Self-confidence is a myth
Five years ago, I wrote a comic about self confidence. I tried to explain why I believe that it is not a real thing. “Self confidence is a myth” is the idea that drove me everyday for the last 5 years.
I can see how I changed for the better ever since. Before that, my life had been a straight line of “do what you’re told, you need to get a job and buy a house quickly, financial crisis is upon us”. People told me I was a shy person but I felt something was wrong. I wasn’t shy, I just didn’t feel at ease where I was put in. I was shutting down everytime I was somewhere I didn’t want to be, but became driven when I was where I felt I belonged.
The common misconception about self-confidence is that you get it with experience. I don’t think it’s true. Whatever skilled you are in your field, there will always be a small chance of failure. And you will always be aware of that. We are human, we make mistakes, there is not such thing as “everything happens according to the plan every time”, every single professional knows that.
What experience will give you though, is blindness to failure. As you do something times and times again you reduce the chance of doing it wrong. You start to see the big picture, you get it, you do it with more conviction, you don’t hesitate anymore. Even though failure is always around the corner. You just stop thinking about it.
This conviction doesn’t come out of the fact that you know you can’t fail. It comes out of the habit you drove yourself into by failing less and less. You start to blind yourself with what is commonly called self-confidence.
What I truly discovered and what actually changed my life is this : If self-confidence is blindness, I can blind myself whenever I want. “Fake it til you make it” they say ? There is some truth to that. If you behave like you’re used to something that actually feels new to you, you’ll be seen as self-confident. And if you fail ? You’ll still be seen as self-confident because even self-confident people fail. They fail all the time, everyone does. Self-confident people simply don’t make a fuss about it. They aknowledge failure and they move on.
There you are. If you’re being told you lack self confidence, do not wait for it to come with experience. You’re wasting your time. It may even not ever come. Learn to fake it. Stop believing self-confident people are superior beings, they are not. They are blind to the potentiality of failure. You can become blind. Now close your eyes and make things.