Everyone will tell you: “Confidence is sexy.” This is all well and good, but that murky self-help language doesn’t really do anything to tell you how to build confidence, does it? Sure, it’s fine to just tell someone “hey, be more confident and the women will just start flocking to you”, but as many of you know, just saying the words doesn’t actually progress towards undoing years of reinforcing your own negative beliefs about yourself.
Everybody will tell you “Just be more confident!”, as though confidence was something you could just acquire, rather than something that you develop over time. They’re wrong. Confidence takes time and effort. If it were as simple as the self-help gurus would have you believe, nobody out there would have low self-esteem, therapists would lose half their clientele base and I would be out of a job.
So if you’re finding that your self-worth is lower than a snake’s ass in a drainage ditch, it’s time to start making progress down the path that will help you develop the confidence and self-assurance you need in order to make yourself more attractive to women.
What Is Confidence?
What is confidence? How do you know the difference between confidence and arrogance? And just why is confidence sexy, anyway?
Confidence is, at it’s simplest, the belief that one is equal to the task or situation at hand; it’s the certainty of of the correctness of one’s worth, course of action or ability. The line between confidence and arrogance or hubris is relatively thin; it’s phenomenally easy for confidence to turn into self-importance when it’s not tempered by humility and self-awareness. Arrogance is untested or undeserved confidence; confidence is a belief confirmed by experience. A confident person doesn’t necessarily believe that they can’t fail, but they do believe they can succeed.
Confidence is sexy because of what it says about you; it says that not only are you comfortable in your own skin and secure in yourself, but that you’ve been tested before and you’ve passed. Confident men exude strength. Confidence implies skill and bravery. On a primal level, this is attractive to women because it says that the confident man is someone who has the skills and experience to survive; he can provide for her and their children, protect her against predators. In this day and age when we’re not hunting mammoths or trying to ward off terror birds and Smilodonts, confidence means that a guy has his life together; he’s not going to break down at the first sign of trouble.
But how do you build that confidence?
Fake Until You Make it
It takes time to build up true confidence… which doesn’t do you any good now. You may be willing to devote the time and effort in order to climb out of that whole of self-reinforcing negativity you’ve found yourself in, but what do you do when you want to be more attractive now?
You fake that shit, son. And amazingly, that will actually help you build true confidence.
You see, your brain is directly influenced by your physicality. In the ’70s and ’80s, psychologists discovered that adopting the physical posture of an emotional state will actually trick your brain into thinking that it’s actually experiencing that emotion. People who force themselves to smile – a real smile, one that reaches the eyes – find themselves actually feeling happier. Men who slouch and keep their eyes downcast will feel more ashamed.
And men who act confident will feel more confident.
Watch interviews with George Clooney and you’ll see what confidence looks like. The man simply oozes charisma and self-assurance.
Watch his body language; his shoulders are back, his back is straight and his head is level. He moves in slow, deliberate motions. He makes strong, lingering eye-contact with whomever he’s talking to, he speaks with low, measured tones and he has that large, toothy grin. Watching Clooney, you will see a man who looks as though that no matter what’s going on, he’s not just secure in his own awesomeness, but that he’s having the time of his life.
Bad posture, shifting your weight from side to side, quick sharp gestures… you need to eliminate these from your physical lexicon. They project insecurity and nervousness, and they will ultimately infect your own self-perception. Adopt the body language of a confident person and you will find yourself starting to feel more confident. And that will be your first step down the road towards true confidence.
Accentuate The Positive
I have long noticed that nerds are almost universally negative when it comes to their own lives. In their own minds, the rules of the universe dictate that they will always ultimately fail and that nothing good can possibly last. They’re defeated before they even start; the girl they like will reject them – or find someone they like better, nobody will like them, they will be humiliated in front of everyone and that everything they do will just end badly. Their successes and achievements mean nothing in the long run… either they’re flukes and random chance, or they’re meaningless in the grand scheme of things. They count for nothing,especially when weighted against all of their failures, both past and future.
It’s no wonder that they suffer from a lack of confidence… they’re too busy sabotaging their own progress and locking themselves into a vicious cycle of failure and self-recrimination.
A confident man, on the other hand, is a man who embraces the good about himself. He’s not just aware of his strengths, he’s proud of them. He has his faults to be sure, but that is just part of what makes him human… but his gifts are what make him awesome.
If you want to become more confident, you have to learn to end the negative, self-limiting beliefs that hold you back. You need to learn to recognize and acknowledge your strong points and the successes you’ve had. Make a list of them and add to it regularly. If you have a hard time coming up with them, enlist a friend to help you. Read it out loud, daily; the repetition will help embed them in your psyche.
Get in the habit of being thinking positive about yourself. Yes, thinking positively is a habit, and you’ll need to cultivate it in order to help break the cycle of self-reinforcing negativity. If you don’t think well of yourself, nobody else will either.
Embrace Outcome Independence
Nobody succeeds at everything, no matter how confident they are. Failure is inevitable. However, the self-confident man doesn’t dwell on failure; the failure is irrelevant to the event itself.
In practice, this means learning how to separate your desired outcome from the moment. When you’re talking to the girl you like, don’t focus on the fact that you really, really want her to go out with you. All you’re doing is making your current self-worth dependent on how something may occur. Instead, focus on the here-and-now: you’re talking to the girl you like. You’re having fun, you’re savoring the emotional rush you get from the connection you’re building and how cute she looks when she gives that half-grin you like so much.
By not expending all of your emotional energy on treating every interaction like a test that you need to pass, you’re more able to focus on the interaction itself… which in turn will make you better equipped to get the result you’re hoping for in the first place. And that will make you better at the interaction… which in turn will build your confidence.
Practice, Practice, Practice
I know that I say this often, but it bears repeating: practice is the key to success, whether it’s getting better at a sport, improving your guitar-playing skills or getting better with women. Experience and skill is built via a repetition over time; the more experience you have with something, the greater ease you will feel. The more at ease you feel, the better you will perform. The better you perform, more naturally confident you will become. The more confident you become, the easier the skill will become. When managed properly, this can become a chain of positive feedback… if you actually devote the time and effort to it.
Practice means actually spending time and energy; just as you will never improve at guitar playing only occasionally, if you want to be better at talking to women, you can’t just only go out and talk to women when you feel like it. You have to make a concerted effort to go out and take advantage of every opportunity.
With sufficient repetition, it will become almost second nature to you and you will feel relaxed and at ease. You’ll have faith in your abilities. That faith will help your self-esteem to grow in leaps and bounds.
Fear + Survival = Confidence
You need to face your fears.
Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death. Fear is part of what holds you back. And you need to learn to be stronger than your fears. When you confront your fears and survive, you will start to master them, and with mastery comes self-confidence.
It’s understandable to fear rejection or humilation; romantic rejection hurts, literally. It activates the same centers of the brain that deal with physical pain. But the fact of the matter is, rejection isn’t going to kill you; at the end of the day, whether getting rejected by someone you’re attracted to hurts or not is ultimately up to you. With enough experience1 and exposure, you’ll start to learn that how it affects you is determined by your attitude2.
Fear can be a tool. It can be used to motivate yourself. Use your fear as a signal; when you feel intimidated or afraid of approaching someone, use that as a sign that you need to go up to her if only to prove to yourself that you can beat this. Through exposure and repetition, you will being to understand that what you fear is the product of your own mind. Your fear of rejection is really tying your self-worth to her reaction. By letting her have that much power over your self-image, you’re taking the locus of control of your life and handing it to someone else.
Once you begin to understand that rejection is nothing to be fear, you’ll start to relax around women. Relaxing around women will make you feel more self-assured and more in the moment.
Every time you confront your fears, they lose the ability to control you. Every time you let that fear wash over you and push through it, you’ll feel the sense of accomplishment that comes with conquering a challenge. Every time you beat your fear, you’ll feel your sense of ease and confidence grow.
And that confidence you feel? Women will notice it. And then they’ll start to realize you’re a lot more attractive than they’d thought at first.
- there’s that practice aspect again… [↩]
- And there’s outcome independence. Do you see how all of this ties together yet? [↩]