Confidence — Easy to project. Hard to live.

I like to think that I’m a confident person. However a lot of the time I’m projecting confidence and not actually living confidently. There’s a difference.

To me, projecting confidence means that the people around me feel like I’m being confident. It’s about them more than me. Living confidently means that I make choices that are inline with strategies that I have in place and I stick to them. It’s about me more than anyone else.

Projecting confidence is easy. Most people can project confidence outwardly but even a light poke at their bubble and it bursts. They do it because it’s what the world expects. They do it because it helps them get through the day. I do it to make myself feel like I know what I’m doing sometimes. Take a look at the people you know and I’ll bet that most of them want you to feel like they are confident. Their decisions, life choices, partners, careers, beliefs and moral codes are all part of the confidence façade. Most of them, however, are faking it.

Living in a confident way is different to projection confidence. The truly confident people don’t need other people to verify their confidence. They quietly lay out a strategy for their life, business or relationships and then get on with it. It’s this calm certainty that exudes confidence.

Having my confidence tested is one of the things that I hate to love.

It happens frequently. I make a bold and confident decision and then the smart people that I have as mentors and investors push back. They poke at my bubble of confidence and see how hard the bubble pushes back before popping.

My confidence bubble pops a lot but most offend for the right reasons. When the right people are pushing you then it’s a good thing that you stop and take stock of your decisions before relentlessly carrying on down a doomed path. It’s when the wrong people push back that you start to really feel like you’re losing it.

The key is to have the right people around you. Don’t be fooled by people who want more, bigger, better things and push you to strive for the same. Pick your mentors carefully and take advice sparingly and infrequently.

Originally published at Nic Haralambous.

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