I was thinking about the term “confidence” again today. I get a lot of emails from guys asking about that word….
I wrote about confidence before. And I had this idea that confidence wasn’t real… just like darkness isn’t real… I figured confidence was just a lack of insecurities. But I’ve never really sat down and pondered what insecurities are and why I would want to “lack” them.
Until this morning.
If confidence is just a lack of insecurities… then are insecurities just a lack of securities?
Or a lack of FEELING SECURE?
Does that mean when I’m confident I’m really just feeling secure? I think I can buy that.
Well what causes someone to “lack” this feeling of security? What causes insecurity?
Insecurity = Lack of Security?
Confidence = Secure?
If confidence is a “feeling” then I guess I can “feel” secure or insecure?
Perhaps I can feel “insecure” from a lack of certainty?
Well crap. What the fuck is “certainty” and do I need it to feel “secure” to therefore feel “confident”?
Is “Self Confident” the same thing as “Self Secure” or “Self Assured” or “Self Certain”?
Here’s where things get messy in my head when I brainstorm these things… words aren’t real. They are really just symbols we’ve created to represent things we can see or feel or think. The “word” isn’t the real thing. Just like if you look at a map… the map is only a representation of the real thing.
The map is not the territory.
Words are just Symbols.
“Words realize nothing, verify nothing to you, unless you have suffered in your own person the thing which the words try to describe.
A powerful agent is the right word: it lights the reader’s way and makes it plain; a close approximation to it will answer, and much traveling is done in a well-enough fashion by its help, but we do not welcome it and applaud it and rejoice in it as we do when the right one blazes out on us. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words in a book or a newspaper the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt: it tingles exquisitely around through the walls of the mouth and tastes as tart and crisp and good as the autumn-butter that creams the sumac-berry.” -Mark Twain
So how do we ultimately help our selves to feel “secure” and therefore “confident”?
Well let’s start with our thinking. It’s our “thinking” that invents our insecurities, right? Our thoughts filter our experiences. If I think about my concerns and my worries then everything I expereince flows through those feelings. And therefore I lack security.
So how can we focus our thinking?
I heard once that Zen masters traditionally answer the question “What is Zen” by slapping the asker’s face, thereby breaking through the barrier between them thinking of reality and them experiencing it.
So after all that blabbering about what can I conclude?
To feel “confident” in any given situation we need to stay connected with reality, not let ourselves get lost in “thinking” about the future (“what if she laughs at me?”) or about the past (“it still hurts from that last time that one girl emberassed me…”)
To feel “secure” it pays to stay focused in reality… in the “now.” Meditation is a great way to practice this focusing on the “now.”
Imagine you’re looking at a cute girl at another table in a restaurant.
Now what’s going to help you feel more secure? Thinking about future events, like things to say, or things she might say back? No, that leads to worry.
Thinking about all those times in the past where you fucked up? No, that leads to worry.
But staying in the “now” works because then you’re present. It would actually help if she slapped you in the face because then at least you’d be out of your head expereincing the world.
I suggest reading The Power Of Now to help you learn the amazing power of staying present.
What you allow yourself to “think” will greatly effect how your body will “feel” … and our goal here is to “feel” secure or confident, right?
The Past Is Past
Let’s imagine our goal is to feel secure. And let’s imagine that what we think about greatly affects our feelings.
Well if we hold onto past traumas, by thinking about them all the time, all we’re doing is creating a walking path in our mind that becomes easier and easier to tread down.
If you sit around worrying about something every day then everyday it’s going to be easier and easier to worry about that same thing.
So perhaps it’s time to stand up to our own thoughts, and ultimately decide which past trauma’s we should forgive and forget.
That time our teacher emberassed us in class? Forgive and forget. Let that shit go.
That time those girls laughed at you in the hallway when you were spilling your heart out to Tessa? Forgive them, realize its more funny then embarrassing, then forget it!
Basically find each past trauma you think you’ve suffered and do your best to let that shit heal. Otherwise it’s going to continue to keep your jaded or overly guarded.
Don’t Make Assumptions
If thinking about the past can take us off our game, then thinking about the future can do the same exact thing. When you’re approaching a girl for the first time it’s VERY easy to start worrying about what she might do or say, or how you might look or feel. That’s you thinking about the future. That’s a waste of worry.
The problem is we often make ssumptions about the future, and those assumptions are ussually wrong.
Why does our brains like to come to the worst conclusions?
It’s in our genes… the cavemen and cavewomen who always worried about those creepy sounds in the bush were the one’s most likely to survive an attack from some random threat. It pays to worry.
But we’re not in prehistoric times and so we need to retrain our brains to ignore our inner lizard brains!
Seth Godin explains our irrational fears really well in his blog post “Quieting The Lizard Brain.”
If you MUST think about the future and you MUST make assumptions about this new girl’s reactions to you… then make the BEST assumptions.
Assume she’s going to love talking to you.
Assume she’s only pretending to find you boring.
Assume everything she does is an indicator that she’s REALLY into you.
She’s not talking? That’s becaues she’s super shy.
She’s upset or angry? That’s her childish way of dealing with the fun sexual tension she feels for you.
If you’re able to dream up some positive mindsets (“Oh, she’s super shy but is really curious about me”) then it’s time to work on your body.
You expereince life through your head AND your body.
So how do we help our body’s to feel secure and confident?
We slowly walk it through the motions, over and over again, until it’s comfortable.
Want to be good at talking to hot girls you just met?
Then practice talking to people. Everywhere, everyday, about everything.
If you want to get comfortable talking to women you need to learn how to be comfortable talking to everyone. I say this all the time, but it’s true.
Want to get good at running 8k? Then start by walking 1K. Do it every day. Do it until it’s easy. Then try walking and jogging 1K. Do it every week until you’re able to jog 1K.
This applies to everything.
If you want o remove any insecurities your body has with a specific situation you need to create scenarios to practice within, as many times as it takes until your body is used to it. Just lots of practice. That’s it!
Calm, Composed, Certain.
When you take the time to rewire each and every insecurity you have, one at a time, you’ll eventually have no insecurities. All that’s left is a calm feeling of security.
Dealing with past traumas helps bring about inner healing and health.
Testing our bodies against new experiences helps us to remove past insecurities.
Staying present and calming our inner monkey minds helps us to remain worry free.
And finally I think having some perspective can help us rid ourselves of silly lingering insecurities.
How do we keep perspective?
Have you tried making unfair comparisons in your favor?
Instead of this mindset, “She’s too pretty to want to talk to me,” try something more realistic like this, “I will be dead some day. I might even be horribly crippled in a car accident on my way home tonight. In the entirety of my whole life this one moment in time doesn’t matter. Even if this girl hates me or laughs at me it’s not going to matter when I’m dying an old man one day.”
There’s an amazing freedom that comes from “being okay” with ANYTHING.
If you can let yourself truly and deeply accept that one day you will be dead then you just might gain some amazing perspective on your situation.
What causes uncertainty? Our ego’s need to know everything and to approve of everything.
Why do people have panic attacks? Because deep down they’re trying to control everything because they’re bodies feel that a loss of control will lead to a loss of life.
But guess what? The ONLY thing we can EVER be certain about is this… we can’t control ANYTHING.
And, when you finally beleive and accept this fact, all you’ll be left with is a calm and happy understanding about the world.
It’s All Okay
You’re going to be okay, no matter what happens.
You might get hurt, but it doesn’t matter.
The city might die from some deadly plague. But it’s okay. It’s going to happen whether you try to fight it or not. So just accept it, and realize it’s all going to be okay.
Your parents will die some day, but it’s okay. Your children will die some day, but it’s alright.
What ever actually happens is okay.
EVERYTHING that can possibly happen can and will and that’s okay!
The only certainty you need is the certainty that it’s okay.
The world will continue even if that hot girl doesn’t like you. The world will go on even if all human life is wiped out in an accident. It’s okay.
All your worries and frets are ment to keep you safe, but they don’t keep you happy. So take a moment and help yourself realize… it’s all okay.
It’s not your job to fix the world, or to fix yourself, or to change the outcome of the events of your past or future.
Just be you, be proud of your new choices, and move forward as best as you can. That’s all you can do, and that’s all that matters.
The only certainty you need is this: What ever happens is okay.
With that new mindset you’ll always feel certain and safe and secure. Because anything that happens is okay.
The answer to your question?
It’s all okay.