Confidence: The Basics
The personal improvement threads on the internet these days are getting more and more laced with questions about confidence and while the internet is an amazing tool for information and a limitless resource, if you want more confidence, the first thing that you have to understand is that you’re not going to find it on the internet and I think it’s virtually the only thing that can’t be purchased on Amazon.
Males Have Been Stripped of Their Confidence
You know how when you were young and your parents would lecture you over and over again about something to the point of nausea and at some point, you just tuned them out and the lecturing actually had the opposite effect? Instead of listening more to you parents, you made a special point to instead tune them out? That’s how I feel these when many of the so-called mainstream narratives pushed by feminists and other social bullies who blame men for everything under the sun. Whenever I hear this stuff I can feel my eyeballs rolling back into my head. When we see women behaving badly, instead of taking accountability for their own behavior they take to blaming men and the message has been drilled home for men over and over again. Their bad behavior is our fault.
Unfortunately, too many males have swallowed these lies and they have fallen into the trap of thinking that they have low worth and low value simply based on the fact that they were born male and that they only way that they can reverse that is by giving up their identity and personal power. The social bullies demand that males can only be cleansed of their original sin of being born male if they admit that they are inherently violent, privileged and sociopathic. Again, a big giant bowl full of lies and by acquiescing to this nonsense, males give their power away which is one of the first great destroyers of confidence. It comes so early in life, these days for males, that they just do what they think will make them likeable and good without realizing the gravity of how they learn to give away their personal power at a young age.
Confidence absolutely does not come from giving up your values, decisions, wants and needs in an effort to gain some level of approval from others. That is, in fact, one of the very things that will undermine your confidence and I think perhaps the biggest myth about confidence is that it somehow goes hand in hand with caring what others think or gaining some level of approval from others.
For the official record, approval seeking is a dead end and generally creates anxiety and low self-esteem. The type of approval that confident people get comes in the form of respect, respect that they have earned. The real approval that you desire comes after you build your confidence, not before. Getting approval from others seems to be the primary reason people seek to build their confidence in the first place and in the process of doing the heavy lifting they usually realize that self-respect is far more gratifying.
I support the unpopular opinion that moms often don’t produce confident males. They just don’t. I believe that mom’s, through natural selection, are hard-wired to protect their young and moms have a strong tendency to be overprotective. Females, in general, tend to avoid risk, they prefer safety and security. That’s not a bad thing, that’s what makes them great but as with most people, their greatest strength can also be their greatest weakness. I’ve often seen moms that get hot and bothered when they think about their boys growing up, they sometimes worry that their sons will grow and won’t need them anymore and so moms often have a tendency to discourage their sons from learning to spread their wings and learning to fly. I don’t believe that moms are trying to be deliberately harmful by sabotaging growth, I just believe that it’s in their nature to protect and they often don’t want to let go.
Moms have a tendency to discourage risk, they have a tendency to discourage danger of any kind. In our modern age of helicopter and bulldozer parenting, I’ve become quite accustomed to seeing moms that go to great lengths to avoid their children from experiencing any level of discomfort. They don’t even want their kids to be uncomfortable even when that discomfort will likely benefit their children in the form of growth. Males build their confidence when they take risks and face danger. The strength of character and confidence that is built when we face fears and overcome them. Avoiding risk, danger and discomfort completely undermine one’s ability to develop confidence. Those people grow up feeling weak, incapable and they have a tendency to be crippled with fear.
In general, moms tend to discourage risk and danger even when it’s positive. I constantly watch moms cringe over the smallest amount of discomfort or risk and I often see them go to great lengths to remove anything and everything that creates discomfort for their kids. If they have a teen that has social anxiety, their solution is to keep them home from school, again, because of their tendency towards wanting to protect. Their own discomfort can eclipse the fact that just because they have removed them from the uncomfortable situation doesn’t mean that the problem has been solved, they actually make it worse because the teen feels weak and incapable. Dads, in general, have a greater tendency to push their kids out the door, to try the new thing, to take the risk and face the perceived danger. But show me males that have been raised mostly by their moms and I’ll show you males that are generally less confident.
A lot of people ask questions or want to know the fastest and easiest way to gain confidence and with all due respect to those people, if you’re the quick and easy fix type then it’s not a surprise that confidence has been alluding you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they are asking the question, I’m glad that they are at least thinking about it but the first principle to personal improvement is this: the answers to a better version of you are going to allude you because 1) the right answers are going to be things that you’ve already labelled in negative ways or have already written off and 2) those right answers are often going to go against what you already believed or accepted to be true and they will change your world view about your experiences, the people around you and especially yourself.
The uncomfortable truth is that if you want to build your confidence, you have to admit that you’re wrong about how to be happy and confident and then recognize that what you’re doing isn’t working. There are people in the world that are confident and happy and while it might be easy to believe that they walked out of the womb that way, my experience has taught me that this isn’t even remotely true. I’m here to tell you, that if you set out right now and decide that you want something better for yourself, whether it’s happiness, healthiness or confidence. The right answers exist. You have to be willing to do what it takes to find them, be willing to have an open mind about it, be willing to leave behind what hasn’t worked before and most importantly, be willing to take the necessary action.
You Gotta Want it
Here’s the thing about confidence. You gotta want it. And why do you gotta want it? Because you have to earn it. Just like being physically fit and healthy, you have to get your butt out there and you have to earn it. If you’re overweight, out of shape and not muscular and you want those things, you have to get your butt out there and you have to earn it. You have to do one rep at a time, take one step at a time and lose one pound at a time. There is no magic bullet for being in really good physical health and shape and confidence is the same way. So if you want to be confident, you have to get out there and earn it.
Building confidence is very much like building muscle. You have to do some heavy lifting and the old adage of “no pain no gain” is very fitting. Yes, the process of gaining confidence can be a painful one but again, just like building muscle, those that accomplish this are the ones that focus on the benefits. They know that the pain and discomfort will help them get something that they really want and as a side note, lifting weights, losing weight and getting into shape is one of the most obvious and effective ways for you to build confidence.
The Cultivation Process
It’s, unfortunately, true that we live in a world of instant gratification. We are already hardwired to get attached to instant gratification but the age of technology has supercharged this. Confidence, like many other things, takes time. There’s a cultivation process. I’m quite sure that those that are only willing to accept a quick and easy solution are those that will continue to have confidence allude them.
Building confidence requires time, discomfort and effort. Again, like lifting weights. You have let go of instant gratification and put in the daily effort and in time you’ll see the results. Confidence has to be cultivated like a healthy garden. But here’s the bottom line, guys, real confidence that is built and cultivated, is extremely rewarding but perhaps not in the way that you are used to. It’s not the quick hit of pleasure like you might be used to, it’s a deep gratification that brings many other rewards. What would you do with more confidence? Ask that girl out? Ask for that raise? Go back to school? Stand up to that person in your family that pushes you around?
Building confidence has expected benefits and unexpected benefits and sometimes the unexpected benefits is the best part. It’s almost like putting on a pair of jeans that you haven’t worn in awhile and finding a twenty dollar bill in the pocket. Not only will you enjoy new confidence more than you think you will but you’ll find a whole treasure trove of perks along the way.
The Orion Way will help walk you through the process of gaining confidence and getting support along the way. You don’t have to do it alone and you shouldn’t which is why we’re going to help you get the support along the way.