“Fake it till you make it!” right? This is one way to confidence, and widely accepted one at that. You can of course try and fake it till the cows come home, and you might even make it as a result of this faking it but it won’t be because faking it really made you confident in your abilities. You just bought the reechoed reflected lie of people perceiving you as confident while you were faking it and you started seeing yourself through their eyes. For some temporary purposes this might even be enough to get the job done, but it is not deep confidence and it will crash and burn if anything seriously challenging pops up on your path.
It’s not that simple, it is not to be gained by a new pair of shoes, a power suit or a few pats on the shoulder. Confidence is trust in oneself where you know you can handle things that come up with a clear head and intelligent reasoning, without doing more harm than neccessary and to the benefit of all included, and yes, with a bit of style and grace if the situation permits it (it mostly does). We can try and trick, hypnotize, pump up, talk or lie ourselves into feeling confident and it might stick, for a while. Real deep confidence is gained only through experience, through having been exposed to things that were outside of what you knew, from having handled things badly first so that you can learn what doesn’t work, from realizing you’ll not die just if something burned, from knowing there is no shame in scraped knees and bruised shinbones from trying, from knowing you gave it your best and now see a way that “best” can be better. Confidence means getting to know yourself and how you react under certain circumstances, what triggers you, what soothes you, what are your strengths and having enough humility to know when you need help in an area. Confidence with zero skill as coverage for it is just plain stupid arrogance and at some point we need to grow out of it if we have any chance of taking ourselves seriously.
We cannot foster some grandiose delusions of changing the word if we’re not even able to get our most immediate surroundings in order. The “world” is a far more complex place than your own backyard. Confidence is built brick by brick and things need time to settle in place. Where we need to start to build or rebuild might be so trivial and dumb that it actually makes us ashamed that this is where we have to begin. But so what! If this is a spot, and you know it is, start there and work your way up the complexity ladder. Maybe it’s been long overdue, that awakening into humility. So what once again. You figured it out. Not all will. Better to start late than never, a year from now you’ll be a whole year better if you start. Take a good look what can be fixed and what your limited capabilities can straight out in the closest circle within and around you. Maybe you can only deal with keeping that addiction at bay now. Fine, do that. Maybe you can only muster the strength to kind of half say what you know needs to be said within a family or a circle of friends, maybe you’ve just realized you’re not taking care of yourself and it takes all of your motivation to just put on the sneakers and go run for 15 minutes. It’s ok.
Master one thing at a time and move up to more complex issues. The small wins will become big ones accumulated. None of us have got it all figured out. If you think you do, just wait. Reality will prove you wrong soon enough. Fix yourself up first and then move on, branch out and pull anyone that’ll listen up with you.