“If there is peace in your mind, you will find peace with everybody. If your mind is agitated, you will find agitation everywhere. So first find peace within and you will see this inner peace reflected everywhere else.
You are this peace.”
~ H.W.L. Poonja.
I was growing up being an extremely unconfident teenager. I shied away from countless opportunities that would have changed my life in many meaningful ways. I was living in my head caring too much about the things that didn’t matter at all. It took me many years to build up my confidence. In this section, I’ve summed up my meditations on confidence. As any self-development endeavor, building confidence starts with a clear understanding of your objectives.
Define the word “Confidence”.
The following definition can be found in the dictionary: confidence is the feeling of self-assurance in one’s abilities or qualities. Strictly speaking, confidence in its essence is a deeply internalized knowledge that you are capable of doing certain things. The word “doing” is the keyword here — it pinpoints that such penetrating self-belief can be cultivated by nothing else but real physical actions. The novel conception of self is consolidated only after it has been repeatedly manifested in reality. This brings us to the key tenet from which all confidence-building efforts should start, and to which they should ultimately return.
True confidence can only be acquired through real-life repetitive experience.
This principle is important as it shifts the whole paradigm of effort. Confidence can’t be gained from reading about confidence, listening to lectures about confidence, visualizing yourself a confident person or looping affirmations. The only way to become confident is to act confidently which implies doing things in areas of life in which confidence is desired.
Let’s look through several types of confidence that correspond to specific aspects of life. Identifying which type of confidence you want to develop will help you to plan your action strategy.
#1. The Confidence of Charisma.
This type of confidence finds its primary application in dating but can surely be used in any area of life that requires communication. There are three main principles in building up the Confidence of Charisma:
#1. Think Like a Master.
There are no secrets behind the confidence with the opposite sex. Only accumulated experience.
In order to upgrade my skill of interacting with women from awkward to solid, I simply had gone outside and talked to girls. A lot.
In your personal journey of becoming skilled in the Art of Seduction, you will find yourself going through so-called phases of mastery. Every time you are learning a new skill or integrating a new behavior you will grow through 3 learning zones:
- You enter Zone 1 once you are introduced to a new concept. At this point, your skills are too low to accomplish the task. You fail and your first failures have a demotivating effect. You’ve got to keep pushing through that initial discomfort in order to get to the next zone.
- When you are in Zone 2, you know that you’ve made significant progress. Reaching it feels like a breakthrough. The invisible wall cracks. You get your first success with your newfound skill and although reproduction of the successful result is not yet smooth, you are capable of realizing it.
- You reach the Zone 3 when your skill is perfected. You operate in the state of flow acting swiftly without overthinking, and the process of applying your skill brings you joy. You become a master.
Every single skill, from playing basketball to social interaction, represents a gradual progression through these three zones. Deploy your skills with a deep conviction that getting to Zone 3 is just a matter of time. Practice makes perfect.
#2. Detach from the result.
My first approaches to women were atrocious. I was paralyzed by fear. My voice was trembling. I was sweating and shaking every time I talked to a girl. With practice, I learned how to stay mindful and be in the moment observing physical sensations in my body allowing them to just be. The most important mindset that helped me to tame my negative self-talk is the mindset of detachment from the result.
Preprogram your mind before you start the interaction. Persuade yourself that the outcome of the interaction doesn’t matter. Direct your intention into being careless about the result. In reality, it’s not that hard to do. Approach and say whatever you have to say and let whatever might happen to happen. Don’t create reasons why the other person should not like you for that person. Entrust serendipity to do its job. Most of your prognoses are not meant to be realized.
#3. Don’t be apologetic.
Don’t be sorry for anything you say or do. People will be constantly shit testing you to see if you flinch. Stand firmly and own your actions. The ability to do so is exceptionally attractive to the opposite sex because a non-apologetic behavior is a signature of an alpha, be it male or female.
Now, someone may think that there is a blurred line between being non-apologetic and being an asshole. Not at all. Good manners are always a sign of a truly confident person whereas rudeness and offensive behavior are nothing but a front for insecurities.
One of the fundamental elements of great personal charisma is the congruence of thoughts and actions. Be direct. Always. Once you break free from the fear of being judged you will discover that pushing the limits of what’s possible in the game of social interaction can be a lot of fun. You can experiment and be unpredictable. Many things can be forgiven as long as you stay playful about them. Audacity is rewarding, timidity is not.
#2. The Confidence of Athleticism
The best thing that you can do to build up your overall confidence is to exercise. If I could give you only one piece of advice on how to develop confidence that would be it.
Physical strength gained by exercise starts to leak out to all aspects of your life in the form of confidence. Regardless of gender, the confidence of physical strength increases the range of social situations you can handle. Such confidence ranges from something as simple as helping a friend who is moving home to carry heavy furniture to situations when you need to protect your life or the lives of others. Physically strong people possess a presence that can be attractive or intimidating on command.
Well-developed muscles especially the muscles of the back and shoulders secure a good posture that does not only ensure a healthy spine but also shapes your confidence through body language. Watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk “Your body language may shape who you are” where she presents her research on “power posing”. Insightful stuff.
#3. The Confidence of Appearance.
As you probably know, the clothes you wear affect your behavior. Compare how you feel wearing a nice suit and a beach outfit. The difference in self-perception is dramatic. Being well-dressed and well-groomed are important elements of good-looks and should definitely be dialed up to their maximum.
An athletic body contributes to your confidence in a similar but a more fundamental way. The confidence of a person who knows that he doesn’t need clothes to look good is on a qualitatively different level. After all, the way you look is directly connected to your confidence in dating. Opposite sex instinctively gravitates toward a healthy and strong partner because he can have healthy and strong offspring.
#4. The Confidence of Ability.
The Confidence of Ability can be found in many areas of life and it has two intimately connected aspects.
The first aspect is straightforward — your confidence is drawn from your understanding of what lies within the extent of your abilities. In this fashion, the financial confidence originates from knowing what kind of things you can afford, the confidence of power may originate from the position of power that grants specific privileges, the confidence of craftsmanship stems from the awareness that you are able to perform a skillful work at a certain level. On the other hand, recognition of your limitations keeps you humble and realistic.
The second aspect of the Confidence of Ability is more valuable — it is your confidence that among your other abilities the most important one is your ability to extend the horizons of the things you can do. The conviction that you are able to manifest anything you set to achieve with the power of your resolve is empowering. Someone said: “Confidence of success is almost success.” What is more, success breeds more confidence. Self-reliance is the foundation of a strong character.
#5. The Confidence of Intellect.
The Confidence of Intellect springs from the awareness of personal intellectual competence and can be manifested in a variety of forms. Here are some examples:
- Professional competence (self-assurance in your expertise in a certain domain, self-assurance in your ability to solve complex problems).
- Confidence of erudition (self-assurance based on a massive volume of factual knowledge).
- Confidence of emotional intelligence (awareness of how well you understand and control your emotions).
- Confidence of practical intelligence (awareness of your ability to effectively achieve the desired outcome in social situations).
- Confidence of creativity (skilfulness in combining known elements in new ways).
- Financial confidence (self-assurance of your ability to accumulate wealth).
All these types of confidence are defined in terms of intellectual capacity. Breaking down the Confidence of Intellect into its component types helps to distinguish the area of interest and address it specifically.
#6. The Confidence of Spirituality.
Deep knowledge of who you are and your place in this world endues you with a spiritual presence that far surpasses the confidence in the dimensions of the body and mind. A man who dug down to the bottom of his heart and rediscovered his true nature has awakened. He exudes confidence. It rises from a profound knowledge of who he is that shines through all of his being. Rising above the hubbub of insecurities, he achieved a level of spiritual growth where he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. His confidence is silent. He broke free from being controlled by the opinions of others.
Deep down, in the very center of your essence, you shall discover the source of the true confidence — the confidence of a spirit. Strong awareness of your spiritual core will project mental fortitude that will ensphere you like an aura. This type of confidence is perceptible by everyone, it can neither be challenged nor lost.
Here are some ideas on what you could do to develop your confidence in different areas of life.
Enrollment in acting classes, rhetoric classes, language courses, and dispute clubs; participation in meetups, pitch-parties, and presentations; playing music and singing in public will boost your confidence. Place yourself in environments that will force you to speak up.
Talking to strangers, work in sales and customer service, receiving coaching and participation in workshops — any experience that involves meeting new people is invaluable for building up your assertiveness.
Dating is a crucial aspect of life. Understanding how to behave with someone you are attracted to, mastering interpersonal dynamics, building relationships, ending relationships, and maturing through them is a rough road, however, acquiring social intelligence in this area of life is essential as it serves as the basis for all other types of confidence.
Leading a sports team, starting a club, volunteering, managing charity, and social events, founding a company, initiating daring projects, and even small opportunities for leadership such as organizing trips with friends — these are some of the experiences that will give you the confidence of a leader.
The list can go long. Select an activity that will take the shortest time to implement. Keep one thing in mind.
You don’t start when you are ready.
You become ready by starting.
So, start. Act confidently. Life is too short to be shy.
Thank you for reading my book “Meditations of the Millennial”.
If you want to support me on my mission, please, share this book with someone you love. Maybe they will find what they seek on its pages.