Imagine being able to approach anyone, in any setting, and start a conversation.
Imagine being able to reach out to your biggest role models and instantly start building relationships with them.
Imagine being able to publicly share your personal thoughts and opinions with tens of thousands of people from all over the world, every single month.
These are all things that, just a few years ago, I would’ve never thought I’d be capable of doing. And yet, these are all things that I now do on a regular basis.
I’m not telling you this to brag. I’m telling you this because I want to help you learn how to develop your own self-confidence so that you, too, can start doing things that you currently don’t think you’re capable of doing.
When I originally decided I wanted to write this post, I had planned to write something along the lines of “5 ways to become more confident.”
I actually outlined and even started writing a rough draft about what I believed to be the 5 most important things for being self-confident.
But then, as I was listening to this episode of the Tim Ferriss Show the other night, I had an epiphany (a common occurrence when I listen to that podcast).
I realized that the secret to being unapologetically confident is actually incredibly simple…
So I scrapped that other post and I started writing this one.
But before I tell you what this incredibly simple secret is, let me just paint a quick picture for you about how unconfident I used to be…
Meet Super Shy Stefano
My junior year high school yearbook picture… Acne’s a bitch
Back in high school (and sometimes still in college), I was the kid who always sat in the back of the classroom and prayed to God that the teacher wouldn’t call on me.
Even when I was 100% positive that I knew the answer, I was still afraid to raise my hand because I didn’t want to come across as a know-it-all or be accused of trying to be the teacher’s pet.
I was the kid who lied about how long I actually studied for my exams, because I wanted people to think I was smarter than I actually was.
I was the kid who never told my friends or family what was really on my mind because I didn’t want to create any conflict or be a burden to anyone.
I was the kid who was willing to say or do whatever it took to gain people’s approval.
I was the kid who hid his mistakes because I thought no one would like me or accept me if they saw me for who I really was.
I was the kid who was afraid to be seen.
So, what happened between then and now?
Well, you can only bottle up your true feelings and pretend to be the person you think other people want you to be for so long.
Eventually I reached the point where I was so miserable and unhappy with my life that I just couldn’t keep doing it anymore.
I knew that I had to do something, because I knew that I was capable of so much more than I was demonstrating.
So, what’d I do?
Well, I did lots of things.
I started reading a ton. I started doing weird challenges like taking freezing cold showers and talking to strangers every day. I joined a fraternity. I got a job at a calling center. I signed up for an improv class. And I did a bunch of other crazy shit that I can’t talk about on here because my Mom still reads these posts sometimes (love you, Mom!).
Sophomore year of college – feeling on top of the world
But out of everything I’ve done, there’s one thing in particular that has made all the difference…
The Super Simple Secret To Being Self-Confident
While there’s no shortage of advice on the Internet about how to “hack” your confidence, the vast majority of this advice is focused on tactical, surface-level things that will only give you a short-term confidence boost.
Today, I want to take a step back and talk about the mindset that underpins all of these things. When you get the mindset right, everything else will become significantly easier.
If you’ve reached that same tipping point I described above and you’re ready to stop over-analyzing every single minor detail of your life and start taking MASSIVE action to live up to your fullest potential, here’s what you need to do…
STOP FOCUSING ON YOURSELF.
Newsflash: The world doesn’t revolve around you!!!
In that podcast episode I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Tim Ferriss asked Shep Gordon (who has been named one of the “100 most influential people” by Rolling Stone magazine and is the man behind some of the biggest names you’ve ever heard) what the biggest mistake is that people make in their careers.
“It’s a mistake of intentions,” replied Shep.
“Most people are not in the business for service. They’re in the business of greed. Out of greed you do stupid things and your vision gets blurred.”
He then went on to talk about how when most artist managers ask for career advice, they ask for advice for themselves. They ask about how they can get ahead. When really, they should be asking how they can help their clients get ahead.
As soon as I heard this, I realized that my vision had recently been blurred.
You see, I posted an article a couple weeks ago that I personally thought was great (this one), but it ended up being the first article I’ve published in the past year that didn’t get any comments… Not a single one.
I didn’t understand why and I was beating myself up over it for days. For the most part, everything in my life had been going really well, but now because of this one stupid article, I felt like a failure. Of course I now realize how dumb this was in retrospect, but at the time I was letting this one single article ruin everything else…
Wanna guess how I got over it?
BINGO… I stopped focusing on myself.
I stopped coming up with irrational stories about how the lack of comments on this one article was a reflection of who I am as a person, and I shifted my focus back to my mission, which is helping YOU.
I remembered that this isn’t about me, it’s about YOU.
So instead of dwelling on that one article, I’m now pouring all of my time and energy into improving the site and providing as much value to you as possible moving forward.
And that’s why I’m now in the process of creating even more free resources for you and updating a bunch of different aspects of this site (stay tuned!!).
Focus On What Matters
The moment you’re able to shift your focus away from yourself and towards others is the moment you’ll stop giving a fuck about how you “feel” every single second of the day.
Of course, you’ll still continue to have the same fears and anxieties you’ve always had, but suddenly those negative emotions will become a lot less important.
When you shift your focus away from your own selfish concerns and start focusing all of your attention on how you can help others, suddenly you’ll be able to do so much more than you ever thought possible.
You’ll finally stop taking things so personally…
You’ll finally stop second-guessing your every move…
And you’ll finally stop caring so much what other people think of you…
Because you simply won’t have time for any of that bullshit. When you have the right intentions and you know that you’re doing things for the right reasons, nothing else matters.
And as soon as you start doing things for the right reasons, you will start to make a bigger impact in the world and you will become more successful. And then of course, the more you succeed, the more confident you’ll become.
Plus, it just feels good to help others.
If you’re the type of person who wants to do big things and change the world, you don’t have to wait until you’re super successful.
You can start today.
All you have to do is ask yourself:
- “Who can I help today?
- “What’s one small thing I can do to enhance someone’s life today?”
- “How can I better serve my friends/co-workers/clients/bosses? What do they need that I can help them with?”
It doesn’t have to be anything big. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference… It can be as simple as sending an article to someone who you think could benefit from it, or checking in with an old friend to see how everything’s going.
If you’re feeling hesitant, just put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, “would I appreciate this?” If the answer is yes, then do it.
Then come back here and leave a comment letting me know–what’s one small thing you can do today to serve someone?