Everyone says just be confident.
JUST BE CONFIDENT.
Bullshit, just be confident. That’s like telling a baby to stop crying. It doesn’t work like that.
I’ve gone through a lot in my life from beta to alpha. I’ve tried a lot of things. I am good at a lot of things. But I wasn’t always.
- I used to be afraid to talk to girls. People would just tell me to be confident.
- I used to be afraid of going to interviews. Everyone would say just be confident and be yourself!
- I used to be afraid to go eat alone. Don’t worry, no one cares – said the people that never actually ate alone.
- I used to be afraid to speak in front of a class. Just be confident my friends would say.
- I used to be afraid to speak up in meetings because I didn’t want to say something stupid. It’s all about speaking with confidence my boss would say.
We’ll, I’m here to tell you today that anyone that just tells you to be confident doesn’t know how to get real confidence. Maybe they are confident but they forgot what it takes to build up that confidence.
What this post is going to focus on is how to really gain confidence that will last. Not short term confidence that you get one day and goes away the next. I’m talking real confidence that you can take with you and you can call back on. Confidence that becomes natural and a part of you.
What I’m going to tell you isn’t mind blowing.
It’s not some super secret that I singlehandedly discovered. But I know I wasn’t confident before in certain parts of my life and when I reflect on all the lessons I learned and how I built up my confidence for a variety of things including girls, meetings, new interactions, competitive golf, driving, cooking…pretty much anything…it all works the same way.
If people really broke down how they became confident, I think they’d come to the same conclusion I’m going to share with you. But people always forget where they came from. Very rarely do you see people that are “confident” at something be sympathetic to people that aren’t. I think that’s what makes coaches and all the self-help gurus special. They can somehow relate to those that are still learning or having trouble.
- When I was super shy and couldn’t talk to girls, I learned to not be picky and just talk to everyone. It didn’t mean I needed to try to sleep with them all. I just needed to gain confidence to be comfortable around girls. Look at me now.
- When I wanted an investment banking job but had no idea what to do or how to network. I just started talking to family. Then friends. Then friend of friends. Then random people I cold called or emailed. I started where I was comfortable and slowly expanded my reach. Now I can talk to anyone, anywhere about anything.
- When I didn’t know how to play any sport…golf, basketball, boxing…whatever. On day one, it was not my goal to win tournaments and collect trophies. Maybe as we get older our expectations of success change? But my goal back then was to just learn the fundamentals. And I built off that. Now with everything, I’m all about getting down the fundamentals and basics before I try to become some advance expert winning superstar at anything.
- I can list out story after story about how I sucked at pretty much everything and either gained confidence the right way (which I’m going to share with you) or wasted a lot of time struggling to be confident because I wanted results right away.
p.s. Don’t get me started on all the times I tried to be a superstar when I had zero confidence. Years I’ll never get back. Only to go back to what really works. And that is what I’m going to share with you now.
What Do I Know About Confidence
I’m not going to throw out a lot of statistics and scientific research, even though I have a pretty academic background. I’m about real experience and sharing what works and what doesn’t work.
What I know is that confidence comes from within. Or is that happiness? Nevermind.
What I really know about confidence is that it comes from experience. This time I’m serious.
You need experience to be become confident. You don’t have to be competent or an expert or pro at anything to be confident. Confidence is a state of mind. It’s not a result.
So that means you actually have to do stuff to gain confidence. It doesn’t matter if you fail or succeed, the exposure is what is important.
Not So Secret #1: Get experience to gain confidence.
Don’t Jump Into the Deep End
My problem with those that just tell everyone to “just be confident” is they usually say it like it’s so easy. Like you should just be able to do anything and everything at a snap of the finger. By hearing those three magic words – “JUST BE CONFIDENT” – you’re suppose to be able to be invincible.
If you get forced into doing something you’re not really prepared for, you will be scared as shit. And that’s fine. If you do it, you’ll feel like you’re invincible…but only temporarily.
What you should do instead is take baby steps.
I know. A lot of you just want to go from zero to 100 right away. But don’t mess with what works.
You learned how to walk by crawling. You learned how math by counting first. You learn to flirt with girls by first learning how to talk to them (or get comfortable around them). You get the idea, I hope.
Not So Secret #2: Don’t Try to Be A Hero Right Away. Confidence is a long-term project.
What I’m Saying
It’s good to have big goals of what you ultimately want to be confident in. Keep that in the back of your mind. But don’t make it your top priority right now.
You should break things down and build yourself up.
Think of gaining confidence like a tree growing or building a skyscraper. What really gives a tree or a 100 foot skyscraper strength is not how high it touches the sky, but how strong the roots and foundation are.
If you don’t build a good foundation then you’re going to be screwed. What I mean is if you don’t build a strong mentality that tells you, you are confident and you can do great things, then you’re going to come tumbling down when things get tough.
Start small. Get experience with easiest tasks before you jump into the harder things that you really want.
I mean this.
If you want to talk to super models but can’t talk to any girls, then start talking to every girl regardless of attractiveness.
If you want to be a computer programmer but can’t even write a simple “Hello World” program, learn how to make hello world.
If you want to get better at making presentations but have social anxiety, don’t force yourself to present in front of a large audience.
Not So Secret #3: Start small. Build your way up.
As you make small successes, your brain starts to change. It starts to tell you that you can do this. Not only that, but you get repetition and more experience pushing yourself past barriers as you build yourself up.
In no time, you’ll get to where you want to be and you will be mentally strong and super confident. But only if you start small.
I see it too often where someone wants X right away and only X. They don’t understand that it takes a lot of hard work to be great. They don’t see the hard work someone else has put in to be where they are. There are a lot of naive people that just believe people are great and it didn’t take hard work or building a strong foundation. So they try to take shortcuts.
Not So Secret #4: Taking shortcuts never work.
If you take shortcuts, you will invariably end up where you started at. Or you’ll waste a lot of time trying to psych yourself up into believing you’re confident.
- Someone telling you to “just be confident” won’t work.
- Doing the hardest thing first (jumping into the deep end) won’t help you in the long run with confidence. You’ll revert back to unconfident.
- Repetition, experience and exposure will help you gain confidence. Nothing beats doing something.
- Building a strong foundation by achieving smaller successes will help you much more in gaining supreme confidence.
- These “not so secret, secrets” to confidence applies to everything in life. Everything. Just because I didn’t use an example or list certain things does not mean they are carved out from this how to gain confidence post.
- Bottom line: Remember, confidence is a state of mind. It is not a result.
A Question for You
What do you want to be confident in? What’s holding you back? Can you break whatever it is down into smaller parts and build your way up?
You’re not alone. Whatever you want to do, someone has already done. If someone else can do it, so can you. So let’s do this.
Have you checked out our new page for The Book of Alpha?