That’s all you want.
You want to feel deep confidence in your core. When you have true confidence, you have full security in who you are as a person.
Confidence has many contexts. You feel better about yourself the more confident you are as a whole and you feel more confident as a whole by being confident in more areas of your life.
You want to feel like you can handle anything. I titled this post things confident and secure people don’t do for a reason. Often, we show our insecurities through our actions.
When you have confidence, you’re non-reactive. You don’t need anything to happen nor do you need to do anything to feel good about yourself. True confidence is self-evident.
Does anybody reach some perfect level of confidence? Of course not, but there are things you can do, and more importantly, stop doing to work on building your confidence.
Whether you’re projecting a false image, distorting reality to cope, or trying to take others down, most of these actions simply harm you and fool no one.
Take the ‘inversion’ approach when it comes to these behaviors. Instead of trying to figure out how to be confident, stop doing things that show you lack confidence and make you more insecure.
If you feel the need to tear successful people down, it has everything to do with you and nothing to do with them. Usually, when you see someone who’s living a life you want, it bothers you because they’re reflecting your inadequacy back at you.
This happens when people rise above their own peer groups. It might happen to you if you start to succeed. Your friends might tell you that ‘you’ve changed.’ I once saw a story about a mother who got kicked out of her mother’s weight loss group because she lost too much weight.
Confident and secure people don’t mind seeing other people succeed. In fact, they root for the success of others.
Once you learn that success isn’t a zero-sum game, you’ll develop a collaborative frame instead of a competitive frame. Do you have to compete with other people to get ahead? Yes. But in most spaces, there’s room for many people to thrive and even work together, even though they have similar skills.
I don’t get upset that other self-improvement writers exist because multiple voices keep the genre interesting. I work with other writers, trade secrets, cross-promote with them, etc because the total sum of our efforts is more than the individual sum of our efforts combined.
Prosperity tends to breed more prosperity as a whole. Yes, there are cheats. Yes, there are chrony elements. Clearly, some people win due to sheer luck. But we’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater when we try to villainize all successful people and treat them as a monolith.
You see much of this going on in modern society, mostly in the West. While vast swaths of the world starve and the top one percent of income earners in the world make $30,000 or more, many of us complain and compare ourselves to the top tier of our own society.
It’s natural to do this but think about this deeply. If we could somehow rid the entire world of unfairness and keep people from having excess levels of wealth, status, attractiveness, confidence, power, etc, where would that leave you? How, exactly, would your life get any better?
Maybe we’d all have more of a moderate, but it wouldn’t move the needle dramatically. Jeff Bezos probably should pay his employees more, but that has nothing to do with you, and you still like your packages coming in 48 hours, now, don’t you?
Keeping up with the Jones’s has always been a sign of insecurity. But with social media and technology, we (including me) have gone off the rails. That episode of Black Mirror where the woman destroys her life trying to get a better ‘rating’ is closer to reality than fiction.
It’s a daunting task in 2020, but confident and secure people lack the need to get validation from the digital world. Social media companies play on us baked in need of validation and literally program our behavior.
Again, this is tough. And none of these recommendations I’m making is all or nothing. In general, you want to try to lessen these insecurity-driven behaviors.
We were once nomadic hunters scared of rejection for fear of being left alone to fend for ourselves. We have that same wiring now, but it drives us to post pictures of our vacations, ‘thirst traps’, our cars and homes, status updates about how cool our lives are, filtered and curated versions of our lives.
You have to strike a balance with this.
Of course, I want people to read my writing because I work hard on it and a growing audience is a sign of quality, but I must be careful not to pander. I use social media to grow my business, and marketing plays a part in that, but I need to be careful not to blur the line between marketing and creating illusions.
Social media can be fun. It is fun. But you can go overboard. Where do you draw the line? I can’t quite say. But I can say that of all forms of validation, digital and social media validation is the cheapest form. It means nothing. A millisecond tap of a button, ‘like.’
When it comes to validation seeking behavior, you need some of it to survive and thrive. You wouldn’t pursue any level of success or accomplishment without the need for validation. And that accomplishment can make you feel good as long as you don’t define your life by it.
Sharing those accomplishments and giving people a window into your life makes you feel good, too. And there’s nothing wrong with it in and of itself. Just be careful.
Confident and secure people don’t lead with their success and accolades. They don’t go out of their way to tell you how well their lives are going or list off their accomplishments.
I don’t run around telling people I’m an author. If it comes up, I tell people. It’s interesting. Part of me always wanted to be a successful writer and have some level of fame, but when I got it, I realized it didn’t matter at all.
This can happen to you as you rise up the ladder in your profession, your career, your wealth, your life as a whole. Some people try to take every inch of success they have and stretch it out to a mile, bragging about their accomplishments to everyone they know.
Success can have the opposite effect on others and cause them to understate what they’ve done. They realize how gauche and unnecessary it is. You want people to like you for who you are. Yes, what you do and what you’ve accomplished is part of who you are, but you’ll feel empty inside if people only like you for that part.
Again, striking a balance is key. You can be proud of what you’ve done and it is smart to strategically share it with other people. But do it in a way where you’re demonstrating what you do instead of telling people.
Trust me, when you have things going on in your life, people will find out. So, just let them find out. When you have a deep-seated inner sense of confidence because of your accomplishments, you just radiate that confidence. This will make people curious about you.
Your bright ray of energy attracts people to you and you don’t have to say much of anything. Remember, the loudest one in the room is always the most insecure. Focus on your mission, yes. Work your ass off to live the life you think you deserve. But do it for you.
Ironically, if you don’t do it for you and you do it for the sake of approval, you’ll never get real approval. You can’t fake this stuff long-term. Never forget that.
I once read an amazing quote in the book Letting Go by Dr. David Hawkins. He said, ‘true love is defined by non-attachment.’ Confident and secure people never force people to be in their lives.
People who lack confidence in their personal relationships drive people away because of their insecurities, their neediness, their dependency on other people for their identity.
Overall, you can say you determine your confidence level by how much you need from the outside world or other people to form your own identity. When you lack confidence, you think every scenario in your life says something about you.
A confident person realizes they’re for some people and not for others. Insecure people can’t handle rejection because they take it personally. Some people are simply not going to like you for no apparent reason.
A confident person can be alone. They define their personal relationships by the word ‘want’ instead of ‘need.’ Does this mean they put zero effort into their personal relationships? No, the opposite. They give all of themselves to a relationship, but that giving is marked by non-attachment.
You can’t control other people. Even if you do manage to get people to act the way you want through manipulation and disingenuous techniques, it’ll always come back to bite you in the ‘you know what’ eventually.
The ‘cool kid’ is cool precisely because he or she doesn’t care if anyone likes them or not. This skill is hard to master, but it’s the key to confidence. you want it all, but you need nothing.
In general, confident and secure people don’t add a bunch of negative energy into the world.
I’ve met many successful people, well off people, people of high status. More often than not, they’re warm, inviting, and non-judgmental. The people who tend to be the most vicious, vile, outraged folks on planet earth are the ones who pretend to be virtuous — virtue signalers.
They’re just insecure. People rioting in the streets just need the hugs their parents didn’t give them. All of this negative energy wafting around in the air comes from the quiet discontentment people feel. A confident and secure population doesn’t act like this.
Society can’t give you confidence and a feeling of self-worth. I’ve had many people, both publicly and privately, admit they spent too much time bathing in outrage because they were afraid to go on their own missions.
People use outrage to cope. We use all the behaviors I listed above to cope. They all have these negative seeds. Remove the negativity from your life and you’re left to deal with yourself.
Imagine if you just stopped watching the news, going on social media, engaging with the outside world, period, and just worked on your damn self. You’d feel amazing.
Imagine you stopped focusing on all the petty little things in your life altogether — gossip, bragging, complaining — and just worked on your damn self. You’d build security.
We all have insecurities, but we gain more confidence the more we let go of our copes, controls, and illusions.