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Why do we Need Confidence?

Why do we Need Confidence?

Confidence is a fragile thing, but why do we even need it? What is it about this confidence things that makes us perform well or badly? Oliver Emberton explains in detail how crude confidence is and how it affects us in Quora

Think of confidence as a crude instinct for guessing when you’re going to succeed or fail. It’s exceedingly stupid and makes decisions based entirely on whatever comes to mind first. I call mine Paris Hilton:

    Paris exists for good reason. Humans evolved in dark and dangerous times. An argument with your tribal leader could get you killed. Being rejected by an influential guy / girl could make you unmateable. Unchecked, your actions could end you.

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    Playing life too safe wasn’t much better. A man who wouldn’t hunt, or farm, or build, or bring any value to his peers was unlikely to survive. As we’re all blessed with uniquely uneven skills, it makes sense to act upon our strengths and shun our weaknesses.

    We evolved confidence to focus our efforts on what we’re best at

    There’s just one minor problem: life has changed a lot since 100,000 BC, and Paris is still wearing animal hide and dragging a club behind her.

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      In the modern western world, the survival cost of failure is zero. You can jump out of a plane, argue with the biggest beefcake in the bar and ask Mila Kunis to take you to the ball. Not only are you almost certain to live through it, Mila might even say yes.

      The rewards for those who are confident today are staggering. Confidence is attractive. It breeds opportunity. It makes us stand our ground and assert our worth. Confidence in yourself is infectious – it inspires others to believe in you – and can be self fulfilling.

      Yet most of us have constant crises of confidence. We fret over something as banal as disagreeing with our superiors, or talking to a stranger. Many men would rather mud-wrestle a bear than ask their dream girl out; swimming with sharks is considered less scary than public speaking. There’s a reason people drink in social situations: alcohol makes Paris a lot – ahem – easier.

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      The simple truth is this:

        It’s millennia behind the times. What evolved primarily to keep us safe in an age of sabre-toothed tigers is now holding you back. The trick is to know this, and to teach Paris to overcome her ancient programming. She’s not particularly bright, so this may take a while:

        • Paris is a socialite. Nothing feels better or stings harder than feedback from others. This means your successes must be witnessed. Start in private, by all means, but know that the greatest leaps in self-worth will come from victories like public speaking, dancing in a crowd, or kissing the girl. You can’t do that staying at home or in your head.
        • Effort trumps all. The wonderful thing about trying hard is it almost always succeeds, eventually. I’m not a natural runner, but if I try hard enough, I will accomplish something through sheer force of will, and that breeds self-worth. In the absence of confidence, work your ass off.
        • Resilience. The most important thing is how you handle knocks. They are inevitable. They will make you feel like crap. But the more longer you linger on them, the further your confidence will tumble. Counter swiftly: try again, try something else, but never dwell.

        The greatest confidence in life is won, not given. You can’t see it, but everyone has a capricious Paris inside them, dishing out doubt and courage on a whim. You just have to start taking responsibility for yours.

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        Ultimately, having confidence is the difference between doing what you want, and doing what you’re told. Without confidence, we condemn ourselves to a life in servitude of those who have it.

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        Hoi Wan

        Hoi is a mobilist who blogs about technology trends and productivity.

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        Last Updated on October 22, 2020

        11 Tips for Maintaining a Positive Attitude Every Day

        11 Tips for Maintaining a Positive Attitude Every Day

        Maintaining a positive attitude is critical when you want to achieve anything or simply improve the quality of your life. Most success literature will talk about the power of positive thinking and how important it is, but it’s often easier said than done.

        In this article, you’ll find 11 tips for maintaining your positive attitude no matter what’s going on in your life.

        1. You Determine Your Reality

        It’s important to realize that you determine your reality by the way you react to the outside world. When something happens, you get to choose whether it’s a positive or negative situation and react accordingly.

        For example, if you lose your job, your first reaction will likely be one of anger, frustration, and hopelessness. However, what if you were able to turn those emotions around and look at that experience as an opportunity.

        You now have the chance to find a job where you will be able to learn new skills and perhaps even be happier. And in the meantime, you have some free time to analyze what direction you want the next stage of your life to go in.

        2. Start Your Day Strong

        Most people have to drag themselves out of bed, and this sets a negative state of mind for their entire day. Positive people create a long-term morning ritual that reinforces how great life is and how happy they are to be alive.

        I used to wake up and immediately turn on Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life to get me into a positive mood. Now I start my day by reading or listening to something positive. Whether you have 1 minute, 15 minutes, or an hour to dedicate to your ritual, you can start the day in a way that helps you feel relaxed and ready for the day ahead.

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        Cultivate a positive attitude with a great morning routine.

          3. Exercise Is the Natural Feel-Good Drug

          Exercise is a great way to maintain a good attitude because of all the positive chemicals it releases into the bloodstream.

          One study found that between groups who participated in high-intensity interval training, moderate continuous training, and no exercise, those in the second group experienced the greatest drop in depressive symptoms and stress[1]. Therefore, if you’re looking to exercise to help you feel good, get your heart rate up, but don’t push too hard or you may increase overall stress.

          Also, remember that exercise can include many activities. If you don’t like running, try dancing or kickboxing instead. Put on some upbeat music to kick up the positive vibes even more.

          4. Use Books, Audio and Videos to Overload Your Brain with Positivity

          There are millions of amazing books, podcasts, and videos for you to absorb from people who are inspiring and living the life of their dreams. Tap into their positive emotions and their experience by learning how they think and what they do to create the lives they want.

          You can do this in the morning or while exercising, eating, commuting, cooking, cleaning… there’s always time for positivity.

          5. Your Language Shapes Your Thoughts

          Little changes in your language can change the way you think and how you act. Whenever someone greets you and asks how you’re doing, do you answer with “fine” or “not too bad”? Think about just what this language is communicating to others… and yourself.

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          I always answer with “great,” “fantastic,” or “amazing.” Not only does this remind me that life really is great, but it usually helps the other person shift toward a positive attitude as well.

          Also, take some time to look at the way your inner voice talks to you. Is that language positive or negative? If it’s overly critical or negative, it may be time to tap into some mindfulness meditation in order to shift your inner critic to an inner cheerleader.

          6. Hang out With Positive People

          It is often said that you will have a similar level of health, income and lifestyle as the five people you spend the most time with.

          So if you want to be fit, then start to hang out with fit people. Want to start a business? Then hang out with business owners. And if you want to be positive, make sure you’re hanging out with positive people[2].

          7. Show Your Appreciation for Others

          By appreciating others for a job well done, their outfit, or their smile, you start to cause a positive chain reaction. Stop complaining and focus on all the good others are doing around you.

          Don’t you feel great when you receive a compliment from someone else? Well, if you want to receive more, then start giving them out and watch what happens to the people around you.

          One particular study found that people who sent letters of gratitude experienced significant increases in happiness scores[3]. If you don’t feel like writing a letter, send a nice text to someone who recently helped you out, or send an email thanking your coworker for always helping pick up the slack around the office. Whatever it is, take some time to show gratitude.

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          8. Garbage In, Garbage Out

          This is an expression from programming where the result is only as good as the input. If you’re feeding yourself with negativity all day long, then it’s pretty obvious you’re going to be feeling negative as well.

          A great deal of the media thrives on negativity. Put yourself on a negativity diet (including people) and watch how much easier it is to maintain your positive attitude.

          9. Stop Negative Thoughts in Their Tracks

          It’s hard to be a constantly positive person, and negative thoughts are going to bubble up from time to time. These will be more frequent in the beginning but can decrease as you practice the tips we’re talking about. When you start to notice negative thoughts, you can use a pattern interrupt to stop them in their tracks.

          The idea is to interrupt your current thought pattern and shift to a more positive outlook. One way to do this is to set a visual or auditory cue. It can be something as simple as a bracelet you wear each day or the sound of a car passing outside your window. Whenever you see or hear the cue, use it to shift your thoughts to something positive.

          You can learn more on how to shift your mindset and negative attitudes in the following video:

          10. Live With Gratitude

          So many positive things happen during our day, and we often ignore them while letting one negative comment or event ruin our mood. It can help to keep a gratitude journal where you jot down things you are grateful for each night or during the day.

          If you’re reading this, then you probably live with a roof over your head and food in your belly, which is a daily struggle for a large portion of the world. However, we often take these things for granted and don’t realize just how great we have it.

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          Try refocusing your thoughts towards everything you do have instead of what you don’t. One study found that reflecting on past experiences with a sense of gratitude can lead to increases in both hope and happiness[4]. That’s a great reason to give it a go today.

          You can find more ways to practice gratitude in this article.

          11. Recharge Your Batteries

          One key to adopting a positive attitude is taking the time to recharge your batteries. This might mean taking a few hours on the weekend to read a positive book or taking a few weeks for a holiday.

          If you’re not in the position to travel, you can take a staycation, or have a “home holiday” where you simply switch off from the outside world and spend time doing things you love.

          Final Thoughts

          You now have 11 tips for maintaining your positive attitude, but they are no use to you unless you implement them into your life.

          Start small, and pick the easiest tip or the one that you really love and introduce it into your life starting right now. Then, over time, start implementing the other tips and watch your positivity soar.

          More Tips About Staying Positive

          Featured photo credit: Pepe Cast Zam via unsplash.com

          Reference

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