When you feel it, nothing's better.
You’re the you you were always supposed to be – powerful, in utter flow and immune to the judgements of others. Doubt might enter but it quickly fades because it doesn’t belong.
It’s like the pill Bradley Cooper takes in the movie, Limitless. When the drug enters his system, nothing can stop him. External factors like fear, lack of resources, the stupidity or arrogance of people, the weather, none of it matter and because these things don't matter, he's a force to be reckoned with.
Obviously something so powerful isn’t easy to get on a consistent basis. It can’t be. That’s written in the laws of life somewhere. But I still want confidence as often as possible. I know you do too.
Where do we start?
Think about what confidence really is – it’s an unapologetic belief in yourself. It starts with you and it manifests itself externally. You can’t start by looking confident. Sorry. Faking it until you make it might fool some but it won’t fool you. You aren’t going to feel it until it’s real.
I build that inner belief by reminding myself what’s great about me. I write 5 things everyday. Try it for a week and see what happens.
Maybe some days you’re like me and can’t find a thing to write down.
But search for something – like the fact that you make killer egg sandwiches, or that you got up early enough to run and do push ups, or maybe you love Star Wars and Star Wars is fucking awesome so you are too.
Next, stack some gratefulness on top of the self-love.
We have this habit of seeing only the shitty things going on in our lives. We are pain-avoidant creatures and it’s human nature to focus on the painful things and ignore the positive. But you don’t have to listen. No one’s forcing you to watch. You can say no.
You have so much yet you don’t see it.
I’m grateful for the hot cup of black coffee I have in my hand. I’m grateful for the rain outside that gives me an excuse to be a nerd and write. I’m grateful for not drinking too much last night. I’m grateful for my friends who speak fluent Chinese and help me get dinner.
I write down 5 things I’m grateful for every morning. I do it after the 5 things that make me awesome.
Then you go out and do the things in The Social Workout. This is ‘situational confidence’ that comes with mastering and repetition. Like public speaking. You build yourself into the person you want to be by becoming a student again, learning everything you can, then by not being afraid to practice it. You repeat that skill over and over like a basketball player practicing a free-throw.
You sacrifice, experiment and do things differently than you have before because that never got you what you wanted.
You commit to doing a few small things differently. I do a small exercise each day. I write down what I did in my journal every night.
And in a couple of months it will sneak up on you. It will come out of nowhere. You’ll surprise yourself somewhere. At work, out to drinks with your friends, when you’re having a tough conversation. Who was that person? And you’ll wonder what the shortcut was.