By Leo Gura - May 30, 2014 | 23 Comments
The two pathways for developing lasting self-confidence
Hey, this is Leo from Actualized.org, and in this video I’m going to talk about self-confidence.
Let’s talk a little bit about what this is, how it really works, and the in-depth mechanics of how confidence is developed. I have other videos that I’m going to link down below in the comment section, that talk about how to more practically build confidence.
Here, I really want to get into not so much giving you a little technique, but I want to really get into the core of what confidence is, why some people have it and some don’t. This is going to be a fascinating topic. It’ll help you understand where your own lack of self-confidence is coming from, and how you can start to turn it around, not just with a simple patch-over solution, but really understanding it at its core.
I find that’s the best way to solve problems — understanding them at the core. That’s what I want to cover here. I’ve had my own self-confidence issues for a long time. I’ve had them since I was a kid, since I was six or seven years old. There are various areas in your life where confidence can be a problem. We’re going to look at some of the different areas, and maybe see what is the area you are having the most problems with confidence in.
Don’t Paint Broadly
Just saying generally “I have a lack of confidence” is painting with too broad of a brush. What you want to do is say “I have a lack of confidence in that particular area.” Confidence is very context dependent. We’re going to take a look at that, and other things along those lines.
What are some examples of where confidence could be lacking, or where confidence could be required? An example might be a job interview. Maybe you have a job interview you’re going to and you’re feeling worried about it, you’re feeling stressed. You’re not feeling confident.
How about public speaking, or speaking in front of others, or being in a social situation? You’re maybe an introvert, or you’re just shy, and you have a lack of confidence in social situation. Or you have confidence problems when you have to go out and give a presentation at work.
How about starting a business? Takes a lot of confidence to be able to start a business. How about starting a new hobby or some sort of endeavour you’re trying to master? Maybe you picked up a musical instrument you’re trying to master, maybe the guitar, the piano. Maybe you’ve got some other hobby, like a sport, maybe golf or something like that, that you’re trying to get good at. You’re struggling there because you don’t have enough confidence.
How about with the opposite sex? Especially guys approaching girls. For me, huge confidence issues there. I had to work really hard to work those out. I still have those. A lot of guys generally don’t have confidence when they’re approaching a girl to talk to her, to char her up. Lack of confidence with women is a huge problem for men.
How about lack of confidence with doing something in your life to improve yourself? Such as losing weight, or putting some other kind of positive habit into your life, like a gym routine. Or even confidence at the gym. Maybe you’re at the gym and you’re pushing yourself, and you’re not confident about the exercise you’re doing, or the weight limit you’re trying to reach.
All of those are little areas out of a big list that we could talk about for fifteen or twenty minutes. I don’t want to do that. I just want to give you some ideas to get your mind connected with what we’re really talking about.
I want you to get clear about where it is that you’re specifically having your confidence issue. I don’t want you using a broad brush, just saying that you have low confidence. That’s not true. I’m sure we could find many areas in your life where you have fairly good confidence. It’s just the problem areas we need to look at.
What is confidence? What is it really? What is it physically? What’s it’s existential nature? Confidence is a vibration of energy. Confidence is a thought wave. That’s what it is. It’s a mind state. When you’re going in to do something, and you’re calm and grounded, and you feel like you have no problem accomplishing it, then what are you? You’re confident.
That’s what’s happening when you’re going to brush your teeth in the morning. That’s what’s happening when you’re driving your car. That’s what’s happening when you’re going in to give some sort of presentation, and you feel good about that. You don’t have any worries about it.
That’s what’s happening when you’re cooking your dinner, if you’re good at cooking. Anything else in life you “mastered”, you’re going to feel like you’re able to do it. You’re not going to worry too much. You’re not going to second guess yourself. What’s the opposite of that?
The opposite of that is when you’re going into something, usually something new, something you don’t have a lot of experience in, something you have zero mastery in — let’s say you’re going to a golf club for the first time. Or let’s say you’re using on your first date. Let’s say you’re having sex for the first time. Let’s say you’re going to an important job interview for the first time.
Let’s say you have a big presentation in front of a hundred people in your company, and that’s something you’ve never done before. All of those things, because they’re new and fresh to you, you don’t have a sense of confidence. What’s happening is that in your mind, it’s a different vibration of energy.
A vibration of confidence is grounded. You know you’re going to be able to do it. A vibration of insecurity is all this worry and anxiety, negative thoughts, doom and gloom scenarios, negative visualizations that are going on.
It’s important to recognize what confidence is — it’s a vibration, it’s a thought, it’s a mind state. How is confidence developed? We already gave you some clues, but it should be pretty clear that nobody is born with confidence. Confidence is not something you’re born with.
It might not seem that way on the surface, because you probably know people, or you know friends, or you know family members, or people you work with, co workers, that have extraordinary levels of confidence, and you envy them for that.
You wonder to yourself “How can I get that? Is it possible for me to get that? Why is this person so god damn confident? What’s the difference? I’m having such trouble in this area, but that person has it totally handled.”
The Importance Of Experience
The difference is not that that person was born with it, it’s just that they have the experience that you’re lacking. Right now, we could probably find some area in your life where you are very confident, at something. Maybe you know how to paint. Maybe you know how to play a musical instrument. Maybe you know how to use the computer in a specific way.
Maybe you’ve done some applications there. Maybe you know a programming language. Whatever that is, you know something you’ve mastered and you’re good at. You can look and see that there are people — in fact, there’s probably millions of people — who don’t know that thing you know.
They’re not confident about it at all. There are millions of people who are not confident about how to use a computer, or how to paint, or how to play a musical instrument, or whatever else it is you’re good at. It’s important to notice that in that area, you are the one who has self-confidence. Other people don’t.
When you’re feeling a lack of confidence, it’s simply you being on the other end of that equation. You see somebody who does have that confidence, you don’t have it. Why is that? It’s because you lack the experience that’s necessary. The other reason is not only do you lack experience, but you might also have a lack of mental control over your mind state.
You might be an anxious, anxiety prone person. You might be a neurotic type of person. You might have a lot of pessimistic and negative thoughts coming up, so that even when you’re doing the stuff you have experience with, you still have a lot of anxiety and worry, and a lack of confidence that’s necessary.
There’s really two parts to this. One is getting the requisite experience you want. The other is getting your mind handled, which is — a lot of the videos I’m shooting and bringing to you with Actualized.org are about how to do htat. It’s a really in depth topic so I’m not going to cover it all in this video.
Let’s take a look at an example, a couple of examples of people who are really confident. I tend to find that the reason some people are naturally perceived as being confident is because they’ve got that initial experience that’s necessary to have confidence, they got it really early in life.
That’s probably true for you too, for those things you’re really confident about in your life. You probably got those early on, when you were a kid or a teenager, and now you perceive those things as being a natural part of you.
That’s what confidence really is — it’s thinking “That’s just me. I’m just a naturally good golfer. I’m naturally good with math. I’m naturally good at this instrument. I’m naturally good at painting and drawing. I’m a naturally gifted speaker.” If you think that way, that solidifies your confidence even more. If you feel this vibration of strength within you, rather than the weakness.
If you have to go and acquire those skills later in life, then your confidence level is not going to be quite as high as some of those naturals, the people that got it earlier in life. Not that you can never reach those levels, but it’s going to take you longer and it’s going to require more work.
The Dating Life
A really good example I’ve seen is — I’ve been studying a lot about the dating community, and just how dating works. I’ve been studying the psychology and dynamics of dating for the last few years. One of the things I noticed is that confidence levels that are associated with good looks.
Guys who are good looking tend to be extremely confident. Guys who are worse in their looks, they don’t have that same confidence level. The same thing applies to women. Women who don’t have good looks don’t have high confidence. Women who have really gorgeous looks, really a stunner girl, she tends to have quite a lot of confidence.
At least within that context. Not everywhere in life, but at least within dating and relationships. Why is this? Just think about it. If you grew up and you knew you were really good looking, since you were a kid, maybe you got some good genetics, or maybe people were just telling you and lavishing you with attention and praise and compliments, and you always thought of yourself as this beautiful person, really good looking, in the top ten percent of everybody else around you.
You thought you were the shit. If you grew up like that, and you grew up that way too early schooling, and then high school, and then through college, think about how much more confidence you would have. It would be like the snowball effect that just built up.
Then you would feel more confident, and you’d go out and start approaching girls, you’d start dating. That confidence would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because you think you’re good looking, people are going to register that from you, because you really believe it. It’s not so important that you actually are good looking.
It’s simply important for you, because it’s a trick your mind is playing on itself. If you could get that kind of belief in yourself when you were bad looking, you would still be able to get really good results with women if you’re a guy, but most guys can’t generate that kind of confidence because they’re kind of broken inside, if they’ve always felt like they’re inferior.
The same thing with women. Usually, women that are really gorgeous, you’ll see them at clubs, bars, you can go talk to them, and what you’ll realise is that the reason they have so much confidence is because they have those good looks. It’s easier to have that confidence when you are good looking.
That doesn’t mean you can’t be confident if you’re not quite as good looking, if you’re average or even below average. It’s just that it’ll take you more work. Your mind is going to be hooked on the external stimulus that you’re getting. What the environment is going to be feeding you, for example if you’re in American culture, you’re going to be fed by all these images.
Magazine covers with beautiful people, TV shows with beautiful people, actors, movies, celebrities, people talking about it, the dating experiences you hear about from your friends. All this stuff is going to be bombarding you.
If you’ve got a weak mind, especially when you’re growing up — you have a weak mind, you haven’t really strengthened it, you don’t have much self-control — then you’re going to buy into that. You’re going to be absorbing it like a sponge. That’s a dangerous thing, because that means you’re just accepting what the surroundings are telling you.
True Strength Of Mind
It takes a strong mind to go against the surroundings. When people are telling you you’re ugly, or you’re looking funny or something like that, imagine how confident you’d have to be to take those and not really care, just shrug them off.
Some people are actually able to do that. That shows they have real confidence, and it might even be true they’re ugly. If someone tells them they’re ugly, they just don’t care. How cool would it be to get to that level? That level is definitely possible. You have to work at it though. You have to start unhooking yourself from all the external inputs you’re getting from society, media and your friends.
Even your mind is tricking you into believing this stuff. Confidence is really about the mental game, the mental aspects of what you think about yourself. It’s really about your self-image. It’s who you believe you are. I have another video on self-image, I’ll link it down below so you can check it out.
Self-image is important because it determines, subconsciously, what you think you can do in the world, who you think you are, how you think the world works, how you feel about yourself. These are really deep, subconscious beliefs you have. What’s nice about this, even though it can be very difficult to change, is that it can be totally changed.
The self-image is rather arbitrary. This is just stuff that’s accumulated from your childhood and your past experiences. Now it’s in there, but you can go and use various techniques to work it out.
Context Is Everything
Context dependence of confidence, let’s talk about that for a second. I want you to find a couple of things you’re really confident in in your life. I want you to prove this to yourself. Everyone can find at least a couple of things that they’re good at, that they are totally confident they can do. Then I want you to write those down.
Then I want you to find a couple of other things, where you’re not confident. This should be even easier, because that’s why you’re watching this video — you already have a couple of those on the top of your mind. Write those down as well.
I want you to compare those side by side and just see what is the difference. Why are you not confident in a couple of areas, and then confident in some of the other? What you’re going to discover is some of the stuff I’ve been telling you.
It’s because of the early experiences you’ve had through childhood, maybe traumatic events that have caused you to feel insecure about yourself, or it’s the experience you have. The reason you have confidence on the other stuff is because you worked on it really hard and you feel like it’s part of you, part of your self-image.
You feel like “Yeah, you know what? That’s me. I’m a math person. I’m really good with words. I’m really good with people.” Whenever you feel like it’s really you, that’s the self-image talking. That’s where you want to get to when you get confident in something.
The two avenues for building confidence are going to be confidence through competence — become competent at the thing you’re trying to do. This means taking action and committing to a path of mastery. You have to master the thing you want. If you’re looking at this video and asking yourself “How can I become confident in this one area I’m having trouble in?” here’s the answer.
One answer is to take a lot of action, build a lot of competence, fail a lot, learn from your mistakes, take the hard knocks and then you’re going to be confident. That’s how everyone really builds confidence, through that process. You don’t see it in others, because that process is usually hidden and internal.
The second way to build confidence is through sheer will. It’s the inner game. I like to say there’s the external component and the internal component. The external component of confidence is going out there and building mastery through action.
The internal components through building your mindsets. That’s all the videos I’m sharing with you, understanding yourself, understanding your psychology, mastering that, practising various techniques like affirmations, visualisations, meditation, journaling, getting coaching on whatever area you’re having trouble with. I mean the psychology of it, not the practice.
It’s one thing to go and work on your public speaking skills, to actually become an articulate public speaker — that is going build your external mastery, and competence, which will lead to confidence. That alone won’t be enough. You also need to master the inner psychology of it.
How are you thinking about your public speaking? How are you thinking about yourself? Do you believe that you’re a naturally gifted public speaker? Can you programme that in your mind? What about your subconscious mind? What kind of limiting beliefs are holding you back? All that stuff you have to work on.
If you really want to work on that stuff, then that’s what this channel is about. That’s why I encourage you to subscribe and watch more videos, because that’s what I’m really excited about — showing you how to do the inner work. The outer work, that’s a bit more obvious how to do. That’s going to be specific to what you’re trying to master.
This is it. This is really what self-confidence is about. Hopefully this gives you a better understanding so you can go out there and start to build self-confidence in whatever area of life you need it in the most right now.
This is Leo. I’m signing off. Go ahead and post me your comments down below. I’d love to hear from you. Please like this and share it. Click the like button right now. Throw it on Facebook so your friends could see. That would be a huge favour to me.
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