The True Secret of Self-Confidence
“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 experience high levels of self-confidence on a permanent basis, I suggest you set aside your current notions on how real 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. Straighten 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.
But why is it temporary?
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 with one of superiority. However, in my opinion, a superior complex and an inferiority complex are two sides of the same coin.
A superiority complex is just another form of inferiority.
Why do I say that? 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 confidence actually is.
Your job is not to overcome low self-confidence, but to allow it to disappear as if it doesn’t exist.
Ok I’ve kept you in suspense long enough about my theory on self-confidence. What do you think would be the opposite, or antidote, to fear, insecurity, inferiority and so on?
It can be summed up in one word….
If you can fill yourself with a sense of impersonal 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 the Dalai Lama:
“I try to treat whoever I meet as an old friend. This gives me a genuine feeling of happiness.”
With a friendly, 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.
And the opposite of anger and hatred is…goodwill. And when cultivated, we feel secure and confident.
Fear and insecurity is removed – it’s gone. But was it “conquered”? Was insecurity battled and fought? No. These states of mind simply do not exist in a mind that is friendly and at ease. There was no fight, and confidence comes 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 🙂