I talked with a friend the other day. We talked about some articles that talked about confidence and he wanted to know my opinion. I thought, aww hell here we go again. We discussed two articles. Our talk centered on one question that each article discussed.

How do Confident people handle their Insecurities”?

Maybe you would like to check them out for yourself.  Just for you, I put a couple of links below.

  1. Things Confident People Don’t Do
  2. 10 Things Truly Confident People Do Differently

It’s a flawed question and founded on the idea that confident people are different from other people, but we will get to that in a moment.

After our chat about the articles, I decided to give them a good ‘ol look.  The more I inspected them, the more annoyed I became. I know, I know, you probably think this is an overreaction to common dribble everyone encounters on the internet.  You are right, but that doesn’t mean I’m not in my feelings just a little. I’m thinking about all people told, ” hey, wanna know why you have a suck job, or this is why no one listens to what you say, it’s because you don’t show enough confidence”.

You meant well, but

I understand that these recommendations come from a place of help, but they make me wonder who is helping whom.  Is there a great outcry from a timid public, all waiting to have their lives made over by the confidence gods?  I’m not sure, but I am almost positive that isn’t the case. It is my firm belief that confidence techniques are a scam. That’s right, the kind of scam you can witness with a $5 ticket to a magic act at a traveling circus. The only difference between these techniques and a magic show is the magic show ends.

The first thing I noticed after reading the info in both articles is they were almost the same article, written at different times by different people with the same tips only re-worded. That in itself does not discredit the information, but it was enough to raise my suspicions as I dug deeper. I noticed the type of advice shared. It was the kind of backhanded help that sneakily implies that you are not good enough while also saying despite your unworthiness I’m still going to help you be better than you are now.

The next problem is in the set of assumptions connected to the nameless group of confident people who act out the prescribed behaviors. The article authors assume the performance of confidence is consistent, or people who interact with the “confident folks” subscribe to the manufactured personas. Most, if not all, the improvements guaranteed to make you seem more confident had to do with manipulating others or deceiving yourself. Have a look at the list below.

They suggest you follow these suggestions

Confident people should/shouldn’t

  1. Speak with certainty. 
  2. Seek out small victories.
  3. They exercise.
  4. Don’t seek attention. 

  5. They don’t pass judgment. 
  6. Get their happiness from within.
  7. Listen more than they speak.
  8. They take risks.
  9. Aren’t afraid to be wrong. 

  10. Celebrate other people’s successes.

Five of the ten items listed either have nothing to do with confidence or are inconsistent behaviors that nearly everyone performs irregularly.

Simply appearing confident is very different from actually feeling confident. My point here is nothing about the suggested behavior modifications connect exclusively to a select group of highly motivated people who have figured out the secret sauce to success. If you plan to modify your behavior or reinvigorate the way you conceptualize yourself you will need something considerably more robust than a list of tips or mantras.

Being fair

All the items on the list are just good habits in general. Will they make you more confident, maybe, but what’s more important is understanding that confidence is a feeling and like all feelings, it’s fleeting.  Everyone is insecure at some point. We all worry about what others think of us, the severity however, is the determinant of whether we alter our behavior accordingly.

I have heard people describe confidence as the “it factor” or you are born with it or you aren’t.  None of that is true. Confidence has nothing to do with an abstract quality that you only get by winning the genetic lottery. It is also not obtained by adopting qualities that are not innate to who you are as an individual.  There are standard modes of communication that inspire feelings of comfort or confidence in the information that you share, but that comes from quality explanations and clarity.

How you feel about yourself centers on past experiences combined with your perception of the reactions from those you interact with. If you want to feel more confident more frequently, focus on improving how you feel about what you offer as an individual.  The source of self-confidence comes from three places, all of which determined solely by internal conversation.

  1. How you feel about yourself
  2. What you think others think of you
  3. How good you think you are at a given task

There is something you should notice about the list you just read. Everything there has to do with what you think. I can’t express that enough.

What does that tell you

For me, it means that I determine my confidence levels and maintain it’s fluidity in any situation. I don’t know one person that feels 100 percent confident at all time, however, a person who feels confident at most times handles moments of insecurity differently. They don’t allow one setback to deter them from their goals nor are they perpetually defeated by stressful situations.

Remember to love you first and everything else gets easier.

Don’t forget to share. Let your voice be heard here, I would love to know what you think.


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