“Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the ultimate source of success in life”. ~ Dalai Lama
If you want to know how to become self confident on a more permanent basis, I’d like you to set aside your current notions on how confidence is cultivated and give me 5 minutes to put forward my case.
You see, I actually believe that confidence arises naturally and automatically once something else is taken care of.
I also believe that the usual advice on acquiring confidence is ineffective, temporary at best, and maybe even harmful in the long run.
What I believe to be the true method for developing self-confidence may be so counter-intuitive that it shocks you.
Standard advice is along the lines of the “ra-ra” pump-up. You tell yourself that you are good enough. Maybe you even make a “what’s great about me” list. Fix your posture. Do a Superman pose (yes that is real advice given by some people). But how long will it last? If you’ve tried it, you’ll know the answer to that one.
So why is it temporary? Why does none of it really work?
Can you see what’s actually happening here? You’re merely ‘masking’ a problem, not actually dealing with the root cause.
I believe it’s like attempting to combat an inferiority complex by developing a notion of superiority. However, in my opinion, a superiority complex and an inferiority complex are two sides of the same coin.
A superiority complex is just another form of inferiority. Why?
Because the only people who desire to be better than everyone else are those who feel inferior. The need to “outshine” everyone is actually born of fear and weakness, not strength.
…masks itself as:
The temporary pump-up method is based on a totally erroneous understanding of what true confidence really is.
Your job is not to overcome low self-confidence, but to allow it to disappear as if it never existed.
Ok, I’ve kept you in suspense long enough. What we need to find is the antidote to fear, insecurity, inferiority and so on.
And I think it can be summed up in one word…
If you can fill yourself with a sense of goodwill for everyone, can you possibly be fearful? Can you feel inferior when your mind is at ease like this?
The Dalai Lama, a man I have immense respect for, calls it “warm-heartedness”. Can you feel insecure with a warm heart? I don’t think it’s possible.
Here is another quote from His Holiness:
“I try to treat whoever I meet as an old friend. This gives me a genuine feeling of happiness.”
With a friendly and genuine interest in others, you can’t help but be confident. And the strangest thing is, you are doing it without giving a single thought to how confident you are. Like I said at the top of the article, it arises naturally and automatically.
When you live with a warm heart, your focus and interest is on other people. In any given situation then you naturally come across as secure and confident, without any actual conscious effort on your part.
So fear and insecurity are removed with this new mindset – it’s gone. But was it “conquered”? Was insecurity battled and fought? No. These states of mind simply cease to exist in a mind that is friendly and at ease. There was no battle; confidence arises as a natural by-product.
It’s like happiness itself: The more you pursue it directly, the more it eludes you. Happiness comes indirectly while you’re doing other things.
So my belief and my message is this: Traditional methods of improving confidence tend to be egoistic and self-centered. I’m convinced that this can only bring temporary change at best…and it may even make things worse.
In contrast, the more your thoughts and actions are motivated by a sense of goodwill, the freer and more confident you will become.
So it turns out that you don’t need to be Superman, you just need a warm heart.
And it’s just a lot easier 🙂
Mark McManus is a personal development junkie and blogs at HappyHack.com – the site dedicated to helping you live a happier, more fulfilled, more successful life 🙂
Download his free 7-day guide to increase your happiness and well-being called ‘Simple Happiness’ here.
And check out how his whole journey of self-improvement began at 19yrs old when he inadvertently stole a book from a public library here.