Confidence and Self Confidence.

A little musiing of encouragement and slight discouragement.

The first thing is that we can all learn to be confident, and it's much, much easier than expected. If you've ever watched timid, shy young girls go through professional training, and learn to develop a professional "game face" then you'll know that anything is possible on this front.

All that's needed is to know that you have to pretend to be confident for a period of time. And that it's got nothing to do with who you are. It's just something that has to be done for a bit, then you can go home and be yourself later.

In this way, everyone can be confident.

The trick though, I guess, is self-confidence. After it's learned, it's easy enough to be confident whilst displaying a certain side of yourself. What's harder is learning to be confident of your *self*, regardless of situation.

I think this really is about world view, more than anything else.

Self-confidence is about not thinking about yourself, but focusing on the world outside.

First, one must find one's centre. And then know, and love oneself enough. By enough, I mean enough for you. Then ensure you are happy with your skills for interacting with the world at large - how you make decisions, what your style of socialising is, how you deal with conflict.

Finally, forget about all of that, and forget about yourself. And just focus on what is going on in the rest of the world.

At least, that's my theory. So far... well, it's going alright :) Criticism, corrections, corroboration and coconuts all welcome.
TheTardyDodo TheTardyDodo
31-35, M
9 Responses Jul 17, 2007

You've obviously gotten pretty good with the technique! Now that I think about it, you make a good point that most of life is like that. Often the only thing we need to do to feel comfortable with things is to have done them a few times, whether or not we knew how to or not! :)

i had to do the whole "fake it 'til you make it" kind of thing in nearly every facet of my life. but ... it worked! and it does seem that there are certain situations, emotions, people, etc. wherein i have to re-employ that technique. i completely agree about giving it a nudge and your theory that there's a difference between 'BEING' confident vs 'HAVING' *self*confidence... ABSOLUTELY!

Well, me too. But I meant I would be always almost there but not quite...and laughing at the crucial things is the best laugh of all...that is hard to imagine...that you haven't always been smiling.

I think I would rather drink bleach than return to 11th grade - everything was so crucial! Life! Death! Oh the huge manatee! Today it's just about fun. People have always stared, through all the developmental stages. Now, at last, I too smile back. Imagine that, smiling was one of the last things I learned to do.

I guess I am lucky I don't worry because I know I will always be in the 11th grade and people will always stare...so why not smile back. Good conversation.

It's a valid point - confidence is not an absolute constant, like the boiling point of water. It ebbs and flows according to moods and other variables. Plus, there are certain situations - and especially people - that shrink us to first graders time and again. Parents can reduce grown children - successful in the world - to infants with a harsh word or a sideways glance.

Once more we are in accord. I actually believe that if one becomes too good at "acting" confident and is never tested to the point where developing true self-confidence is required, then the ability to "fake it" will work to the person's detriment. The mask becomes the person.

I absolutely agree with everything you've said. What I was doing was drawing the distinction between confidence as a skill and confidence in self, which is an attribute. There's nothing wrong with the "acting" phase, but I don't think it necessarily follows that it will grow into fully grown self-confidence without a bit of nudging in the right direction.

I think you're on time, as ever. However, the "acting" phase you described only occurs at the very beginning of building confidence. People without self-confidence gain their esteem through the validation and approval of others. People who ARE self-confident: Know Who They Are, Accept Who They Are, Are Who They Are, And Enjoy Being Who They Are. No "acting" or performing is required. I thoroughly agree that such people are outwardly focused. They are interested in others - not because they want their attention - but because they want to know what they can learn from them and how they can benefit them. Insecurity yells - self-confidence is quiet and draws its power from attraction - rather than persuasion.