Smake it smill you smake it!
Doesn’t this piss you off? You want to learn to be confident. So you look for actionable advice.
Might be because you are in a rut. Might be because you feel anxious around people. Or you are just plain shy and insecure.
But you want to be brave, talk to new people, ask out cute girls. Or finally, ask for that fucking promotion.
Enter Google. You type -How to be confident-. What pops up? This! This recycled advice pops up over and over.
"Fake it, till you make it."
Damn, that’s no advice!
Tired of hearing that shit? Me too!
Stumbling to progress
Okay, I have to be honest. I might,… maybe,… potentially,…be guilty of giving this advice as well. I am sorry. My bad.
This advice is unhelpful because it leaves you clueless. So why is this advice so prevalent? And why do I still give the same advice? Well, it is good advice,… if interpreted right.
Let me tell you a story. A long time ago, I read “fake it till you make it” for the first time.
I was a nineteen-year-old dork. At a certain moment, I read The Game, and it hit me; I wanted to be a ‘pick up artist’!
Oooh wow! “Best decision ever.” Hahaha, how naive was I. Convinced that getting a shit load of girls would make me happy and confident.
I started reading a lot about ‘picking up girls’. Frequently I stumbled upon the advice; “fake it till you make it”.
Here I was, this adolescent nerd, trying to be cool. By faking it! Girls smelled the insincerity and insecurity from miles away!
Practice till you make it
In the end, I did not become a master ladies man (bummer). But I did grow confident, and dare I say it? Even a bit cool :)! Nonetheless, still a nerd (and proud of it!). All my stumbling got me on a trajectory I’m grateful for. Finding great confidence and happiness.
Despite not becoming a hookup god. I learned to be self-assured through constant self-improvement. Though it was out of desperation at first.
So how did I become confident by faking confidence? Well “fake it till you make it” is a catchy way of saying; “start practicing!”
Because practice makes perfect! Training skills works!
That’s why experts throw this cliché in your face. Time and time again. Confidence is a skill. How do you acquire new skills? Practicing, doing, failing, getting up, and practicing more!
Like any other skill!
Cycling for instance! (yes more story time) So I’m from in the Netherlands. Here we learn cycling at four years old. There is no book or instruction manual. Even if there was, you are four, you can’t even read. The best you’d do is suckle on the pages in a desperate search for nutrients.
(Yes, cycling is way more important than reading for the Dutch.)
Imagine this. You are a toddler. Your mom and dad fling you on a bike and accelerate you, to what feels like 3g. Luckily this bike has little training wheels. Providing balance. Making it easier to practice and not fuck up your face this early in life.
Slowly they push you. You learn to cycle a bit. You fail miserably, they pick you up, put you back on the bike and you try again.
This goes on for a few weeks. When there is enough faith in your capabilities or dad is sick of wasting his time, the side wheels come off. There are a few more practice runs and off you go.
Your first trip without assistance you still crash and mess up your face. A bit of crying,… a defiant shrug,… a bit more encouragement,.. off you go again. Time to challenge cars for total dominion of the roads!
Your Confidence Training Wheels
First off, start taking on confident postures. Head straight – eyes forward – straight back relaxed shoulders and no slumping.
Learn to walk deliberately. Practice making eye contact with people and smile. Boom! That’s it, let the force flow through you. Remind yourself of doing this as you go through your day. It’s even backed up by science!
At first, this all feels unnatural. Just keep doing it anyway. It will be easier and will make you feel more confident. As for eye contact, easy to learn hard to master. Check out this guide.
2. Working Out
Get healthy. Get fit. Work out consistently.
You are your body. Take good care of you. It will give you better looks, more energy, and more drive. Ultimately you gain that sweet afterglow called confidence. Especially if you learn to push yourself to new limits!
The sweet endorphins and improved health will make you feel so good! Don’t know where to start? Look here.
3. Dressing the part
Clothes make the man. Dress as any confident self-respecting person would do. No matter your kind of style, do it with conviction and flair. Emphasize the great character you hold within.
Learn this skill through practice. Look at style blogs or books and learn how to acquire the right look for you.
So not only your posture and physique will speak to your new way of life. But your clothes speak the part as well. Remember; it’s not about the clothes but about laying emphasis on you.
(yes this is only for men, you women have your own style secrets I can’t comprehend. But I am sure there might be at least one or two style blogs for girls out there)
Last but not least – a fundamental training wheel. Especially if you need to get out of your head: meditation.
For some people a bit out there – but it works!
There doesn’t have to be anything woo-woo about it, it can be as secular as you want it to be.
Faking Practicing Confidence
So you mounted some training wheels. What should you start practicing? What would being confident even feel like?
No more anxiousness in a new social group, but easily being a part of a social gathering. Not giving a fuck if you bore other people, even if you do. Not giving a rat’s ass about what others think about you. People will be attracted to your calm and deliberate demeanor.
Just you doing you.
Does this seem like you yet? Nope! Probably not. How can this be authentic if you start doing this? Faking it and still be your true self? Confidence needs to be an integral part of you. You don’t identify with being confident. So it does not come naturally,.... YET! As Millard Fuller said:
“It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting.”
Practice accepting yourself. Be okay with who you are now and future you!
Not okay with any of those two yet? Accept them as current reality and improve on them. The more you practice all this, the less “textbook confident” you become. Improvement and practice are the way forward.
Sounds easy right? Well, it is fucking hard. Start by putting on the training wheels. Start practicing slowly yet steadily. Integrate good posture, work out, dress well and meditate. As you gain some momentum, you will gain more stability in your life!
You can start facing more fears, learn new skills and go beyond. Automatically adopting a general calm and ease.
Let’s see how far you’ll get!