted view where you’re like, oh, I have this habit energy around money. that’s the term I like, habit energy, which is the way, thich nhat hanh talks about, the buddhist idea of karma, right? That we have some kind of narrative or storyline that we try to fit all of our experiences into this limited box. And that’s the ego from a buddhist perspective, is that sort of limited narrative that we try to fit all the weather that happens into this box and we end up suffering because of that, and we end up being less helpful, than we could be. And it’s nice to actually try to work with letting the mind and the heart be as it is and working with that rather than trying to make it be some other way, which is this habit, energy way of being in.

Julie Jancius: The world, you know? And I felt this within my own life over the last couple of years as we’ve been working on this tv show in different variations, with different producers. And, I felt this always, but I got to a point of just complete peace and acceptance, a couple of years ago with it, where I completely released it, because there was a point at which it felt like it was never going to happen, and now it feels like it really is. But either way, in my heart, the energy just feels, if it doesn’t, I’m still me, I still have my family, I’m still, you know, regardless of whether or not the tv show happens, my life is going to end the same way. I’m going to pass away. My family’s going to be there, and that’s all that’s going to have mattered. and if it happens, it happens. And if it doesn’t, so be it. We’ve put so many messages and, ideas of hope and inspiration and ways that producers and really big people who are working on big things, can take the narrative and change it. And I’m really proud of that work so far, too, because I see things in the background room, like, ooh, that person took this idea that we talked about, and they’re running with it in this direction and this. And so do you see that as the balance, that acceptance and surrender between the two, the, four, you know, good earthly wins and the four negative?

Ethan Nichtern: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think with. With the tv show, there’s. So that’s. That’s a particular arena of success and failure. Right. And you want success, you want something to come into being and reach a


Ethan Nichtern: result or a fruition. And there’s some, you know, there’s some aversion to it. If not, you might not experience it as fear, but there’s some not wanting it to fail. Right. And to really work with the hope and fear there. There has to be a quality of acceptance, which I think is. Or at least allowing, which is what I’m calling what, the meditation teachings call holding your seat. Right. But I mean, you want the tv show to succeed, right? So that’s, that’s the interesting, you know, I think certain athletes are really good at this, where you show up fully and you’re like, I’m going to try my best to, you know, the final whistle, but if I, if it doesn’t happen, it’s okay, you know? And I think that’s really the sweet spot where we’re really working towards something, but we’re also letting go as it’s happening. But to really do that to me, we have to, you have to rouse your confidence, but you also have to really feel what you’re feeling. You have to feel fully. I really want this to happen. It’s kind of going to suck if it doesn’t happen, but I will still be me. And that’s, another word in early buddhist teachings that’s often really confusing for this experience of confidence is equanimity. Right. It’s when we’re working with these wins, but there’s some balance. Balance is another word. resilience is another word that comes up to being able to hold that. But does that come up because you’ve let go of your idea completely? No, you’re still pursuing the idea to a certain degree. You’re pursuing opportunities. But there’s also this, you know what? Things don’t work out, you know? And I do think there’s a little way for me that it’s just like being on the path of being human, where you just realize nothing ever quite works out, you know, the way you thought it was. Even the things that go mostly the way you thought they were, it’s always slightly different, and that’s okay. But I think the problem with a lot of spiritual teachings, you know, is that they’re often presented as like, let go of the want. And I think if we’re really going to reach that place of acceptance, you actually have to say, no, I really want this, and I’m really afraid of that. And I can hold my seat with both of those. And whatever happens, I will be okay.

Julie Jancius: Is there a term for that duality within life where you’re holding those opposite, like making space and holding within yourself of that self compassion, the duality of both feelings?

Ethan Nichtern: Yeah, yeah. Well, holding, I mean, they’re gonna, that’s, that’s the point. They’re gonna happen no matter what. So, you know, there are these non duality is a term that comes up in eastern spiritual traditions and it means multiple things. But here it could just mean whether the outcome you hope for or the outcome you fear arises. Theres an acceptance, right. There is supposedly, I mentioned this in the chapter on pleasure and pain, which is kind of the first and the most physical and nervous system related of these eight worldly winds, each, in four pairs. So there is this, in, Tibetan Buddhism, there is this term for a kind of highly exalted and highly advanced state of meditative awareness where whatever arises in your experience, whether it’s pleasant or painful, not only do you accept it, but the mind is actually curious and appreciative equally. Right. So in other words, the mind has reached the point where success or failure, it is, you know, award winning tv show or financial ruin, you know, and disrupt you, which that’s not, you know, it’s not going to be that extreme, right. But we’re just kind of caricaturing it to make the point. But whatever happens, the mind is going, well, this should be interesting. Wow. So at that point, there’s not exactly a privileging of pleasure over pain or success over failure. Right. That’s a very exalted state of meditation called, one taste, right. It’s like whatever comes, it has an interesting flavor and you taste it fully. I don’t know that we’re going to get there, right. But we might get to a place where there’s like, oh, you know what? Failing will be interesting. And I think people who succeed a lot actually take that attitude because they’re like, oh, you know what? If I fail, I’m going to pay attention and that’s. And then I’m going to show up in practice again probably with a little


Ethan Nichtern: bit more skill and aptitude, and then maybe the next time the ball will be moved forward, you know? So I think we can all access a little bit of that one taste. Like just where you’re, you know, I do this, with my daughter because she’s almost seven. We just have a rule, for food in our house. You’re not allowed to say ew until you taste it. Right?

Julie Jancius: I like that.

Ethan Nichtern: and then you can say ew. Right? If you’ve actually taken a bite and it’s, and you don’t like it, then you can say ew. But the preemptive ew. But that’s interesting because we do, and I think one taste kind of brings this home for me. We do the preemptive ew. A lot of the time, you know, we’re like, well, I’m so afraid this is going to happen, so I’m not even going to try. And you’re like, well, you don’t even know what that, that feared experience looks like. You know, we have so many theoretical ideas of what failure or pain or criticism looks like that it’s like, taste it. You know, let’s. Let’s taste both sides of the coin. Let’s feel all of the wins, and then we can gain some appreciation. And so I do think that’s a really healthy attitude in this arena of, like, what does it taste like to fail? What does that wind feel like? Let’s actually appreciate that. You know, I’m not saying let’s try to fail, but, you know.

Julie Jancius: Right. Yeah. Experience it as you go. Just allow yourself to be with the experience. I like that you’ll like this because you’ve been wanting to be a writer since you were young, and I completely get that. I think being young and having big dreams. When I was young, I looked at things like, it’s going to be easy. I’m just going to go out, write a book. and you learn so much along the way, and I’ve looked at so many different things as it’s just going to be easy. And some things have, but other things are so much work, and you realize how much work it really is to do something and how you weren’t at that level before, but doing the work and failing and just trying and trying things different ways, learning from different people who are doing things successfully. You learn, oh, my goodness. Spirit is trying to level me up in so many different ways here. And I think that’s the experience of life that I just enjoy so much, is realizing you’re never going to be done. There is always another level of yourself that you could advance to, not in, like, a success or ego way of just like, oh, my God, it makes me sad sometimes. Like, I have this vision of, I’m m going to be at the end of my life and think to myself, I didn’t get to read all the books. I want to read all of the books. I want to know all of the things. I want to do all of the things. But, yeah. Have you found that along the way, too? If you think it’s going to be easy, and then you just find yourself leveling up? Leveling up.

Ethan Nichtern: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I also think, I love what you just said, and I also think part of it, like, I’m thinking about just tracing through the example of wanting to be a successful writer when you’re young, and a lot of times when we feel a drive and also when we feel, envy or jealousy or competitiveness, we don’t really know, like, what the work entails, right? So you walk into a bookstore when you’re a teenager, let’s say, like me walking into a Barnes and noble bookstore, and you see the books laid out on the table, and you’re like, I want to be there. Or, you know, and you have just a glimmer of an idea of, like, how those books got to be there. And, you know, later on, you learn a little bit of that is good timing. And, you know, catching often best selling books, like, catch a certain wind. Right. And, to use that metaphor again, and. But you miss, like, all the parts, all the parts of the creation process that you don’t know how to do. And there’s an impatience to that as well. And it’s only through many years of practice that you learn. Okay, here’s how you get an agent. Oh, okay. You know, here’s. Here’s how you write a book proposal. Oh, okay. Here’s how to present this part. Here’s how to present that part, you know, and. And each time you do it, maybe it get. You fail. And, you know, that’s why I really like the word practice. You know, like, what is my practice? I think that’s something that meditation and yoga, becoming widely, like, just making those words when you’re training in something to view it as a practice, because practice is something you do to m move your skills forward. That doesn’t really count.


Ethan Nichtern: You know, practices usually are not batting. Practice is not graded. You know, it’s just, you’re just working with it to hone your skills. And I think in some ways, we have to look at even the real thing as practice. And I totally share that. Sort of, like, fomo, you know, of the end of life, of, I want to do all the things, et cetera. You know, I think it’s. I think it’s important we accept limitations. you know, I think of somebody, a great author I know who actually, wrote a really sweet blurb for confidence named, Oliver Berkman, who wrote a book called 4000 weeks. And it’s about, he’s a buddhist author. I don’t think he formally identifies as a buddhist, but he does talk about buddhist principles a lot. so 4000 weeks is a little less than, but it’s basically the amount of our average lifespan converted to weeks. So it sounds a lot less when you look at it that way. It’s a little less than 80 years. We have 4000 weeks. And so just saying I have this limitation and I’m not going to do everything, right? I’m not going to read all the books. I mean, that’s a totally different way to be in a bookstore, by the way, right? We all want different successes. One person could walk into a bookstore, be like, I want my book to be here, right? Another person could walk in and be like, I just want to read all these books. You know, third person walks in and goes, I just want to get a cup of coffee. So, that’s the other thing.

Julie Jancius: Three people walk into a bookstore.

Ethan Nichtern: Yeah, but success and failure, it’s very subjective. It’s like it’s really based on what your own wants, what your own hopes and aspirations are. So there is something beautiful about that book just really accepting like some limitations of life and then saying, so what’s important to cultivate in life? You know? And I think the most important thing to cultivate is a yemenite is an attitude towards whatever the world throws at us next or whatever our aspirations are. The attitude and the view that we take are more important than whatever specific thing we’re doing right now. Because our, view is global. And whatever we’re doing right now is really just contextual to what’s happening right now. I mean, there have also been a thousand ideas for books that I had that felt really important at the time that either got, you know, three pages written or never got written. Right. So it’s not this thing that we’re doing is not necessarily going to be the thing. So. Yeah, no, I get that sort of. But that idea, what you’re calling leveling up, is just going deeper and deeper into, I really want to practice with this situation, you know, I want to work with my being, you know, whether we focus on the terminology of mind or heart or spirit, I think those are all in some ways saying exactly the same thing. It’s just different kind of source terminologies and yeah, it’s really the most important thing.

Julie Jancius: We’ve talked a lot about confidence and how you get to that place of confidence in different ways. Any last parting words on confidence and how we really step into it? I think it’s easier for some than others. And for those that I work with, that confidence doesn’t come easy to them. So much of me just wants to step into their body and just help them mechanicalize it from the inside. And do it for them so that they can see what it feels like. Any parting words for them?

Ethan Nichtern: Yeah, I mean, with the folks I work with, what’s so interesting to me about confidence? first of all, viewing it as a practice, right. That you’re always going to have the experience of life are always going to be striking us as wins, right? And. And there’s some arenas of our life where we can hold our seat really well, where we can manifest confidence really well. And that’s the thing, I think, is everybody has confidence in. In some arena of life. You know, some people are like, you know, my career is going well, but holy crap, my personal relationships. Some people are like, although my personal life’s going well, but the world is falling apart, and I feel like the apocalypse, you know, and it’s really hard to show up to the larger, you know, world in turmoil right now. so I think some people, you know, you put me in front of a pool table, I will act like, you know, completely present, but then I have to speak in public, and I will freeze up. So I always ask people to think about a place that they feel like they can show up well and just hold their seat and meet whatever comes, whatever forces come. And just to contemplate what is happening there in the places we can


Ethan Nichtern: show up with ease, and that’s not happening in the places that it’s hard for us to show up confidently. And is there some little tidbit, some little insight of what we’re doing there that we can bring into the other situation? You know, because I do think we all have places where we struggle, and we all have places where, you know, we’re really confident. You say, put me in this situation, I can hold my seat. Put me in that situation. I’m losing it. Yeah.

Julie Jancius: Amazing. Because it’s so true. All of us do have that confidence in one area of life. And so if you can feel it, you’re absorbing the energy of it, feeling what it feels like there, and then you can draw upon that to bring it into other areas of your life. your book, Ethan, is confidence. Holding your seat through life’s eight worldly winds. Please tell everybody where they can find the book and where they can find you, and we’ll put all of those in the show notes below.

Ethan Nichtern: Awesome. So, yeah, you can, check out my website, ethan Mcturn, nichtern.com confidence, is available. You can find the link there on that website or wherever books are sold as of May 21. So those are the places you can find me but yeah. Thank you so much, Julie.

Julie Jancius: Oh, you’re wonderful. Thank you so much for the work that you’re putting out into the world. Ethan, you’re a blessing.

Ethan Nichtern: Thank you.

Julie Jancius: Friends, I need your help reaching as many people as possible. If you’d like to support this podcast and help us, spread more hope to the world, please book a session with me, join my angel membership, or take my angel Reiki school. What’s the difference? If you’d like to know what messages your Angels and loved ones have for you, you’ll want to book a session with me. The angel membership is all about your own personal spiritual healing. The membership takes you on a spiritual journey that teaches you how to create your own heaven on earth. And the angel Reiki school is for those who want to get certified in mediumship, angel messages and energy healing all at once. These are three ways you can help us share a message of hope and love with more people than ever before. Register for one or all three@theangelmedium.com. dot that’s theangelmediam.com. now let’s pray together. As we do. I want you to pray in a way where you feel as though everything you want for yourself and the world has already come true and you’re giving thanks. Why? Because this is the best way to manifest. So let’s begin. God, Universe Source thank you. We’re so grateful that you’ve blessed this world with calm and peace for all. This calm and peace has spread like ripples, soothing the hearts of every Soul. Thank you for opening our hearts to abundance, allowing each of us to live our most authentic life and helping us to create our own heaven on earth. We thank you for the love and deep heart to heart connection that surrounds us every day in our relationships. We thank you for the abundance of health and aliveness we feel radiating from every cell in our and our families bodies. Thank you for the gift of walking this life with us and guiding us every step of the way through your messages. We hear you through our own intuition and we feel you walking right by our sides and we overflow with gratitude. Thank you for financial abundance and abundance of opportunities and miracles, blessings and prosperity in every way. We know that you want us to succeed so that we can show, others how you want them to succeed too. Thank you for the boundless love, kindness, Empathy and compassion that binds us all together. Thank you for the laughter, fun moments of pure delight that fill us every day, especially today. God, Universe Source thank you for blessing us beyond measure and allowing us to use our souls, gifts, talents, skills and abilities to serve the world. We love you. I love you. And in this we pray. Amen. Friends, we’re working on some pretty major things over here, and if you wouldn’t mind saying a little prayer that these things come to fruition, if they’re God’s will, we’d so appreciate it. And please add a little prayer. And for any specific thing you need right now too. Have a beautiful, blessed day. And don’t forget to submit your contact info@theangelmedium.com.


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