The bullshit advice on confidence that works
Smake it smill you smake it!
Doesn’t this piss you off. You want to be confident and motivated. So you look for actionable advice. Maybe because you are in a rut, you feel anxious around people. Or you are just plain shy.
But you want to be brave. To talk to new people. Ask out that cute guy/girl. Finally ask for that fucking promotion.
Enter Google; How to be confident. What pops up? This! This recycled advice pops up over and over.
Are you tired of hearing that advice? Me too!
Okay, I have to be honest. I might,… maybe,… potentially,…be guilty of distributing this advice as well. I am sorry. My bad. Because it leaves you clueless.
But why do you find it so much? And why do I still give the same advice? Well it is good advice, if interpreted right.
A long time ago, I read this advice for the first time. I was nineteen and (a bit) dorky. At certain moment I read The Game, and it hit me; I wanted to be a ‘pick up artist’!
Ooow wow! Hahaha, how naive was I. I was convinced that getting a shit load of girls would make me happy and confident.
I started reading a lot about ‘picking up girls’. Frequently I found the advice; ‘fake it till you make it’. Here I was, this adolescent nerd trying to be all cool, through faking it. Well girls smelled the insincerity and insecurity from miles away!
In the end, I did not become a master ladies man (bummer). But all my stumbling around got me on a trajectory I’m grateful for. I found great confidence and happiness.
Despite not becoming a hook up god. I learned to be self-assured through constant self improvement. Though maybe it was because of desperation at first.
So how come I got confident through this ‘faking it’? Well “fake it till you make it” is a popular way of saying; “start training!”
Because practice does work!
That’s why experts throw this cliché in your face. Time and time again. Confidence is a skill. How do you acquire new skills? Practising, doing, failing, getting up, and practising more!
Like any other skill!
Like cycling for instance.
I am from in the Netherlands, here we learn to cycle when we are about four years old.
There is no book or instruction manual. If there was, you are four, you can’t read. The best you’d do is suckle on the pages in a desperate search for nutrients.
Yes, cycling is more important than reading in the Netherlands.
Imagine this; you are a toddler, your mom and dad fling you on a bike. Luckily this bike has little training wheels. Creating balance. Making it easier to practice and not ruin your face this early in life.
Slowly they push you. And you learn to cycle a bit. You fail miserably, they pick you up, put you back on the bike and try again.
This goes on for a few weeks. When there is enough faith in your capabilities, or dad is sick of wasting his time, the side wheels come off. There are a few more practice runs and off you go.
First trip without assistance you still crash and mess up your face. A bit of crying,… a defiant shrug,… a bit more encouragement,.. off you go again. Time to challenge cars for total dominion of the roads!
By the way, no helmets whatsoever in any phase of this process, no pain no gain, it’s all in for little Dutchies! So by the time you are five, cycling is second nature.
I never thought how foreign cycling in Holland was to others. Until I saw this article. I laughed my ass off. This is the simplest thing in the world to me — yet when others look at it, they deign in fear of Dutch acrobatics.
Is there a skill you just have since you were little? Which seems like magic to others? Something so familiar, you can’t comprehend other people not getting it?
Can you imagine it is the same for being confident as well?
Let me tell you, it just like being confident!
You have to train, practice, use side wheels — and then go out on your own, screw up, get up and act like you can do it, fail and try again!
You could even call this training process; “fake it till you make it”.
But to make this training easier, let’s add some confidence training wheels.
Your confidence training wheels
First off, start taking on a confident postures. Head straight — eyes forward — straight back relaxed shoulders and no slumping.
Learn to walk deliberate. Practice making eye contact with people and smile. Boom! That’s it, let the force flow through you. Remind yourself of doing this as you go through your day. It’s even backed up by science!
At first this all feels unnatural. Just keep doing it anyway. It will be easier and will make you feel more confident. As for eye contact, easy to learn hard to master. Check out this guide.
Get healthy.Get fit. Work out consistently.
You are your body. Take good care of you. It will give you better looks, more energy and more drive. Ultimately you gain that sweet afterglow called confidence. Especially if you learn to push yourself to new limits!
The sweet sweet endorphins and improved health will make you feel so good! Don’t know where to start? Look here.
3.Dressing the part
Clothes make the man. Dress as any confident self respecting person would do. No matter your kind of style, do it with conviction and flair. Emphasize the great character you hold within.
Learn this skill through practice. Look at style blogs or books and learn how to acquire the right look for you.
So not only your posture and physique will speak to your new way in life. But your clothes speak the part as well. Remember; it’s not about the clothes but about laying emphasis on you.
(yes this is only for men, you women have your own style secrets I can’t comprehend. But I am sure there might be at least one or two style blogs for girls out there)
Last but not least — a fundamental training wheel. Especially if you need to get out of your head: meditation.
For some a bit out there — but it works!
There doesn’t have to be anything woowoo about it, it can be as secular as you want it to be.
Faking / Practicing Confidence
So you mounted some training wheels. What should you start practicing? What would being confident even feel like?
No more anxiousness in new social group, but easily being a part of a social gathering.
Not giving a fuck if you bore other people, even if you do.
People attracted to your calm and deliberate demeanour.
Not giving a rat’s ass about what others think about you, but just being yourself.
Does this seem like you? Nope! How can this be authentic if you start doing this? Faking it and still be your true self?
Confidence needs to be an integral part of you. You don’t identify with being confident yet, so it does not come naturally, YET!
Practice accepting yourself. Be okay with who you are and where you are going.
Not okay with any of those two yet? Accept them as current reality and improve on them — know that through improvement you are doing well and can be confident.
The more you practice all this, the less “textbook confident” you become.
Sounds easy right?
Nope! This is fucking hard. How about you start by putting on the training wheels and move slowly but steadily from there. Integrate good posture, work out, dress well and meditate.
As you start gaining more momentum, you will gain more stability in your life!
From here you can start facing more fears, learn new skills. You will gain a general calm and ease.
Let’s see how far you’ll get!
Want more tips and tricks? Or better yet — solid advice. he red carpet is rolled out for you. Visit me at techlecticism.com were I focus on helping engineers, nerds and the like develop their social skills and confidence