Confidence. A subject which is probably the most over discussed self-improvement principle on the internet. There are so many articles out there on confidence that I almost chose not to write this piece – only to stop propagating the same fluffy idea over and over again. However, I think my way of achieving confidence is unlike most of the rehashed content out there, simply because I don’t think being happy or positive is necessary to be confident. Here are four ways I have been able to become confident through my own so-called misery.
Here is my biggest problem with what is taught about confidence. It’s all just so damn Oprah Winfrey fairy dust™. It doesn’t gotta be that way, though. I’ve always found one of the best ways to stay confident is to be completely detached from your goals & yourself. Much of our fear and anxiety and sub-sequentially lack of confidence comes from, well…… not getting over ourselves. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to “shed your ego™” but that failure and what most people think of you just doesn’t matter. The vast majority of people you meet will have very little benefit they can provide you. Joe, the neighbor down the street, doesn’t think you’re cool? So what? If he did like you what big fantastic benefit would that provide you? If you fail on a project or goal, it doesn’t make you a shitty or lesser person. To be confident you need to detach yourself from wanting to be liked by everyone, fear of failing and continue forward either way.
Turn Back The Pages
What builds confidence in a rational way? Well, a history of succeeding. I draw a lot of my confidence by turning back the page and remembering that one time I succeeded at xyz. However, many of you reading right now might say “but I haven’t succeeded at anything.” Yes, you have. We have all accomplished something in the past whether it’s landing a job, graduating school, pulling that first hot girl in the bar or learning to ride a bike for the first time for fuck sake. If you can look back and find the smallest accomplishment you can start reaffirming yourself in a rational way. Tell yourself, “well I have accomplished “xyz” in the past – so as a human being with a brain I think I can accomplish this next task in front of me.”
Look At The Failures of Others
A lot of insecurity and lack of confidence comes from comparing ourselves to others of higher status. We look at the billionaires and celebrities and feel that we don’t measure up. However, most of them have failed, made asses of themselves, got booed off stage (Justin Bieber? Nickleback?) many times throughout their career. If you can look at other people and see them just as bumbling as you – since they are human beings, after all, you will stop eroding your confidence by comparison. Remember, even the hottest woman on earth gets diarrhea on the regular.
Alright, enough of my conjecture about confidence – I’ll give a point that has evidence backing it up. Overconfident people, in general, are more likely to succeed. But what does overconfidence mean exactly? It means that you fake it until you make it. It’s akin to building from the top down. Let’s say you get a position that you’re under experienced for in your career. You take the job and start working exceptionally hard to master this new and challenging role. As time passes, you become competent in the new position, and the overconfidence is filled in by a foundation of true confidence (through evidence). You can then replicate this over and over throughout your life because anytime you “go to the next level” you will be under experienced – but that’s no reason to lose confidence.