Many people want more confidence - it's sort of that thing that James Bond inspires us with. There's a certain attraction in doing things with ease, in going through life without much effort or worry.
While I wrote extensively on the topic of confidence, today I want to give you a very simple way of thinking about it and give you a practical tip for feeling more confident literally after reading this short paragraph.
I want you to forget thinking about confidence and lack of - and instead think of relaxation vs. tension.
If you think about how you are when you feel like you’re lacking confidence - you’ll notice that the predominant thing is tension somewhere in the body.
You’re just not “yourself”.
Now think about how you are when you’re with someone that you know and trust - is there any tension there?
Would you say you feel confident around that person?
So what’s the difference?
Whenever you have tension in your body, you are either afraid of something happening (like failing, embarrassing yourself) or someone doing something (rejecting you, criticising you etc.).
However, when you are completely relaxed, you feel different - you feel like “yourself”. You can feel your power and you’re not burdened with what could happen or with what someone will do.
You are able to access ALL of yourself.
So the question is, what produces tension in the body?
The reality is that tension is produced by your mind - specifically, by what you’re thinking about while in a certain situation.
Someone who is psyching themselves up before a job interview about what’s going to happen if they don’t get the job - of how the money is running out, how they’re not getting much applications is going to appear very different to someone who just goes to a job interview with a smile and not burdened by all of those things.
I’ve identified 4 things that cause us to tense up and lose that natural confidence, and I want to talk about one of those things right now.
The first cause is attachment, as in when we get really attached to something or someone, like a certain outcome that we think we absolutely have to achieve. This could be getting the girl, passing the test, or getting that job.
For example, if you’re on a job interview, and you feel like you really need it - you’ll be all tense and won’t feel relaxed, and won’t be able to access all of yourself.
So what’s the answer? Are you suppose to simply not care anymore about anything and just walk around “confident’?
Even though I am talking about tension vs. relaxation, I don’t believe you can (or even should) be completely relaxed in a situation where something important is at stake.
An athlete I know said to me, that if he doesn’t feel those butterflies before the game, he won’t play well. So tension can and is a good thing when it comes the time to perform.
However, there is something called an “optimum level of tension”, which means that if that same athlete feels too much of tension, he won’t play well.
So it isn’t so much about completely relaxing but it is about entering that state when the tension vs. relaxation is at an optimum level.
The tension has to be there, that desire to get whatever it is that you want, but if you want to have confidence, at the same time as having that strong desire for getting what you want, a part of you needs to let that thing go and be OK with losing and not getting it.
That will relax you and actually make you perform better.
The dichotomy has to be between “I want it BAD” and “I don’t give a shit”. Those two parts have to exist in you at the SAME TIME.
THIS will enable you to perform at your highest level and access ALL the parts of yourself.