Understanding the Importance of Self-Confidence is Crucial to Success
How would you like to have absolute and unwavering self-confidence? To be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Damn, I look good,” to be able to stand in front of an audience and speak and feel like you sound incredibly good as you do it. If you like all those, listen to this episode. Let’s look at the importance of self-confidence.
What is the secret to absolute and unwavering self-confidence? So you saw the title for this episode and you decided to tune in because you want to learn more about self-confidence and you want to learn about how to have absolute and unwavering self-confidence.
Well, let me tell you, there’s a secret to having absolute and unwavering self-confidence, and that is death. Yes, that’s right. It’s death. Because if you have absolute self-confidence and you had this unwavering self-confidence, without question, I give you maybe a week or two before you somehow killed yourself.
No One Really Has Absolute Self-Confidence
Let’s understand before we go on this journey together for the next 10 or so minutes as we try to identify what you really want, which is how to have a little bit more self-confidence and how to make sure that the areas where you don’t have self-confidence are things that are based in reality and not things that are not based in reality and holding you back.
Do you understand what I’m saying? It’s not that we want you to think that you have certain powers and strengths and things that you don’t really have, because that can get you into a lot of trouble. By the way, that’s true in anything. It’s true in business, it’s true in sports, it’s true in life in general, it’s true if you’re a young man looking for a girl. It’s true if you’re a young lady looking for a guy. It’s true for anyone in any situation.
The reality is not that we just want to have absolute self-confidence and sometimes that’s what we think other people have. You look at other people and you assume, “Oh, well they must have this incredible, absolute self-confidence.” Well, let me tell you a lot of people have told me that they think that I have a lot of self-confidence.
How to Build Confidence and Self-Esteem
What I can tell you is this: all it is is that I have confidence in myself in the areas that I believe I need to have confidence. But there are a lot of areas where I have no self-confidence and it’s a good thing, trust me, because I’m not that good of a mountain climber. If I was fully confident in myself and my ability to climb mountains, I’d get in a lot of trouble, right?
The thing is growing up as young man, for example, if I walked into a bar and I looked around and I said, “I am the most handsome man in this bar!” Well, see that would be a lie in most cases. So if I’m walking into a bar saying I’m going to be the most handsome man in this bar and I’m not the most handsome person in the bar, not even in the top 50 percentile, that could be a problem.
So what I want to do is first ground ourselves in some reality here. It’s not that you want to have this absolute unwavering self-confidence but there are a lot of us going through life lacking self-confidence, and listen to this part carefully: lacking self-confidence in areas where you really, absolutely should be confident in yourself.
It’s the areas in life that you’re actually really good at, things that you’ve mastered, skills that you have, things about you that are truly unique and incredible. Maybe it’s an amazing heart that you have. Maybe it’s that you’re really good at a particular trait. Maybe you’re really good at a sport.
Maybe when it comes to customer service, you’re really amazing and you’re really good at delivering something for people that others can’t. Or maybe you happen to be really handsome or really beautiful or something about you is really handsome or beautiful that other people can appreciate.
By the way, don’t we all have some of those areas? It’s amazing because when we look into someone else’s eyes and we look into someone else’s face, it’s easy to notice the things about them that are beautiful. Often, we forget to look at those things in ourselves, whether it’s a physical trait or it’s something about the way that we act or something that we do.
The key is to first start by understanding what it is that we’re really after. Then once we’ve got that, here’s the next secret. You have to see who you are, accept it, and then embrace it. See, that’s really important because you are never going to be the most handsome, the most beautiful, the tallest, the fastest, the best, the smartest. You’re never going to be any of those things.
Even people we look at, like Albert Einstein, I guarantee you he didn’t feel like he was the smartest. In fact, for most of his career if you study someone like Albert Einstein, he spent most of his career being dead wrong about the things that he discovered.
He came up with these theories that were dead wrong and most of them were laughed at at the time when he came up with them. Some of them, they weren’t laughed at at the time he come up with them and then later they were proven to be wrong.
So even the people we think of as, “Ooh, that person is the smartest,” or think of the person that we think of as the most beautiful or the most handsome, one of the most athletic, notice how number one, any of that stuff is short lived.
The most athletic person, the best basketball player, the best baseball player – these are very, very short lived, and then they have to go through the rest of their lives not being that thing. So imagine if all of their self-confidence was built on being the best in the world.
Well, guess what? You’re not going to be the best in the world at much of anything for very long unless you decide you’re going to be the best in the world at loving the people in your life, loving your family, loving your friends. You’re going to be the best in the world at taking care of the people around you to the best of your ability. You’re going to be the best in the world at leading with your heart.
You’re going to be the best in the world at being your best every single day. See, those are things that you can actually accomplish. But the key is you have to just accept who you are, see yourself as who you are, and accept who you are and embrace it, love it, live with it, be proud of it.
Now, what if there is a certain area that you’re not happy with who you are? What do you? What if you look at it and you’re like, “Okay, I see who I am but I don’t want to accept it. I don’t want to embrace it.” Okay, good. Now we’re onto something; change it. If there’s something about yourself that you’re not totally self-confident about, hey, look.
There’s nothing wrong with doing everything in your power to change that thing. Now, there are certain things that of course we absolutely can’t change.
But if you’re self-conscious – let’s say you’re a man and you’re self-conscious about your hair thinning, hey, there’s things that you can do about that. If you’re self-conscious about your body because you have too much weight or too little weight or not the right kind of weight or not the weight in the right places, change it. Do something about it.
It’s not even about changing it because instantaneously when you decide to do something about it, something is triggered in your mind that gives you a lot more self-confidence. Now you feel like you’re empowered and you’re in control. You are now controlling your destiny.
So if you’re sitting there and if there’s anything, something about yourself that you don’t like, whatever it may be, today’s the day that you can make a decision to do something about it.
If, for example, you have a hard time speaking in front of people, listen, I didn’t come out of the womb and grab a microphone and start doing a podcast.
People come to my events and see me talking to hundreds or thousands of people and they think, “Oh, he was just born with it.” I was not just born with it. You should have been there the days I stood up in front of a class to speak or I stood up in front of my colleagues and my mouth went completely dry, and I could barely speak.
It’s Okay to not be Confident in Areas That Aren’t Relevant to Your Life
I remember this one time I was making a presentation to my colleagues and there were seven people in the room listening to me and I had this piece of paper in my hand. My hand started shaking uncontrollably to the point that this piece of paper was flapping. It was the most incredible thing – the most incredibly stupid thing at the moment for me, but I just sat there.
I didn’t know what to do, I froze up, my mouth went completely dry to where I could barely get the words out. Someone was kind enough to say, “Hey, Arman. It’s okay. Just relax, you’re good. You’re doing a great job,” and it calmed me down. Let me tell you, even after that, I wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be.
But it’s not like I was born with it. I worked on it. Being able to stand here and speak into this microphone with confidence comes from a lot of practice doing this and a lot of practice speaking in front of people and working on making myself better and better and better.
So if there’s something about yourself that you’re not perfectly happy with, you’re not confident about, you have two choices. You either just accept it and embrace it or you do something about it. That’s what I want to tell you. There’s no in between.
For example, I get a lot of people who come to my events and people who reach out to me about their physical body. Women will reach out to me and tell me how they’re unhappy with their bodies. I say, “Look, you’ve got two choices. You are either happy with your body, you accept it, and you embrace it, or you decide to change it. There’s no in between.
What I can’t have you do is be a certain weight, whatever that number is – who cares what the number is, because it doesn’t matter what I think of your body and what the rest of the world thinks of your body. It doesn’t matter what pictures they’re putting in magazines and on websites and stuff like that. It’s you looking in the mirror and being proud of what you see. It’s you looking in the mirror and saying, ‘Damn, I look good.’”
That’s what life is all about when it comes to that. Now, who cares if other people think you look good? Now you might say, “Arman, I care.” Good. If you care, then guess what?
You have two things you can do about it. You either look at what people think of you, you accept it and you embrace it, or you take a look at the way people see you and what they think of you as a result. But you say, “I don’t like it.” Now you can go change it. It’s that simple, and if you’re going to change it, then you’ve got to take charge. You’ve got to take control.
But how many people do you know who are insecure about their bodies, they don’t like the way they look in front of the mirror, and you can tell because one, they won’t even look at themselves in front of the mirror without their clothes on.
Or they’ll cover themselves up in 18 layers to fool people into thinking that’s not there. Or what they’ll do is when other people make comments, they’re just like “La-la-la-la-la, this is not happening.” They’re not accepting it, they’re certainly not embracing it, but do you know what? They’re doing nothing to change it, and that’s what bothers me.
If there’s something about yourself you don’t like, you either accept it and embrace it or you change it. If you’re not a good public speaker, no one says you have to get good at it. You don’t need to start a podcast, you don’t need to speak onstage, you don’t need to do that to be successful in life.
Those are not qualities that you have to have. Now, they’re nice to have and I highly recommend it. I highly recommend you get good at speaking in front of people because it’s a nice skill to have, but you don’t have to have it.
But if you don’t have it, then you can’t be insecure about it. You just have to accept it and embrace it. Embrace the fact that you kind of suck at talking in front of people.
The next time you’re at a cocktail party and someone’s like, “Oh, make a toast,” and you’re like, “Uh…I don’t make toasts because I kind of suck at those.” If you’re going to be the best man or the maid of honor at a wedding, you should probably tell the bride or groom, “Hey, if you want me to give a toast, I will, but I’m really gonna suck at it.” That’s okay; there’s nothing wrong with that.
But decide if you like it or you don’t. If you’re going to change it, change it. Decide today, and that’s what I’m all about. You guys all know me.
At this stage if you’ve been listening to my podcast, and hopefully you’re not just listening to my podcast, but you’ve read my book, you’re going out there, and you’re looking at the things I’ve put out there, you’re watching these videos, attending my events, then you should know I’m all about making decisions today.
Today is the only day that matters when it comes to making decisions. Any decision you leave for tomorrow is going to be left for next year and most likely your next life. So find what you don’t like about yourself and if you don’t want that and you want to change it, then change it. Make a decision to change it today.
Now here’s another thing to note, because as we’re looking at this, I want you to also understand that often we are massively overcritical of ourselves. I’ve got a little exercise that I want you to try to test this thing out.
Have you ever seen a video of yourself or listened to your own voice? I bet you right now, I’m sitting in my car, listening to this audio going, “Oh my God, this is what I was talking about.” You know, if you ever watch a video of yourself, you notice, right? Have you noticed all the twitches and all the weird things that you do? You know, all the things that you say and do that are just awkward and weird, and God forbid you’re in a video and someone else is talking? Holy cow. You look at your face and there’s like all kinds of problems with it.
See? Have you noticed that? You too? Okay, I’ve got the same problem and I’ll tell you what. Everybody on the planet does, even the people who are absolutely trained to limit that stuff as much as possible. It’s just when you’re watching the news, you’re not paying attention to that stuff on the newscast.
You’re just listening for content and you’re just looking at things. When you’re watching the Oscars on TV, you’re not looking at all the weird faces and all the goofy things that other people do. You’re just focused on the end result you’re looking at, right?
Here’s a little homework for you. I want you to go online and I want you to go to YouTube and find some videos where people are speaking directly into the camera. I want you to see just how ridiculous these people look. What I want you to look for is twitches in their face.
You know, the same stuff you look at for yourself, look at the twitches. Look at the weird faces they do. Look at their eyes. You watch other people and it just seems like they have such great control of their eyes, or so it seems.
You look at yourself and you’re like, “Man, why are my eyes wandering? Why I am I doing this? Why am I doing that?” Watch other people with that same critical eye that you would look at yourself with and notice how many of them do the same thing.
So what lesson will this teach you when you do this? The lesson this teaches us right now is that we are all designed to be hypercritical of ourselves. You know what? Thank goodness that we are, because that means we hold ourselves to a higher standard in most cases than we hold other people to, and that’s kind of a good thing.
That’s a really great survival mechanism, because it if we can expect higher things from ourselves and we can hold ourselves to a higher standard, then guess what? That means we can perform at a higher level, and that is a very good thing.
Don’t be Overcritical of Yourself
I had a recent example of this that just blew me away of how I was guilty of this thing, being overcritical of myself. I was playing a basketball game where they were keeping the stats. As I played this game, I had a horrible shooting night. There was no question I had no business shooting a ball.
Let me tell you, I was shooting something like 30%, which if you’re not much of a basketball player, that’s not a very good percentage at all. I think I made three of 10 shots or something like that and it was pretty horrible.
By the end of the game, I wasn’t even touching the ball. As soon as I got the ball, I was like, “Let me give it to someone else,” because I am having a horrible shooting night. We lost the game, we got our butts kicked, and it was just terrible.
I walked off the court and I was like, “Gosh, what a terrible game. I ruined the game for our team,” and I was just so down on myself about the fact that I really let my team down and all of this. I turned to one of the guys and I was like, “Man, I’m so sorry. I had such a horrible shooting night.” He’s like, “Are you kidding me? Man, I had a terrible shooting night.” I was like, “No, trust me. It was nowhere near as bad as me.” Then he was like, “No, no, no. Trust me, Arman. You actually did pretty well, compared to the rest of us.”
I was like, “What are you talking about?” I look at the stats and of the five people on my team, I didn’t have the best shooting percentage.
There was one guy who shot better than me, but there was a reason why we lost by like 30 or 40 points because literally, no one on our team had a good shooting night. In fact, I had the second best shooting of anyone on my team that night.
So I had a terrible shooting night but you know, hey, if I was actually looking out for my team in that moment, guess what? I probably should have been shooting them all more, because even though I wasn’t doing very well, I was doing better than some other people.
Here’s what I want you to understand about that. We go through life and often we are in this place where we think lower of ourselves than we really deserve, and we’ve got this filter on.
How to Increase Confidence and Self-Esteem
Now, some of us have this filter on backwards at times and we think really highly of ourselves and we get egotistical and things like that, which is something to watch for as well. But today what we want to focus on is not that side; it’s when we look at ourselves and we notice the imperfections in us that we fail to recognize the imperfections in others.
Now, wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t look and purposely try to find the imperfections in ourselves? I’m not telling you to go look for imperfections in other people. That’s a terrible thing. It’s just as bad, if not worse. But there’s no reason for us to be unrealistic about ourselves.
See, that’s what self-confidence is about. Self-confidence is about knowing the real you, because if you’re playing basketball and you suck, you probably shouldn’t shoot the ball too much more. You should probably go practice the next day. But if you’re playing basketball and your team needs you right now to score a basket but you think you suck and you don’t shoot the ball, guess what? You’re letting your team down.
So much of life is about that. What if you have something to share with the world that you could share in a podcast or on stage or just in front of a group of people. Maybe you’re at a wedding and you’ve got these beautiful words you want to share about the bride and groom. Well, what if by you not being confident in yourself, you rob the world of the opportunity hear what you have to say about that amazing bride? What if you rob the world of the opportunity to see you be at your best in business or in speaking or in that sport you want to play, or whatever it may be.
Self-confidence then is about reaching into ourselves and looking inside of ourselves and seeing who we really are. That’s my final key for you to the secret of having absolute and unwavering self-confidence – if you still want to have unwavering self-confidence. Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to just go for reasonable self-confidence. But even for reasonable self-confidence, the key is to just look inside of yourself right now as you hear me speak and recognize what kind of a human you are. What kind of a soul you have? Think about your heart.