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The Myth of Confidence

Discuss and talk about any general topic.

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Postby globetrotter » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:09 pm

adam917 wrote:So basically you're saying confidence is simply the practice of not giving a shit.


No, I am not.

One can care about the outcome and not be attached to the outcome.

I am wasting my time with you guys.
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Postby The_Adventurer » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:34 pm

globetrotter wrote:
adam917 wrote:So basically you're saying confidence is simply the practice of not giving a shit.


No, I am not.

One can care about the outcome and not be attached to the outcome.

I am wasting my time with you guys.


NO you're not! I am glad you took the time to really explain where you're coming from. I happen to recognize this philosophical stance and will go as far as to say it is quite similar to that of many who have achieved great things throughout history. It also clearly demonstrates what I have said in the beginning, that you and others are talking about two very different things.

There was, long ago, a success teacher, one of those guys who trains sales teams at large companies, and he said, "A success is any person who knows what they want to be and are working towards that goal." He said nothing, interestingly, of its achievement or outcome. It's the "Walking the path".

I also agree that a focus on the outcome prevents enjoyment of the journey. For example, it should be fun just to play a one on one game again Kobe Bryant. I think what you wrote clearly illustrates one of the differences between American, competitive culture and other eastern cultures. There is too much focus on classifications such as winners and losers. Think of the popular post on this forum, title, "Is this site for losers?" It becomes all about worrying what others think, rather than going abroad and enjoying ones own life.
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Postby NorthAmericanguy » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:55 pm

Terrence wrote:
globetrotter wrote:
adam917 wrote:So basically you're saying confidence is simply the practice of not giving a shit.


No, I am not.

One can care about the outcome and not be attached to the outcome.

I am wasting my time with you guys.


NO you're not! I am glad you took the time to really explain where you're coming from. I happen to recognize this philosophical stance and will go as far as to say it is quite similar to that of many who have achieved great things throughout history. It also clearly demonstrates what I have said in the beginning, that you and others are talking about two very different things.

There was, long ago, a success teacher, one of those guys who trains sales teams at large companies, and he said, "A success is any person who knows what they want to be and are working towards that goal." He said nothing, interestingly, of its achievement or outcome. It's the "Walking the path".

I also agree that a focus on the outcome prevents enjoyment of the journey. For example, it should be fun just to play a one on one game again Kobe Bryant. I think what you wrote clearly illustrates one of the differences between American, competitive culture and other eastern cultures. There is too much focus on classifications such as winners and losers. Think of the popular post on this forum, title, "Is this site for losers?" It becomes all about worrying what others think, rather than going abroad and enjoying ones own life.


+1
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Postby zzzz » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:24 am

There is some truth to that, but you know if you are a failure and spend your whole life doing something you'll probably regret it. Outcome does matter to an extent. The best examples of someone walking the path is when they end up doing something great as a result. You might be happy but there might just come a point when you realize even if you are on the path you'll never end up reaching where you want to go unless all you care about is the trip there. I'd like to enjoy the walk and get to where I am going.
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Postby YoucancallmeAl » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:30 am

globetrotter wrote:To YOU, it is impossible to get the girl.
You catastrophize outcomes.


When did I ever say that? What in my original post even came close to suggesting that?
You are making negative assumptions with no basis in reality.

globetrotter wrote: Arrogance is belief that one is correct when one is not.


Then by that definition, YOU are arrogant.
You continue to repeat the same tired old feel-good falsehoods over and over as if they were gospel truth.
You continue to misunderstand (deliberately?) the point of my OP, preferring to shift the debate to some new-agey "inner-peace" claptrap that does not and can not apply in this context. (attracting women)
And you continue to dodge answering any of my questions to you.
Therefore you've lost all credibility in this discussion.
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Postby ijohn » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:37 am

ladislav wrote:The Filipinos hate arrogance, braggadocios and people bloated with self importance. That is why there no one ever called me a loser or anything like that, and I could just be myself, and my confidence is only limited to my belief in my ability to solve problems and achieve my goals. The artificial smile and a swelled head, self important person, like so many Americans, or a nasty, biting, sarcastic Brit, or a rude, cussing Aussie do not fit in there.

So, in any society that is placing emphasis on being a winner vs a loser- and in any competition, most people will be losers, you can never have the quiet tranquil feeling about yourself (and your ability to achieve your goals without making others losers) because you have to measure yourself against someone else- which is unhealthy socially, psychologically and in many other aspects. An average Filipino, otoh hand is a quite, polite and tranquil person with clear eyes and natural happiness seated deeply in his soul.

And since in the US women and men will admire the few winners and will have no time for the rest who are unfairly deemed losers, this is a losing game from the beginning. For all. Even if you win, it is temporary and now you need to hold on to it. And then you will get old and die. All this creates neurosis and just a very unfair unhappy environment for all.

Think about animals. Carnivores do not look happy and they must be predatory to survive. A confidence of a tiger or a wolf is different from the confidence of a zebra or an elephant.


This thread has been well thrashed out but this above called for some comment. Yes carnivores don't look happy. They must hunt to survive and most of their hunts are failures. But confidence of the prey? Hmmm.. when a wildebeest mother gives birth, the calf has only a few minutes to stand on its feet and start running. If it does not do so it will get killed and eaten. About half the wildebeest calves born do not make it past the first three months. Prey must live constantly afraid of what lies around the bush.

And what if the predators were eliminated? Would not the prey flourish then in glorious harmony? Hardly. The prey would keep on breeding until their numbers overran anything the land could support, the grasslands were turned into deserts and a new hell of hunger and lack of space would be the norm, wherein it would be hard to distinguish one from the other, many would get trampled over without anyone noticing and nobody would have any much rights.

Ok so forget the animals. Maybe the plant kingdom is nicer. Well take a look at the tropical rain forest. It might well be the most savage place on the planet. Dog eat dog, life over life. Every last square inch used up by some plant or the other, each gasping for air and nutrients, every new plant climbing over the old one, the old discarded faster than you can blink.

More feminine societies like the philipines do value the communal more than the individual. But there is a cost to that too. They tend to be more poor, many feel the requirements stifling and don't find opportunites to learn, grow and create.

What nature is isn't particularly nice and the natural state for all living creatures is a defensive pessimism. Only a very rich society can have the time and resources to question that and when it does it becomes poor. A tranquil feeling about yourself may be possible but not by carefully organizing the shape of your life. If you base your tranquility on that you are sure to be untranquil, though there are degress of untranquility. A tranquil feeling might come through a greater acceptance of the nature of life itself and the limits it imposes on us. Like the philipino man who can feel tranquil only when he has accepted that he will not be getting too many opportunities and most of his potential will go unrealized.

If you like to read, read Huxley's last novel 'Island'. It is the antidote to Brave New World. Here he creates a fictional island paradise where western science is combined with eastern meditation and tantric practices to create a world of love, passion and creativity. Women are not trying to accumulate power and become men, men work out their competitiveness through outdoor activity, just enough technology is used to create enough food and healthcare but not to turn the place sterile, sex is tantric and free, love is encouraged, community is cherished, children grow up with multiple sets of parents so they never feel abandoned, people have limited numbers of children so there is enough for everyone, special mushrooms are used to occasionally create an instant state of 'nirvana' to complement the meditation and ritual practice. All very nice but of course the island cannot last someone wants the land for the oil in it and the place gets taken over.

It is a very pessimistic novel but such is what it is. In our real life if anyone has found the perfect balance hey I don't know of it. The Indian mystic Osho tried; he and his followers set a commune in Oregon in the eighties with principles quite similar to those in Huxley's fictional paradise. It lasted a few years. To counter the masculine power urge Osho put women in charge of running the place. They promptly became paranoid and power mad, did all kinds of stupid things, by most accounts turned the place from a gentle commune to a paraniod stressful hell until the place had to be shut down.

What can you do? You have to keep going anyway. So do so.
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Postby Winston » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:08 pm

Here Steve Hoca debunks the myth of confidence and the "thoughts create reality" New Age belief with solid realistic examples that make sense. He basically makes the same argument as the OP, that confidence will not be effective unless it is based on something real, and has something real to back it up. You can't simply delude yourself to success with thoughts alone.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S03zPd-oCE[/youtube]
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Postby Grunt » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:47 pm

And not a single f**k was given that day.
How to deal with newbies that talk much but do little.

Pics or it didn't happen.

YES/NO

Cool story, bro.

Problem solved.
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Re: The Myth of Confidence

Postby DarrenFW » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:19 am

YoucancallmeAl wrote:Below is a copy of an email essay I sent out to a few dozen people in the “self-helpâ€￾ industry about 5 years ago. Predictably I only got a handful of responses. And of course they all insisted I was wrong. After all, their livelihoods depend on maintaining the myths I debunk. But they offered no evidence to disprove me, nor any useful insights.
When I read Winston's excellent blog on "attitude extremists" it reminded me of what I had written. So I thought I'd post it here for your enjoyment. You'll notice I list 3 areas to focus on in order to improve confidence. Of course if I were writing this today I'd add a 4th: Get the hell out of the US!


THE MYTH OF CONFIDENCE

If I had a dime for every time someone told me to “be confidentâ€￾, I’d probably be a millionaire by now. And as a millionaire, I’d probably have a lot of women throwing themselves at me and a lot of men respecting & admiring me. And the inevitable result of all this would be… You guessed it!.., Confidence. So the next time you feel like telling someone to be confident, just throw them a dime instead. It’d be a thousand times more useful.

In fact, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in the last few years. All of a sudden, everyone’s talking about confidence. (or it’s close relative, “self-esteemâ€￾) Everywhere I read, every show I watch, every dimestore shrink I consult. Everyone’s advising everyone else to be more confident.

(a hypothetical: What if everybody took this advice and suddenly everyone had perfect confidence? Wouldn’t it just level the playing field right back to where it already was, and thus, not make a damn bit of difference anyway???)

Suddenly, all the women on the dating shows and in the advice columns are telling us how much they’re attracted to this mysterious new quality called confidence. And conversely, how the lack of confidence is a big turn-off. And predictably, men now feel the need to brag about how confident they are. And the confidence fad seems to be growing at a rapid pace. But I’m about to point out how it’s all just the psychological equivalent of the Pet Rock fad from the 70’s. Like the Pet Rock, advising someone to “be confidentâ€￾ is useless and does nothing. But like the Pet rock, it allows the giver to feel like they did something nice. They didn’t. Yet people keep buying it & buying it & buying it.

The reality about confidence is so simple and so obvious, it amazes me that otherwise intelligent people haven’t figured it out. Or maybe they have figured it out and they’re too dishonest with themselves to admit it. Perhaps the reality is too uncomfortable. After all, it’s much easier to sell books and self-help courses with fantasy than with reality.

So here’s the truth about confidence: You can only have confidence when other people give it to you.
When others in your age group like you, respect you, admire you, and are attracted to you, you get confidence. When they don’t like you, scorn you, and reject you, you lose confidence. Therefore, the level of confidence you have is controlled by others, NOT by you. You can not just decide to be confident. Confidence is not a choice or decision you can make. You can’t just snap your fingers and, Abracadabra, you’re confident. It doesn’t work that way. It can’t work that way. Social confidence, by it’s very definition, requires support and acceptance from others before it can exist.

Confidence is merely a byproduct of success. You need some kind of social/sexual/romantic success before you can have genuine confidence. Confidence without success is delusional and/or dishonest, thus fake, and others will quickly recognize it as such. Here’s why: It’s not really the confidence itself that people are attracted to. Confidence is merely what results when someone has the qualities that are really attracting us. Obviously, if someone is good-looking, or wealthy, or funny & quick-witted, others will be attracted to them. This, in turn, will give them confidence.

So when someone tells you they are attracted to confidence, they are lying! (whether consciously or subconsciously) What they’re really attracted to are the traits that make confidence possible. After all, we all know that wealth, good looks, and strong social skills are attractive to others. Are we to believe it’s just a coincidence that these are the very same traits that lead to confidence? Obviously, someone who is successful will have more confidence than someone who is unsuccessful. So when someone says they’re attracted to confidence, what it means is that they’re attracted to success & the factors that make success possible. The confidence itself merely exists as a sign that those other factors (the real attractors) are present.

So if you know or care about someone with low confidence, how can you help them? First, the worst thing you can do is to just tell them to “be confidentâ€￾ or give them a verbal list of traits they should be confident about. That’s just insulting their intelligence and it’s going to frustrate and depress them even more. Words are hollow and meaningless when not corroborated by actions. So if you truly want to help someone increase their confidence, here are the areas you should focus on improving:

1) Physical Appearance
2) Social Skills
3) Wealth

1) Physical Appearance

(So you think this is shallow? It is. Get over it. Physical appearance is, of course, the first thing people notice about you. And if they don’t like what they see, it will be much, much harder to win them over.)

If the individual has flaws in their appearance, the worst thing you can do is to tell them they “look fineâ€￾. Instead, help them improve their appearance. If they’re overweight, don’t deny it. Help them lose the weight. If they have bad hair, help them find a stylish cut. If they have unfashionable or ill-fitting clothes, help them find better ones. And if you are not qualified to help them in these areas, find someone who can.

2) Social Skills

This one could easily become a chicken-or-egg argument. Many would point out that a person does poorly socially because they lack confidence. While this may be true in certain cases, I’ve found in my own experience and observations that usually the reverse is true. When a person has poor social skills, they will of course do poorly socially & inevitably, their confidence will suffer. When confronted with this fact, the lazy-minded will regurgitate such hackneyed social advice as “be happy and smile moreâ€￾, “just be yourselfâ€￾, “be upbeat and positiveâ€￾, “just be niceâ€￾, or something equally trite, short-sighted, and useless. Being nice is fine. I’d encourage it. But it’s simply not enough on it’s own to succeed socially. If all you are is nice, you will be walked on like a doormat, used, and thrown away. To truly succeed socially (in the absence of looks and wealth), one needs two things: Material and Execution. They need strong, interesting conversational material and they need to be able to execute this material in a smooth, charming manner. How can you expect someone to have social confidence if they lack this ability?

So if you honestly cared about someone suffering from low social confidence, you wouldn’t waste their time with empty “be yourselfâ€￾ pep talks. You’d help them learn and practice conversational skills in a supportive, rejection-free environment. However, if you are outside of their age group, find someone closer to their age to help them. This is because what is acceptable for 50-year olds is not acceptable for 20-year olds and vice versa.

3) Wealth

Unless you are in a position to give someone a job earning $50K+ a year, there’s not a lot you can do about this one. But if you focus on the first two (appearance & social skills), increased income is virtually guaranteed to follow.

To recap my main points:

* Confidence is merely a byproduct of success.
* No one can just decide or choose to be confident. It has to come naturally from others.
* Our level of confidence is determined by the level of regard others have for us.
* Hollow “be confident’ pep talks don’t work. If you honestly want to increase another’s confidence, it will require genuine care and effort.
* Therefore, stop advising people to “be confidentâ€￾! If you aren’t willing to put in the effort to help them gain that confidence, then you are just insulting them and wasting their time.




I like this alot. I like where you're going with it. You're on to something.

Reading along with it and thinking, a couple of things came to mind....

1.) "Confidence" by American Standards is almost the equivalent of ego validation. Same goes for "self esteem". Concepts of Ego, pride and validation have been around much longer than the "confidence craze".

2.) Its funny how this "confidence craze" seems to go hand in hand with the rise in narcissism in our country. Steve55 has done alot of research on this and you can find it here on this site.

Steve, please comment.

It makes me wonder if all these people who were sold on "Confidence" from the self help industry were probably the self centered , narcissistic assholes we see in the world.
There is something to be said for humility.

3.) Speaking of narcissism, Dr Drew Pinsky wrote a book on narcissism and how Holywood's self hatred is growing in this country.

4.) I would rather have "competence" any day over "confidence". If someone told me "I'm confident I could fix your air conditioner." and I asked "Have you done it before?" And the answer was "Well no...but I am very confident I could do it." vs. a guy who said "Yeah I can do it. I'm a Plummer with ten years experience in AC work."
Which one would you choose?

Just my 2 cents worth.

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Postby Saturn » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:53 pm

I can't say I really believe this article.

Confidence doesn't really rely on whether or not other people recognize you, or exalt you.

You can be confident when you are so sure of your own convictions, methods, and morals, that no one else can really shake you. It's in these cases that the majority of people will work against you. I know that I harbor a lot of considerably controversial beliefs, many of them related to gender roles, that receive negative reactions by everyone around me. Many times their reactions will only support my theories and cement my sentiments, and in turn I become even more confident in myself.

Is this stubborn? Definitely. But we've been taught by our culture that to be stubborn and unyielding makes you 'intolerable', 'uninviting', and even 'undesirable'. This is incorrect. To be confident is to be steadfast regardless of how your environment reacts.

I see a few articles thrown on here every now and then that almost seem like excuses or justifications for weak men who aren't getting p***y. This one may take the cake.

This article also seems to confuse the concept of confidence with arrogance.
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Postby Winston » Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:59 am

Hey check this out. This thread ranks #1 in Google for "myth of confidence". See screenshot below. Awesome huh? We must have really good SEO!


Image
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Postby WorldTraveler » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:52 pm

globetrotter wrote:This discussion of confidence best describes my attitude and what I am attempting to convey.

"Self-confidence does not necessarily imply a belief in one's ability to succeed. For instance, one may be inept at a particular sport or activity, but remain 'confident' in one's demeanor, simply because one does not place a great deal of emphasis on the outcome of the activity. The key element to self-confidence is, therefore, an acceptance of the myriad consequences of a particular situation, whether they are good or bad. When one does not dwell on negative consequences one can be more 'self-confident' because one is worrying far less about failure or (more accurately) the disapproval of others following potential failure. One is then more likely to focus on the actual situation which means that enjoyment and success in that situation is also more probable. If there is any 'self-belief' component it is simply a belief that one will cope irrespective of what happens."

What I see in you guys, who are all very intelligent, is that you link the concept and feeling of confidence to success at any given endeavor with a p-value that is approaching -0-. You also define 'success' as an outcome that is 100% of what you want, or in the measurement of an obvious metric like the score in a game of HORSE or f***ing the girl. You focus far too much on the negative consequences (you won't get laid, she will reject you) and this destroys your confidence. This causes you to not 'be here now' and you stop focusing on the situation.

I am currently a beginner guitar player. I pay what little I know for my students in appropriate lessons.

I am not good.
I tell them so.
Yet, I am very confident as I play the guitar poorly.

You are all conflating COMPETENCE and MASTERY with CONFIDENCE.

I cannot explain it any plainer than that.

To you success means victory via the obvious measurements. There are other ways to measure success, and confidence is not
synonymous with 'the ability to 100% predict/think if I will be the victor in a given situation'.

Confidence is not an attitude of 'I will win in a game against Kobe Bryant'.
Confidence is an attitude of "I can handle all that occurs in a game against Kobe Bryant."
Overconfidence is excessive belief that I will win when I will probably not win.
Arrogance is belief that one is correct when one is not.

Thus I can be confident in a game with Kobe Bryant and at the same time think that there is a very low probability that my score will be higher than his.
Thus I can be confident in front of an audience of 4,000 as I play the guitar, and play the guitar rather poorly.

There is a massive difference between carrying one self like a loser, and being a loser.

I am confident most of the time, but I am not getting results that you and Winston would think 'justify' such confidence.
This is because I don't link the outcome to my confidence the same way you two do.

I am confident that I can walk out my front door and travel by train to Almaty. There are many problems in doing so from here, yet with no knowledge of where or how to find the solutions, I know that I can and that I will. I have never been there, I speak NO Russian Language and I have no knowledge of visa or border procedures wrt China-Kazakhstan border.

There is a massive difference between being the path, knowing the path and walking the path.
Yes, you might recognize that from The Matrix.
This wisdom, also, predates that movie by millennia.

Also, there is the possibility that I MIGHT beat Kobe in a short game of one-on-one.
I MIGHT connect with a major league fastball and line a double down the line.

Note that you take a low probability situation and then convert it to 'the impossible'.
This is your doing.

To YOU, it is impossible to ever win against Kobe Bryant.
To YOU, it is impossible to get the girl.

To ME it is improbable to win against Kobe Bryant.
But even then, I would be confident during the pickup game.

You catastrophize outcomes.


Great Post! I could not have said it better myself. If you don't do you'll never become confident. Confidence is inside you and you increase it by doing! I'm going to save the post!
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Postby samurai_panda » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:49 am

Confidence is a choice. Like getting up out of bed every morning. That's victory.

Small, incremental steps towards success.

You can choose to walk up and talk to the girl and get her digits, or you can just watch from a distance wishing she knew your name.

CONFIDENCE IS A CHOICE ALL DAY EVERYDAY. You can choose to act or not to act. That's your power.
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Postby WuFan » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:25 am

Confidence is a nice feeling, but it makes zero difference for getting women.

All confidence is external and is a product of success.
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Postby Naoki » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:23 am

This video shows the power of confidence!
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3AtVgiYKd8&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

If you have confidence, even lions would fear you.
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