Pop psychology is full of BS!
It has been full of gobbledygook since the “WHOLE FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT” mantra become mainstream psychology.
You can’t fake your way into self-confidence. Self-confidence is not some meaningless attribute which you can acquire by posturing _ by holding your head upright, inflating your chest and walking tall.
Holding your head high and walking with upright shoulders are things that will come to you naturally, if you are self-confident.
Neither will you become self-confident through affirmations. Telling yourself a thousand times that you are self-confident will not magically make you become self-confident.
Sadly, this affirmation BS too has become mainstream pop culture, promoted by some of the biggest names in the self-improvement industry from Oprah Winfrey to Napoleon Hill.
Back in the days of Napoleon Hill, the term for affirmations was auto-suggestion.
No matter what names you give them, pseudo-scientific methods from affirmations, hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming to esoteric subliminal brain wave reprogramming.
None of these gimmicks will give you self-confidence.
So, what will give you self-confidence?
First off, what is self-confidence?
Self-confidence is trust in your abilities to perform a specific task.
Self-confidence is task or activity specific. There is not a single human being who has overall self-confidence.
The James Bond (007) is well-known for his limitless self-confidence. Only a fictional character can be monumentally confident in a gunfight, a fist fight, on the dance, on the poker table, behind the cockpit of a supersonic jet fighter, behind the control panels of a nuclear submarine, etc.
Only an apocryphal character can be confident in such vastly different activities.
In real life, a Michael Phelps would by hyper confident in a swimming pool but he would not necessarily be so confident facing Usain Bolt on the 100m sprint.
In real life, a Michael Schumacher might be very confident on Formula 1 racing track but his confidence would evaporate when faced by Bruce Lee in a mixed martial arts ring.
The point is confidence in one activity does not beget confidence in another.
And why is that so?
Because self-confidence is activity-specific.
What should this fact tell you?
It should tell you that if you want to build self-confidence, you should build it in a specific activity.
Hence, choosing your activity is the first step to building self-confidence.
What’s the next thing to do once you have chosen your activity?
There is only one path to self-confidence. It is the path of continuous learning and continuous practice.
There are no short-cuts to self-confidence.
In order to be self-confident, you must learn everything, there is to know about your craft. You must continue learning and verifying the validity of your knowledge.
Lastly, you must practice, practice and practice.
Trust in your abilities to perform a task comes from knowledge of your task and continuous practice.
You have to practice till you can repeat the task in your sleep. You have to do it again and again in a ruthless strive for perfection. Leave no loopholes and leave no stones on unturned. Control everything and leave nothing to chance.
You must master the minutest details of your craft.
This is the price to be paid for supreme self-confidence.
Anything less will not buy you overwhelming self-confidence.
In case, it is not crystal clear what the price of self-confidence is, permit me to spell it out for you.
Hard work is the price of self-confidence. It must be paid through continuous effort, toil and sweat.