Confidence Hacks for Average People Like Me

Are you ready to hear what the most overplayed record from Internet gurus is?

It’s this:

“I once was just like you, but now I’m magically better through these 7 steps! (And also buy my book to be just like me)!”

I do have a book. I do write in the personal development genre on occasion. But I am also committed to honesty.

Which is why I have to tell you I am not just like you. In fact, nobody is. I won’t pretend to know everything you’re going for. I can’t tell you what you “should” be doing in life. And besides, I don’t want you to be like me. I want you to be like you.

That’s why I share my experience, not my advice. And in my experience, I cannot remember a time when I did not have confidence in myself.

Moments of nerves? Yes.

Days of uncertainty? Sure.

Overall dip in confidence? Nope.

Here’s why I think that is


1. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO THINK YOU ARE AWESOME

Wait! You can’t blame bad parents for skipping this step.

I have met people who had miserable parents and are swimming in confidence.

I have met people who had miserable parents and are drowning in self-doubt.

Make the decision at this moment you will not allow the people of your past to influence the people of your future.

Ultimately, you will reflect who you spend time with. Look for folks who complement and compliment you.

I have a call with two of the people I love most in the world once a week. Sometimes we talk about business. Sometimes we talk (get this) about real life. They are a consistent presence of encouragement and hope.

Be a good friend. Get good friends. Keep good friends.

2. DO WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT

Imagine you are standing in front of a man handing you a check for $6,000 dollars.

This check is not for a shady deal, but a consequence of your hard work for the last week.

There’s just one problem. You didn’t know you were getting paid.

“That not work!” you say. “That’s just ________”

Whatever goes in that blank for you should be done every single day. Doesn’t matter if you’re getting paid or not. Doesn’t matter if you think you’ve got no time.

You control how good you are at what you love. You control how much energy you spend getting better at it. You control the choice to pursue a career you love.

The only thing you don’t control is when your life will radically shift into what you want.

3. CONSTANTLY LEARN NEW THINGS

This sounds like opposite advice from #2, but it isn’t.

From the beginning of time, one attribute has been more critical to humanity than any other:

Adaptability.

If nothing else, I am certain this world will change. Your ability to not only cope, but thrive during change will give you the confidence.

I can learn anything,” you’ll think.

And you’ll be right.

4. STAY HEALTHY

Oops, I forgot. I do remember the last time I lost confidence in myself.

In 2014, I spend the majority of the year getting cameras stuck up my butt and down my throat trying to figure out why my stomach was hell-bent on killing me.

Not only that, whatever weakness I had meant I was getting a fever, vomiting, and/or diarrhea at least once a month. It’s difficult to stand with strength when you are busy wondering which part of your body your lunch is going to end up coming out of.

Thank goodness for the faith of my doctors, who rallied me with hope by repeatedly reminding me

“You’re young. there can’t be anything THAT wrong with you.”

or

“This happens to a lot of people. You’ll probably just have to live with it for the next 50 or so years you are alive.”

Nobody can affect your health more than you can. Not even doctors. Their job is to see as many people as possible to bring money not the hospital, not attend to your concerns.

At a minimum:

  • Raise your heart above resting rate (on purpose) for at least 10 minutes a day
  • Eat at least 1 veggie a day
  • Eat sugar as sparingly as possible

This may not seem like a confidence hack, but if your body is falling apart, it’s tough to do anything else.

“I read somewhere… how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong”
Christopher McCandless

5. TELL YOURSELF A GOOD STORY

Here’s an interesting bit of brain science.

Whenever your mind receives consistent messages of positivity, the front part of your brain generates a lot more activity. This part of the brain is responsible for logic, motivation, and reasoned action.

When the opposite occurs (like when you are consistently telling yourself “I suck”), the amygdala — which is responsible for emotional “flight or fight” reactions — lights up like a Christmas tree.

Here’s the kicker. Whenever the amygdala generates more activity, other parts of the brain start to shut down.

Long story short — every single one of your thoughts impact who you are.

When you speak to yourself with consistently negative language, your biology is removing the driving forces behind motivation, confidence, and other higher-level thoughts and devoting energy to reactive activity.

6. ELIMINATE NEGATIVITY

This is a challenge.

Actually, it’s impossible, but I’m not going to change the header.

What actually is necessary for inspiring confidence is the elimination of dwelling on negativity.

These emotions fall under that category:

  • Fear
  • Doubt
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Envy
  • Embarrassment

Commit to 3 days of banishing sustained negativity from your life. Any time you feel one of the emotions above, jump to the other tactics listed here.

I’d be lying if I said this step didn’t take some intentional ignorance. Shut off the news, remove yourself from gossipy co-workers, and build your own universe.

Remember, nobody can make you feel anything.


Oh, and in case you needed this today:

I believe in you.

I believe in you despite your flaws. I believe in you BECAUSE of your flaws. I believe you can defy the odds. I believe you can do work that matters. I believe you can silence the critics and step into your calling. I believe you can have fun in life (remember fun?). I believe you are greater than you think you are. I believe that the world is better because you are in it. I believe you can take this ONE life and grow something beautiful.

I believe in you.

— TB


(P.S. I’ve never done this before, but writing that last passage drew this out. I want you to email my personal account about anything on your mind — Career, life, love, health — whatever. I can’t promise a solution. I can’t promise an immediate reply. I‘m not even sure I cam promise any reply depending on how big this gets. I can only promise I will listen.

toddbrison22 at gmail dot com)