Confidence is one of those vague topics that is covered in self-improvement 101. Everyone who is involved in self-improvement addresses confidence early on because they claim that it’s one of the most importance aspects of your mindset or “inner game.”
They are correct. Confidence is key. The game becomes a lot easier when confidence is in your corner. Confidence is one of the three major faiths. You must have faith in yourself above all else.
However, here is where nearly every mainstream (and non-mainstream) self-improvement authority falls shorts.
You CAN NOT artificially create confidence.
Drawing confidence from within can only take you so far. It really comes down to your experience and the value you are bringing to the table in your chosen arena of competition.
If you do not bring any legitimate value to the table, then self-confidence is simply another way of lying to yourself.
We can never truly lie to ourselves. When we are nervous or fearful about something… it’s because there is a sliver of doubt in our minds. Deep down we doubt whether or not we truly deserve “it” in the first place.
This article is about how one truly develops unbreakable confidence… the type of confidence where there is no question of whether or not you deserve “it”. The only question that remains is how many times over are you going to get “it” and how will you evolve in the long run.
For those of you in the cheap seats, this is how you truly develop confidence in yourself.
1. Prior Success.
I’ve got 2 stories (examples) relating to confidence for for you. One tells the story about how one initial success made me confident for life (the life of my short skateboarding career). The other involves my personal explanation of slumps versus hot streaks as it applies to baseball. Here it goes…
I got in to skateboarding during the summer of 1999. Skateboarding was really taking off around that time because Tony Hawk had just landed the first 900 at the X-Games. It was also around that time that his first video game, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, was just hitting the shelves.
All of my older friends were getting in to skateboarding so naturally I joined in on the fun. Like anything physical/athletic, skateboarding came naturally to me.
In all honesty, I was the second best in the neighborhood despite being several years younger than everyone (the best was a kid named Anthony who went on to skate competitively).
I started off just skateboarding in the street in my neighborhood but eventually, I started going to an actual skate park in my home town. I loved it. The smooth, well-paved surface was so much better than the street.
I loved busting tricks on all the mini-ramps and rails. However, there was one thing I couldn’t do: I could not drop in from the 8 foot half pipe. I just couldn’t do it.
My older friends could do it. They did it with ease. However, every time I climbed to the top, I simply could not let go and drop in.
I would get to the top… hesitate… look at all the kids looking up at me… hesitate some more… and then ultimately puss out and make my way back down. Anytime I got to the top I had zero confidence… I was scared shitless because I was afraid.
I was afraid of the unknown… I kept thinking about everything that could possibly go wrong instead of turning my brain off and just going for it.
This process went on for about 2 months. Then one day I just said fuck it and dropped in. It went by so fast and it felt incredible both physically and mentally. Mentally, it was a rush because I had conquered my initial fear and it was gone forever.
From then on, dropping in was nothing to me. I had all the confidence in the world… no matter how high up I was. I eventually started tearing up half pipes that were as high as 15 feet up in the air. It became second nature to me.
Why? Because I had prior success. I had been there. Starting with that initial drop in from the 8 foot half pipe, I had countless successes dropping in to the point that it became no big deal. It became almost as natural as breathing…
My second story (example) revolves around baseball. Anyone who has played the game should relate to this.
Hot streaks are the best. Hot streaks are when the hits are falling left and right. You’re not thinking about shit. You’re loose. You’re relaxed. You’re simply going up there and slugging the shit out of the ball. Your confidence is at its highest during hot streaks.
Slumps suck. Slumps are when you can’t buy a hit to save your life. Your confidence is at its lowest during slumps because you’re thinking too much. You’re thinking about everything little thing and doubting yourself every chance you get.
When I played baseball, the differences between my hot streaks and slumps was starting. During my hot streaks, I was locked and loaded. I didn’t think about shit. The only thing going through my mind was usually the lyrics to whatever rap song I was blasting before the game. I just went up there and let it rip.
My confidence was high because I was in the middle of a hot streak. Success was fresh in my mind because I was hitting moon shots left and right. I couldn’t wait until my next at bat because I was confident that I was going to keep on hitting.
My slumps were miserable. During my slumps, I thought way too much. I second guessed myself and overthought everything. I questioned every little thing about my mechanics. I was so desperate that I would try to make little unnecessary changes to my approach at the plate. I made poor choices and swung at bad pitches.
My confidence was low because success seemed like a distant memory. I couldn’t remember the last time I got a hit. I dreaded my next at bat and secretly hoped that games would get rained out.
The lesson is this: Prior success breeds genuine confidence while lack of success (or sporadic success) causes constant self-doubt… the exact opposite of confidence.
2. Positive Reinforcement (Validation) from others.
We are all validation junkies. People in this day and age crave validation. In fact, you can even say that many of us are addicted to validation.
For example, hang out with any hot girl for an extended period of time. In many cases, they will be glued to their smartphone checking their Instagram or Facebook. Why? Because of the validation.
They get off on the fact that they can post a selfie and within a short period of time they will have an army of white knights worshiping them in the comment section.
This strongly relates to Point 19 from our 20 Little Truths article… Society defines who we are.
Society defines what is cool versus what is not cool. Society defines what is good versus what is bad. Society defines what is beautiful versus what is not pleasing to the eye.
Society (the masses) decide. As individuals, we are just a small spec in the big picture.
This is why your childhood is so important. The identity we are molded in to as kids (elementary school, middle school, and high school) largely defines who we are as adults. It’s very difficult to overcome or change this identity once you are an adult. This is actually one of the first things I focus on when I work with guys 1-on-1… I know how important it is. In many cases, the table is already set. Years of conditioning in whatever role society has bestowed upon you has enforced this.
For example, if you weren’t “that guy” during those key developmental years. You cannot one day wake up at age 40 and tell yourself “I’m an alpha male who does what he wants” and expect society to respond accordingly. It won’t happen. The experience… the years of conditioning and positive reinforcement as “that guy” simply did not happen. “Fake it till you make it” is a scam.
Another example is when attractive people (both men and women) post those corny bumper sticker type “just be confident” messages on their Instagram. Again, it’s sort of misleading because their confidence amongst others is not the result of something from within… it’s the result of the positive reinforcement (actually being told that they are attractive on a regular basis) from others that they have received their entire lives.
Bottom Line: Positive reinforcement and validation from others is one of the most powerful factors in becoming a confident individual because it solidifies that belief in yourself in the first place. After all, how legitimate is your self-belief if no one is reinforcing or sharing that belief.
3. Having (and truly knowing) your personal brand’s advantage
“You want to know what real confidence is?… Confidence is showing up to the test with the answer key in your back pocket”- Crazy friend from high school
My friend said that right before we took our Physics final and those words have stuck with me ever since.
But it makes perfect sense. Knowing that you possess an advantage that no one else has is an empowering feeling. You feel amazing because you know you can run shit.
This is especially true when you are competing in the business of people. Those things that matter in society… those things that illustrate a truly valuable personal brand… when you have those things you have all the cards (and you probably know it).
Bringing the goods to the table and knowing that you are bringing the goods to the table is what gives guys that unbreakable confidence or swagger.
Let’s look at a brief case study that I’m sure you are all familiar with (and may have even tried)
No Fap = Confidence?
No Fap is basically a challenge for recovering porn addicts so that they can become sensitized to real intimacy again (and eliminate their dependence on a computer screen).
The challenge of going X amount of days without busting a nut has some mythological attributes to it because getting at least one off a day is as normal as breathing for a lot of guys.
There’s a lot of debate as to what the actual benefits of the No Fap challenge are. In my opinion (and experience), there are 2 main benefits and none of them have to do with raising testosterone.
Here they are:
1) Increased energy and focus– You have more physical energy because you are not ejaculating. When you are not ejaculating, your body is not wasting unnecessary amounts of zinc. Remember how important zinc is for men.
2) Increased confidence– This is an interesting one. Yes, that increased confidence and “feeling on top of the world” is very real. Why? It’s not because of a feeling of increased sexual prowess… Some virgins claim to feel more confident after partaking in the challenge.
No. The answer lies with the challenge itself. There is very much a placebo effect. When you restrain yourself and make the decision to control your sex drive, you are exercising an incredible discipline, a discipline that your average male will not even attempt.
That’s where that confidence comes from. It comes from knowing deep down that you are exercising a discipline that others simply cannot undertake… And yes, discipline is a huge personal brand advantage.
Conclusion: A Fourth Head of Confidence?
I mentioned three main points on how one truly develops an identity of confidence. Some of you guys who are just starting off might be wondering, “WTF Sonny? What am I supposed to do if those three points don’t apply to me?”
Don’t worry… The fact that you recognize that you want to improve your life and are willing to go through the process of self-growth is another source of confidence.
In reality, it is an offshoot of the point on brand advantage because the fact that you have the desire to actually make some changes differentiates you from your average Joe who is content.
You’re not content and want something more… You have the desire and are willing to experiment and adjust versus just sit back and play with the cards you were dealt.
That should give you the confidence you need when you are first starting off…