When it comes to confidence, we all have areas where we are confident and areas we are lacking.
Confidence often comes with competence, the better you are at something the more confident you are about doing it.
The internet is full of advice to boost your confidence, from how to talk to women to power poses.
But something that is just as important but fair less talked about: the confidence mistakes men make.
Gentlemen, it's time to fix those bad habits.
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Confidence Mistake No #1: Comparing Yourself To Others
In the age of social media, it is easy to start comparing yourself to others. Your co-workers who make more money than you, get promotions over you. Your friends are all couples while you're still stuck being single. They are buying nice houses and fancy cars.
While you can barely afford rent and let’s not even start on that junk you call a car. What can be difficult to remember is that social media isn’t real life, it’s a mirage. It’s a highlight reel, of everything people want you to see.
What goes on behind closed doors may surprise you. That fancy car is on finance, that big house is financially crippling them. Those couples fight, all the time. Now maybe that’s true… maybe it's not. The fact is you can’t possibly know. So instead of focusing on what other people have, focus on what you want and what you need to do to get it.
When you focus on other people, you stop focusing on yourself and limit your own potential. The only person you should compare yourself to is who you were yesterday. Are you a better person today, what have you done to improve your life, or the lives of those around you?
This requires a level of self-awareness and honesty that can be difficult. Which might require a lot of hard truths and taking this next confidence mistake to heart.
Confidence Mistake #2: Not Owning Your Failures
Admitting you have done something wrong is hard. Really hard, owning that we made the wrong decision. That we didn’t plan well enough. That we were not good enough.
As kids, we are often taught to be ashamed of our failures. To look for something else to blame. “it's not my fault” it’s this person's fault, it’s the faulty equipment, it’s the economy.
This is a loser's mindset. Winners know that failure is inevitable and more importantly useful. Failure is not a bad thing, it's an opportunity to grow and to learn. We all fail, the newer we are at something the more often we fail. But with patience and practice, we get better.
When you deny failure, you deny yourself that opportunity to learn and grown. Owning up to failures takes courage. Understanding what went wrong, and how to avoid it in the future is how you learn from your mistakes.
Blaming other people is what weak men do.
Confidence Mistake #3: Letting Fear Guide You
Fear is powerful.
Ironically, it's scary just how powerful fear can be. Fear can be paralyzing; it can stop us from reaching our goals and living our lives. Many people live in fear, in self-made prisons of their own insecurities.
Fear can lead you to stagnate, and stop you from taking opportunities for fear of them not working out. It’s the reason people stay in the same job they hate for 15 years because they are too afraid of taking the risk at something new.
Yet fear can also be healthy. It can help us tell the safe situations from the dangerous, often without consciously realizing why. When you get that feeling in your gut that says “something about this doesn’t feel right” and it's not until later you realize that you dodge a bullet by listening to it.
This is because there are two kinds of fear. There is rational fear and irrational fear. Rational fear is the fear that comes from the physical world, the fear of falling when you're somewhere high. This is a normal healthy fear.
Irrational fear is fear of the mind. Fear comes from imagining what could go wrong, so you never try. This type of fear is the enemy – don't let it control you.
Confidence Mistake #4: Surrounding Yourself With The Wrong People
The people you surround yourself with can have a huge impact on who you are. If you are around negative people it spreads, you find yourself becoming more negative.
If you're around positive people all having a good time, even if you were in a bad mood, you soon find yourself having fun.
Generally, people surround themselves with 3 kinds of people. Some people surround themselves with “Yes, men”.
People who are weaker than you, who agree with what you say and never challenge your opinion. This can be great for boosting your ego, but it's superficial. This leads to you becoming arrogant and stops you from growing.
Others surround themselves with people who are just as weak as they are. This is so that they no longer feel pressure to achieve. After all, if all of your peers are happy doing the same things, then why strive to better yourself?
Remember, if you surround yourself with people going nowhere that’s exactly where you're going to end up too.
Lastly, there are people who surround themselves with people who are stronger than they are. This is the best type of person to surround yourself with.
People that will challenge you, call you on your mistakes, teach you new skills and raise you up. You can only learn something you don’t already know, so surround yourself with people who know what you don’t.
Confidence Mistake #5: Only Thinking Of Yourself
It's easy to be a bit selfish and on occasion, we all can be. The problem is that some people are so self-absorbed that everything becomes about them. We have all met that guy. You tell them something you're excited about and they have done something better. They have a bigger house, a more expensive car, and a luxury watch.
Gentleman, you do not want to be that guy. It's fine to be proud of what you have achieved but equally important to be humble and grateful for what you have.
Listen when people are talking to you, don’t just think about what you will say next. You might find you learn something or develop a deeper relationship with someone. Not only that but you never know when those same connections might result in an opportunity for you.
Now you shouldn’t network and build relationships expecting something in return, that is all kinds of wrong. But if you build genuine relationships with people, you will find they will return what you put in 20-fold.
Confidence Mistake #6: Constantly Complaining
Complaining keeps you focused on the negative, it stops you from seeing what you need and how to get it and instead focuses on what you don’t have.
It pushes people away from you, no one likes a complainer.
Complaining is like a magnet for other negativity and you can easily get trapped in a cycle. You complain about what you don’t have, which reflects poorly on you, meaning opportunities stop coming your way, which you then complain about and around it goes.
Venting your frustrations can be healthy and cathartic but do it in a way that allows you to vent without annoying everyone around you. One fantastic method is journaling, writing down your complaints helps relieve stress and doesn’t involve anyone else.
Another is working out, exercising releases dopamine which is scientifically proven to make you happy. When you’re happy you're not going to be complaining. If you do decide to start working out, or if you already do.
Confidence Mistake #7: Not Knowing Your Limits
We all have limits, there's only a finite amount of time in the day, and we can only do so much. A common mistake that people make is not knowing their limits.
Not knowing your limits cause you to overreach, you take on too much. This causes you to become burned out. Worse when an opportunity you want comes along you don’t have the time and resources to pursue it.
An important skill is the power of NO. Learn to say no to what you don’t want, so that you can say hell yes to the things that you do.
We should be pushing our limits, an important part of growth is to take on challenges and have a goal to overcome. Still, it's important to start small and build yourself up. You don't start running and do a marathon straight away. You start with a small run, then build up to a 5K, and then a half marathon.
Taking on a challenge that is too big is going to set you up for a fall and will knock your confidence.
Want to find out ways to boost your confidence check out this article: 10 Ways to increase your confidence in 10 minutes