Have you heard this fact?
Guys like confident women. Women like confident men.
Have you heard this complaint?
Too many people lack confidence. They confuse it with arrogance.
You know how great it feels when you’re around someone who has bigtime confidence. They get hired faster, they get start-up money, they get long-term clients. They just feel good to be around.
So if it seems few people have confidence, and they may slip into the land of acting cocky, what is going on and how do you get to lead with confidence?
Let’s drill down into this topic and get clarity so you know if you can pull this confidence thing off.
First, which matters most?
That you are confident or that the other person sees you as confident?
You might think of times in your life that you were confident but others didn’t give you the impression they agreed. That right there could dampen future attempts at being confident in new situations.
But read this by Criss Jami:
The biggest, and only critic, lives in your perception of people’s perception of you. It’s not people’s perception of you.
Is it possible then that a barrier to self-confidence is your fixation on scanning the other person’s perception of you?
Classic. That’s the downfall of our societal conditioning — worrying about what other’s think of you.
You might agree then that confident people are not leasing their mental space to worry about other people’s opinions.
Women complain that some guys act too cocky and it’s a turn-off. Guys say women are too arrogant and that’s a turn-off.
Does confidence lie in the eye of the beholder?
If it’s just their perception, then you’ll always be in trouble. Every time you are confident, they may not interpret it that way.
But before you agree with that assumption…
Let’s check the definition of confidence.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary calls it “the quality or state of being certain” aka certitude.
That makes sense, right? It’s attractive to engage with a person who’s certain of their abilities, their conversation, and their direction in life.
Why is it attractive?
It’s attractive because when you’re plugged into the “out there” world, you face a whole bunch of uncertain every day. From the fearful news, your bills, your income levels, to your diet concerns, to your loved one’s well-being…the list of uncertainty mounts.
Uncertainty feels overwhelming. Like you can’t breathe.
So if an applicant comes to you for an interview and says, “I’m certain” about a plan of action, you perceive that as confidence. And relief. The interviewee just became a stand-out in a sea of daily uncertainty.
Conversely, if a prospective employee isn’t confident and has no certainty, it could feel overwhelming to you. Like you’d end up having to babysit them to do their job.
People who are insecure (lacking in confidence) end up creating a lot of toxicity ripples. Your subconscious knows this and small neon alert warnings go off in your mind.
Insecurity is out. Confidence is in.
So how do you get to be confident all the time when you can’t always have the answers?
Confidence isn’t about having the answers all the time, or all the winners on Jeopardy would have a long line of suitors.
Confident people have something else: charisma.
“Charisma is a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm. A special magnetic charm or appeal”
— Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Confidence is attractive to us in sort of a charismatic way, not a smarty-pants way. After all, knowing where to go to dinner is not “I’ll Take Where To Eat Out Tonight for $400, Alex.”
So far you’ve learned:
Confidence = Certitude
Charisma = Personal magic and magnetic appeal
Do you know where this is headed?
“Alex, what is ‘I Bring The Magic, And Others See It As Confident?’”
Ding, ding, ding, ding. Double Jeopardy.
That’s it. The magic is inside little unique you. The essence of you. Your power seat. Every person has it. You have to be willing to risk showing it.
“The only power that exists is inside ourselves.”
― Anne Rice
And that is why people complain they don’t see enough confidence in others.
Why? Because to let your magic out, you have first to believe you have magic inside of you. Then you have to be open and vulnerable enough to do so.
That’s where most people fall. It seems such a tall order, why bother. But if you try to cover up your ability to be vulnerable, you come off as arrogant.
You can be confident, just don’t slip into bossiness or your subjects scatter in the royal kingdom quickly.
Now you’re starting to understand why so many people don’t have confidence.
You have to blend being able to answer questions (even to say you don’t have an answer). You have to be open, or you’re perceived as closed off, and it reads as cocky. You have to have charisma or charm as you let your inner magic out. Whew.
“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”
― Criss Jami
But you can do this.
How to Have Confidence + Charisma
Here’s the secret to having confidence and charisma, even in new or stressful situations: Keep your heart open and believe in your worth.
“Head up, heart open. To better days!”
― T.F. Hodge
It’s a slippery slope. If you close your heart in judgment (of them or you), you energetically close down, and the boss/VC/date reads that as “not interested.”
If you doubt your worth, people read you as insecure.
Knowing your worth is glass-half-full instead of half-empty. If you stay out of the “please pick me” need for external validation you will stay squarely in confidence.
Needing external validation triggers insecurity. The other person reads that. They barely have to use their spidey senses.
“I believe with all my heart that the cliches are true, that we are our own best friends and best company, and that if you’re not right for yourself, it’s impossible to be right for anyone.”
― Rachel Machacek
Keeping your heart open is warmth. For others, and especially for you.
Keeping your worth acknowledged teaches people who you are and reminds you of your inner magic.
Cool is being confident and comfortable in your own skin.
“Alex, I’ll take Being Cool for $800 please.”
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