Confidence is the foundation of just about everything you’ll learn on Themanupblog.com and in the pick-up community. A healthy level of self-confidence improves your social life, your physical health and your employment opportunities. Considering how important confidence is to a person’s overall well-being, you’d think it would be taught in school.
No such luck.
What makes teaching confidence so hard is that there’s no scientific definition of what it is, and different people lose their confidence in different situations. What most men – especially those interested in attracting women – want is ‘Performance Confidence’.
Performance Confidence is what someone who’s done something thousands of times has. No amount of technique or instruction can replace it. If you want that kind of confidence, it doesn’t matter what you’re trying to learn or what skill you want to acquire.
You must pass through… Newbdum.
Being a Newb
You, me, George P.H., Kobe Bryant and former President Bill Clinton – all have at least one thing in common. At some point in our lives we were all beginners – or newbies – at the things we do.
As a newbie, there’s no way to hide your uncertainty about what you’re doing. You can’t think your way into being an expert at something, just like you can’t think your way into not getting shot playing Battlefield 3 or Halo. It’s impossible to develop skills and become confident in your mind alone.
What really creates performance confidence is action; not thought.
I struggled with self-confidence issues for years, imagining all sorts of scenarios in which I proved myself to be a better man. On the dating scene, I wasn’t just a newbie: I was a n00b (yes, there is a difference) – and almost 35 years old, which meant I had to get better and more confident quickly.
How I Became More Confident (And You Can Too)
1. Acceptance and Learning
I finally, accepted that I was a n00b who, even at my age, needed shut my mouth and open my mind to learning. (If you think acknowledging your faults is hard in your twenties, I can assure you it gets harder with age so confront your problems early!)
In my case, I found a ‘natural’ to help me with my dating skills and spent more time with older men who shared their wisdom about both life and business with me. I also kept a diary so I could see if I was progressing in my development.
2. Expand Your Comfort Zone
A comfort zone is an uncomfortable but secure prison. The best way to escape is by expanding out of it. Do something that causes mild discomfort to you. This could be as simple as talking to strangers or visiting an unfamiliar restaurant on the other side of town. Keep doing whatever it is you choose until you begin to feel confident doing it, then move onto something else.
The most common mistake is to ‘force’ confidence by doing everything at once: getting new friends, buying new clothes, picking up new slang. Pushing yourself into a new, ‘confident’ lifestyle will backfire; when there’s too much discomfort, the risk of retreating to your default state is high. Much better to gradually grow into confidence than try and fake it, or change your whole life overnight.
3. Get a life
Seriously. Have places to go, things to do, people to see and goals to work towards. Staying busy will boost your self esteem – and few things inspire others to have confidence in you like showing focus and determination.
Once you master points 1-3, it’s time to start sharing your confidence with others by leading. You don’t need to be an alpha male to lead, nor does it matter where and how you do it. Once you expand out of your comfort zone and get a life, your friends will want to know what you’re doing – and whether they can join in.
It doesn’t matter if you’re starting a blog or jumping out of a plane. When you become good at something and gain confidence, others will look to you for inspiration. Confidence is infectious; once you have it, share it with the people around you by leading.
I know from experience – and George can back me up here – that old fears and limiting beliefs often come back to haunt us. This is especially true if you recently went through a setback. Don’t dwell on those fears, lest they become self-fulfilling.
Instead, look at your progress, think on all the things you’ve done and give yourself some credit for laying a firm foundation of self-confidence. Then, start the learning process all over again and move on to the next level.
What are some of the action steps you intend to take to become more confident? Leave your answers in the comment section.
Jeremy Delancy is a full-time speech writer. His blog – Writings of a Midlife Man – addresses the concerns of men aged 45 to 65, but also provides direction for young guys who want to improve their lives.
Jeremy’s writing has been featured on sites like Problogger, ChristianPF and Glovesoffsports.com; he’s a great writer and an even better man. I love his website, and hope you enjoy reading this post as much as I did.