Hey guys, it’s Graham here, and I want to talk about the five states of self-confidence so that you can build your confidence more quickly. Now, all of us go through these different states of various different points in our life and at different times during the day, but it’s useful to recognize what state you’re currently at so that you can know what it is that you should do in order to move yourself to a higher state where ultimately you’ll feel more confident. The more often you do this, the more confident you’ll feel generally.
So you’re probably wondering what are these five states of confidence. Well, the first state is apologetic. When we’re apologetic, we’re always apologizing to other people. We don’t really feel like we have the right to have the life that we want or the life that we have, and we’re often saying sorry to people for even the most minor things that we’ve done.
I bet you recognize this in other people. You’ve probably seen people around that are apologizing for themselves all the time, really apologizing for things that there’s just no need to apologize for. And that’s because they’re in this apologetic state.
The second state of confidence is defensiveness. So in defensiveness, we’re not out there apologizing for ourselves all the time but whenever someone says something that we perceive as mildly attacking or maybe criticizing us in some way, we get very defensive. We feel the need to justify ourselves and to make sure that this person recognizes that we’re a good guy, that we’re not a bad person. So we feel the need to be defensive and to justify ourselves a lot.
Unfortunately, hearing ourselves justify ourselves all the time actually undermines our own self-confidence. When we’re in a true state of confidence, we’re able to let attacks from other people wash over us and let them go much more easily.
The third state of self-confidence is cautious. When we’re cautious, we’re not apologizing for ourselves all the time and we’re not being defensive when people say things against us, but on the other hand we’re not really putting ourselves out there either. The underlying thing below the state of cautiousness is a fear of rejection. We’re afraid that if we really put ourselves out there, if we go and talk to the people we want to talk to, approach the women we want to approach or just really do the things that we want to do, other people are going to judge us and so we’re afraid that they might judge us negatively and may reject us.
And, sure, there are some people who if we show up and really be our true selves, they’re not going to like us because everybody has different tastes. The problem with being cautious, though, is that we live a small life. We don’t really play to our full potential, we don’t end up interacting with the people we want to interact with and we don’t end up giving other people the opportunity to judge us on who we really are because we’re holding back all the time.
The fourth state of confidence is playful. When we’re being playful, because we’re not apologizing for ourselves, we’re not being defensive and we’re willing to put ourselves out there, we’ve let go of the fear of what other people think and we can truly be ourselves.
See, life is a game and when we’re being playful we’ve learnt how to play that game by the rules and we’ve learn how and when to break the rules. So we can be much more spontaneous, we can be more fun, we can really be ourselves and be totally present in the moment. We’re not worried about other people or what they think; we’re not taking responsibility for their emotional reaction to us either.
Now, the irony of this is that when you move to this playful state where you don’t care what other people think, people actually really love you a lot more. Okay, there’ll be a few people who are judgmental or that are critical, that are jealous essentially because you’ve got freedom that they don’t have, but for the most part people love people who are playful.
Comedians are the classic example. They get on stage, they get to break the rules, they make people laugh, everybody falls in love with them and they get to tell the truth; they’re not holding back. So playful is a great state to be in.
Finally, the fifth state of confidence is freedom. Once we’ve fully let go of those fears that we have of other people, let go of our inhibitions, are able to be playful when the mood demands it, we’re able to be assertive when the mood demands it, we’re totally able to show up and present as our full selves, then we get to experience the state of freedom.
Now, the irony is that when we’re in this state of freedom, we’re not actually thinking about being self-confident because it just happens. I felt this the other day when I walked into a supermarket and ended up getting a discount on these chickens that they had for sale simply because I showed up as myself and asked them “Hey, what’s the story with the chickens?” I wasn’t thinking how do I manipulate or interact with this guy; I was just totally being myself.
Now, you don’t normally barter in a supermarket; it just happened because I was really being present and I felt this sense of confidence that I only really thought about afterwards. Because at the moment, I just felt a sense of freedom.
So freedom is really the state that you want to aim for, you want to get towards. Now, don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself. You can’t exist in a state of freedom all the time. When I get pulled over by a police officer, I immediately go back to the state of being apologetic.
So recognize that you’re going to move from state to state from time to time. But the more time you spend in the higher states, the more confident and generally the happier you’ll feel. Till next time, catch you later.