I’ve got a super slow day at work so I’m messing around on my emails with an article I put out a little while ago (under a now deleted account) that was really well-received and seems to still be relevant to you guys every single day – the reason I posted it initially was because I saw a jarring lack of confidence/ability to gain it from some of you in other threads – I’ve revised the original and added bullet-points and am now posting again.
I’ve also amended the tone from humorous to more serious – because it occurred to me that a whole industry exists to scam people out of money trying to sell “instant confidence” – and that is no laughing matter.
The principles below should impart the building blocks for solid, lasting confidence and self-esteem whilst also helping with anxiety reduction.
I hope somebody, somewhere finds this helpful:
- Eradicate the notion that there is a ‘quick-route’ to confidence or a “life-hack” that will grant you it – there is not. If you haven’t earned it you don’t deserve it. Confidence is the unshakable belief in what you are, who you are and where you are heading to. It is worth working for.
- Confidence sits in the mind, but it is fostered within us by our actions and attitude. You cannot be confident without pushing your own boundaries and stepping out into the world to confront new challenges. I hate the notion that Confidence is “Courage + Experience” as well because it’s totally bogus – you can have self-confidence in your mental framework, patience and resilience. You don’t have to be on the summit before you can be confident in climbing the mountain…So dumb!
- Deep, slow, steady, consistent breathing is one of the most fundamental parts of peaking ourselves mentally and physically. There are a billion websites out there talking about “fuelling our bodies” with proper diet, but what about the oxygen that “powers it”?
- Posture is of almost equal importance here as well. Briefly: spine straight, head resting directly on neck, feet firmly planted plus forward facing and no undue pressure placed on our limbs or muscles when doing activities that should use our bodies natural hinges.
- Re points 4 and 5 – why not take up meditation or Yoga? I’ll not go into details as it’s redundant when there’s a wealth of expert knowledge online.
- Do not learn to love yourself: find out what you DON’T like about yourself and work to stamp it out. Why are you trying to make yourself love what you don’t even like??? No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean we should tolerate unnecessary flaws or drawbacks. EDIT2: Some of you seem to think i'm saying "Don't give yourself credit for doing well" or that you should be adopting a mindset of "I'm unworthy of being X until I'm Y" and that's not what I mean at all. I intended it as don't excuse your sugar addiction with "My brother eats it, can't be that bad!" or skip the gym because "I'll go tomorrow." - I think most of you understood this. Simply, don't be forgiving of your vices or laziness!
- Aim to climb into bed each night a little smarter, a little stronger, having pushed the boundaries a little more than you had when you woke up that morning. Grind out every single day – be ruthless with yourself.
- Adopt the Socratic tradition of “Question Everything” – get your news from multiple sources, read a broad range of literature, take every opportunity you can to learn everything you can. Crucially – let the information you absorb from this inform your opinion but not dictate it.
- Read whenever and whatever you can (preferably non-fiction). Learn what you like and what you don’t, not by assuming but by partaking and seeing what resonates. Ancient Greek literature, historical accounts, military history, politics and psychology are probably my favourites. It’s not hard to always have a book on the go, most of you will have smart-phones and can get the Kindle app for free – a lot of books on there are free too.
- Spend a lot of time outside. Leave the internet at home and just enjoy nature. Learn how to navigate, how to read a map, how to use a compass and overall just get absorbed in the outdoors.
- If you feel fear at doing something that you are desirous of, take it as an unshakable law in your life that you must do it. In 3 years-time do you want to be still thinking about signing up for that MMA class, or do you want to be winning fights? Our fear is totally ego-based and completely out of proportion to most modern, ‘Western’ threats.
- Study the greats. So much of our modern knowledge about confidence, good communication and learning comes from anecdotal evidence/case studies gleaned from lectures, reports, debates or historical accounts of famous figures – cut out the middle man. Find your favourite rapper, politician (good luck!), American Footballer, Footballer, athlete or actor and try and learn how they tick. Any of you who know Carnegie know this already.
- Turn off internal negotiation - IF THE ACTION IS NECESSARY THEN DON’T ASK THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER YOU SHOULD BE DOING IT. Rely on self-discipline to get you through, not motivation.
- Mental Toughness - delayed gratification is a greater indicator of success than intelligence (Carol S Dweck, Mindset). Is there anything you wouldn’t do if you thought you couldn’t fail? Ironically, the only person that can make you fail, by giving up, is YOU.
- Learn a new skill – I must emphasise skill and not hobby. Coding, car maintenance, better mathematical ability and self-defence are simply more valuable in our world than say “flair” cooking or dancing. Not denigrating anything, it’s just about prioritising your time.
- LIFT – it’s one of TRP’s core tenets. But do not neglect your abdominals and core. You don’t want a “Rhino arms” and “Hippo stomach” situation to develop.
- If you ever feel bored – and you’re in a situation where you’re not on the clock or waiting on someone else – then you are not working hard enough at developing yourself. You should be your own drill sergeant, don’t let yourself slack off - it only hurts you buddy, only you.
- Be modest about everything and in everything. I’m English and we aren’t a nation of braggers, I know as well that young men can develop obnoxious traits when they’re learning a great deal without discipline. I stand by this point but it is subjective – I’m not saying be a doormat.
- Confidence is about being in a constant state of development, being able to look behind you and see things you’re proud of in your past, being able to look into your future and smile at how bright it looks because of your present efforts.
Development of self and confidence go hand in hand, I don’t like the notion of “faking it until I make it” or the homeydudebro who is all like “Yo, I got no job, no car and no house but I walked up to that bitch and was like ‘yo, you balling wit me or no?’ and she was all like ‘yeeeeeaaaaahhh dawg’ cos I had that gud confidence.”
I want your confidence to help YOU and improve your LIFE. I don’t want you to use it as a temporary tool for short-term gains.
EDIT: Unsurprisingly, I was aiming for "Anxiety Busting" - not "busing" - Thanks.
EDIT2: Thanks guys - more up-votes than original now! BTW I've popped an addendum onto point 6 as some of you seemed to misunderstand what I was getting at - which I understand.
EDIT3: Now I'm only making 1 point! Sorry guys, Reddit and me just don't get along. I was trying to make it less of a wall of text and this happened instead.