Confidence is probably one of the most important traits you can have. If you’re confident, you chase your dreams – believing you can actually achieve them. You talk to woman in an attractive way, tackle difficult situations, and you’re the guy who’s fun to be around. You don’t feel the need to lie, ever – because you feel that you’re enough on your own, and you know how to own your failures. You command respect, keep your cool in stressful moments, attract women, and you’re respected by other men.
But if you lack confidence, your life is the opposite. You dream about dating beautiful women – but never actually do it. You have high hopes and dreams that intimidate you – so, you just settle for less. You’re the guy who doesn’t know how to take matters into his own hands – accepting that everyone just walks all over you.
The good news is that confidence is a simple choice. You can have all the confidence in the world, if you are willing to work on yourself one small step at a time, every single day, adopting some key mindsets along the way.
1. Stop seeking validation
How does the opinion of others affect you? Does a mean comment, or a negative reaction ruin your day? Does receiving a compliment, or a sign of love and respect make your day? Do you feel the need to let everyone know just how awesome you are – even if that involves bragging, or at least telling humble brags about yourself?
Be honest with yourself here! If you seek external validation – in any form –to feel good about yourself, you will never develop true confidence: as soon as the stream of compliments, love, respect, praise and admiration dries up, you’ll feel inadequate and unworthy.
Guys who brag only do so because they’re insecure – and need to be praised by others to feel good about themselves. Needy guys are only needy because they don’t feel worthy of love and attention – needing constant confirmation to feel important. Aggressive guys might look tough from the outside – while being scared of judgement on the inside. Basically any form of extreme behavior can be traced to a desperate desire for external validation.
By seeking external validation to feel good about yourself, you give power over yourself in the hands of other people. Instead, you have to develop a few key mindsets to feel good about yourself no matter what – not allowing the opinion of another person make-or-break your day. Don’t brag about yourself to feel more of a man; instead, focus on connecting with others in a genuine way!
2. Give less shits
The less shits you give, the happier you will be. At the time when I first read this sentence, it sounded funny – but the more I thought about it, the more truth I found to it.
Today, we are living in an artificially stressful environment. You might be stressed out about one of your classes in school – even if that class has nothing to do with what you want from life. You might be stressed out about your job – even though you’re planning to quit in a few months, and never look back. You might be late to unimportant events, but still feel pressured to make it in time.
If you give a shit about everything in life, you’ll be stressed non-stop, drowning in all the shit you’re worrying about, ultimately crippling your confidence. Instead, focus on a few truly important aspects of your life, while worrying less about everything else. Worrying less, however, doesn’t mean giving zero effort; it just means giving as much effort as you can without taking a toll on your personal life, your health, your mental well-being, or the other things that truly matter to you.
If you want to dive deeper into giving less shits, I highly recommend this book – it had a huge impact on my life, and I know it will have a positive effect on yours as well!
3. Stop comparing yourself
When I first got into fitness and working out regularly, I was constantly comparing myself to others: my friends, classmates, people I saw at the gym, and even fitness-models I found on social media. Despite packing on a decent amount of muscle-mass within the first 6-8 months of working out, I was never satisfied with myself.
I still had a classmate who could beat me in arm-wrestling; I still had a friend who was making comparable gains – maybe even better gains – there were many guys at the gym who could lift more than I could, and I still didn’t look anything like the fitness models from YouTube and Facebook. I never really allowed myself to enjoy what I’ve already accomplished – while looking forward to reaching my new goals with excitement. Instead, I was stressed out about how I was stacking up to others, feeling like a failure, and losing motivation and confidence along the way.
If you start comparing yourself to other people, you will always find someone better than you in the specific field – if you look hard enough. There will always be someone who has a better body than you, makes more money than you, has more success with women than you do, or is closer to achieving their goals than you are. But that doesn’t matter. That doesn’t mean that you’re less of a man, or that you’re a failure.
In most fields in life, you’re not competing with the people you’re comparing yourself to; unless you’re a fitness-model, someone else having a 10% bigger biceps won’t mean anything in life; unless you’re both competing for the same job, it doesn’t matter what the other person does for a living; unless you both want the same girl, it doesn’t matter if someone is better with women than you are.
In fact, surrounding yourself with people who have more experience or success than you do in a certain area can actually help you learn valuable lessons from them. You have to realize that if you learn from the successes, failures, and experiences of these people, you can actually improve yourself faster than you could on your own. Realizing that you’re not competing with them, and so you don’t have to compare yourself to them will give you a sense of confidence: you’ll feel proud of the things you’ve already accomplished, instead of feeling unworthy because of what others have accomplished.
4. Full responsibility
Who’s responsible for all the BS going on in your life?
It’s easy to place the blame on someone else, society, women, certain circumstances or even God when anything bad happens. But if you constantly blame others for your failures, your negative emotions, and all the other bad things happening to you, then you’re subconsciously telling the word – and even yourself – that you’re not the one in control of your own life. You’re signalling that you’re just going with the flow, with no way to affect the outcome of any situation.
Now, contrast that with how most people react when they succeed or achieve something good in life. They’re proud of themselves, keep their heads high, and even brag about their achievements sometimes.
It’s very convenient to take full responsibility only for your successes, while placing the blame for all the bad things on something external. Sure, there are circumstances that you can’t control! But there is always something that you could have done differently. Instead of blaming others, or beating yourself up over it, take full responsibility for everything that happens to you, your emotions, and ultimately: your life. Take a step back, own your failures, learn from them, and then go on with your life! This sense of contol will not only allow you to take matters into your own hands to improve your life, but it will also grant you a sense of confidence.
5. Take the lead
A man with true confidence is willing to be a leader in any situation. He does not desire constant attention, and he does not strive for obedience from others; but he is willing to make quick decisions in the face of uncertainty – and stick to these decisions without having the need to explain himself. A man with true confidence doesn’t just go with the flow – he’s the one creating it.
Taking the lead means you are comfortable with making decisions. You don’t wait for others to make decisions for of you, and you don’t procrastinate before making your decisions. You make a decision, and stick to it, without feeling an instant need to explain yourself to others to get their approval.
Practice taking the lead in everyday situations! Suggest a bar to go to with friends, instead of waiting for them to suggest a place. Recommend a movie to watch with your girlfriend, instead of waiting for her to decide. Have an idea for a team-project – whether in school or at work – instead of waiting for others to come up with something.
Make sure you take the lead in a natural and confident way. You don’t have to explain yourself as soon as you make a decision; you should wait for someone to challenge you or to disagree with you to do that. But if you explain yourself upfront, you might be unconfident or insecure about your own decision – it means you assume that others won’t like your idea, and that you have to persuade them to agree with you. Similarly, if you become aggressive or over-defensive about your decisions, then you aren’t confident at all – you’re just insecure and a jerk at the same time. If nobody likes your decision, you have to be willing to accept that, come up with a new suggestion, be willing to compromise, or start supporting someone else’s idea.
These were my top 5 tips to boost your confidence, but I have another 5 tips coming up very soon! Make sure to follow Vikingfinity on WordPress, Facebook, or even by e-mail to receive a notification as soon as that post – and all future posts – comes out!