One of the biggest topics our friends at The Art of Charm cover is confidence — what it is, how you can get it and how it’s going to make a difference in every aspect of your life. In the course of teaching confidence, we’ve learned that there are a few things most men just don’t understand about the concept. Here are five of the most common canards on the small matter of confidence.
You Have it Or You Don’t
Wrong. Not only is confidence something that you can acquire over time, it’s also something that you can effectively fake. Indeed, when it comes to confidence, “fake it until you make it” isn’t hype — it’s backed by hard science and empirical data.
More than that, we see it when we go out. Guys who fake confidence appear more confident, which gets them treated like confident men, which in turn has them feeling more confident than they probably ever have in their entire lives. We call this a “virtuous cycle” in contrast to a vicious cycle. You can get it working for you. What’s more, it’s a lot easier to do so than you probably think.
Confidence Is an Innate Quality
Wrong. Confidence is a set of behaviors that signify confidence to other people. This is why you can so easily fake confidence. You don’t have to “feel” confident. On the contrary, you need to “do” confident. There are a number of outward behaviors that communicate confidence to those around you. It doesn’t matter if you “feel” confident on the inside and it matters even less than whether or not you “are” confident — whatever that means.
One of the things The Art of Charm teaches men is how they can start behaving in a confident manner that, in turn, will get them treated as if they are confident men.
Arrogance Is a Form of Confidence
Wrong. Arrogance is a parody of confidence. It’s how the unconfident man overcompensates for his lack of confidence. There’s something inherently aggressive and, indeed, desperate about arrogance. It’s a man’s way of announcing to the world “I’m a confident man!”
Much like being a leader and being a gentleman, if you have to tell people you are, you’re not. Confidence — whether you’re faking it until you make it or possessed with a huge reserve of the stuff — shines through without your ever having to tell anyone whether you’re confident or not. The arrogant man is announcing, often in the most obnoxious way possible, that he’s confident to the rest of the world. Does that sound like confidence to you?
Confidence Is a Zero-Sum Game
Wrong. The arrogant man often suffers from this misconception. He thinks that if someone else is confident he has to take them down a peg to snatch up some of their confidence for themselves. We alluded to this a bit above: When you’re confident you basically have an endless supply of the stuff to show around. What’s more, the confident man doesn’t need to take confidence from others — quite the opposite. In fact, the confident man can share his confidence with others, enriching both at the same time.
How? Because most people feel like they’re not all that great. Few things encourage them to feel better about themselves more than someone of confidence and value saying “You’re OK. I like you. You’re good enough.” You’ll feel good doing it and the other person will look at you as if you just saved their first-born child from certain death.
It’s just one of the simple “tricks” that aren’t really tricks at all that The Art of Charm teaches, whether it’s through our Academy or right on our couch in Los Angeles during boot camps.
Confidence Won’t Really Get You Anywhere
Wrong. Confidence isn’t just something that feels good to have. It’s an indispensible part of being a successful and high-value man. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to stop being self-critical or looking for ways to improve. On the contrary, it means that your self-criticisms are going to have a far greater value. Rather than being this internal voice that beats up on you all the time, they’re going to be something that you can use to help get yourself to the next level.
And hey, let’s be direct: Confidence opens doors. This is because a lack of confidence sucks energy out of interactions. Have you ever talked to someone who had an extreme lack of confidence? It was painful, wasn’t it? The opposite is also true: Talking to highly confident men is a pleasure and a joy.
If you don’t think this is going to get you somewhere in life, you’re kidding yourself. Talk to someone at The Art of Charm about how getting your confidence game on lock is going to make all the difference in your life.