“Dude, just go and talk to her”
Ever heard that from your mates? What about:
“You practically bleed for that company, I can’t believe you let your boss walk all over you.”
I know the first one personally very well. There were times when I was way too chicken shit to approach ladies, unless I’d had quite a few beers. Many, in fact. I think it worked like this ===============>
Can you relate to this?
These are just a couple of statements and scenarios that I’ve heard and seen play out many times.
The question becomes- why?
- Why can’t you approach the girl you’d love to talk to?
- Why can’t you ask your boss for the remuneration you deserve/challenge the micromanagement?
- Why can’t you do what you want to do instead of going with your partner’s wishes all the time?
- Why do you always find yourself following others and never having your say?
- Why do you seem to go in your shell and stay in your head, second guessing things so much?
We don’t have the confidence for it.
This was my problem, hence the Dutch courage. Many of us men struggle with this concept of confidence. Why don’t I have it? How do I get it? Why do some guys seem to be brimming with it? How do I seem confident without being cocky?
Why do we have such an issue with confidence? It can be many things for many guys, but regardless of the root cause, the effects are numerous and incredibly damaging.
Ask yourself this: are you happy with your life? What would you change or improve if you could? What’s stopping you from doing so?
Often the answer here is simply having the balls to do something bold to make a change, or act differently.
Over years as a coach to many men in the corporate environment I’ve seen endless guys with the same problems and one of the most common relates back to confidence.
It often stems from surface issues involving the physical, hence why they’ve come to see me, but this body issue overlaps into other areas of their lives. We lose confidence around the workplace and as a result often end up in a position that doesn’t provide us with any real satisfaction or purpose, we have a boss or workmates that make our day worse and we end up in an existence that is generally going nowhere.
This also flows into our home and in social situations causing all number of undesirable situations and problems.
With this lack of confidence come the negative effects of low self worth/esteem, continual feelings of dissatisfaction and general unhappiness. These often lead to burn out, depression, anxiety and tragically in many cases, suicide.
Don’t believe me? In Australia alone, depression, anxiety and suicide are highest in men between the ages of 35-44, in fact suicide is the leading killer of men below the age of 44. Yet it is estimated that 72% of men don’t seek help for mental disorders.
In an ‘everyday’ sense, this often plays out in many ways; a constant longing for the weekend, regular and heavy boozing, keeping things to yourself, feeling guilty/beating yourself up, as well as started/failed exercise programs and goals in general.
We’ve all been there, right? Sometimes it’s just hard!
Well, maybe wrong… you might have just been going about it all wrong.
Regardless of where you’ve been in the past and how much confidence you have now, if you want more confidence to start getting the things you want and living a more fulfilling, rewarding and content life, you simply need to start putting yourself out there to the world, challenging yourself, learning, adapting and growing. You need to take control and make things happen.
Simple. Not necessarily easy, but simple.
It actually can be. Let’s look at how…
The number one thing to remember is that YOU are responsible for your life and destiny. YOU control what happens in your life, and YOU have a say in what you do and how you spend your days.
In order to pin point the kind of subtle confidence I’m talking about, check out this page to see the difference between the a real man and the dick swinging douchebag I think we can all recognise, which is essentially fake confidence and macho bravado.
The number one thing you must do is stop worrying about what people think and realise that their opinions largely don’t matter. When you give unwarranted stress and energy to others, especially when it really shouldn’t matter, you are handing over your power to them.
Learn to be a bit more selfish with who and when you give out your ‘fucks’.
From here, start getting outside of that safe little bubble you spend so much time in; your comfort zone.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
This mantra will help you to do all sorts of things you never thought possible and in turn your confidence will grow no end! Once you start proving to yourself that you can do things that you previously thought you couldn’t, you’ll start to develop the confidence you need to take care of some of your day to day issues, like losing the unwanted fat around your gut, or approaching girls.
Your comfort zone is nice and cosy and warm. It’s also holding you back. Show me someone that achieved greatness from inside the comfort of their little cave and I’ll doubt everything I know (what I consider greatness. Not negotiable…). When you get out beyond yourself you’ll not only start to become happier in general, you’ll infinitely better yourself, reach new goals, and unleash your own true alpha.
My challenge to you is to start doing things that make you uncomfortable, therefore out of your precious comfort zone. It doesn’t have to be huge at first, but everyday things. Of course in saying that it can also be something that scares the living shit out of you, but think of it like a muscle – it needs a lighter load, and it needs consistency to progressively overload and get stronger.
Let’s look at some examples:
- Set one massive and well over the top long term goal- this could be anything, for example mine for 2012 was to source, cook and eat a different meat every week for the entire year. This took me way outside of my comfort zone weekly.
- Tell someone your most personal goal- this will act to add accountability to your goal, as well as make you as uneasy as a nun in a brothel.
- Call someone you’ve been meaning to call, but been avoiding it- simple little tasks like this are easy little daily ways to break the zone.
- Cook something for someone that you’ve never even eaten- never eaten lamb’s balls before? Get some and cook it for someone else, this should make you uncomfortable enough for one evening! And the reward and growth could be huge. Plus you’ll be eating some nuts!
- If you’re a tight arse go splurge and vice versa- if you never spend money on things you consider unnecessary then find something you’d love but don’t need and splurge on it. If you always spend money on things you potentially don’t need then stop yourself from making those next 3 purchases.
- Don’t touch alcohol for an entire month- besides the obvious health benefits, this is usually something most guys find extremely difficult, so do it at a tough time, say Christmas or on holiday. The peer pressure alone will make you pine for your safe little bubble. Don’t drink alcohol? Then drop something else, such as coffee. Test your self control.
- Do the unwanted task- those situations always arise when something not ideal or easy has to be done yet everyone avoids doing it. Be the person to step forward and do it, every time. For example, remember as a kid hitting the ball over the fence to the grumpy neighbour’s backyard and everyone was too scared to get it? Be that guy with the balls to do it.
- Genuinely ask a stranger or homeless person how they are- most people are too wrapped up in their own lives to talk to strangers let alone homeless dudes. It’s uncomfortable too. If this is too far for you initially, just make it the person in line next to you when you get a coffee – just no small talk about the weather! Take 5 minutes and have a real conversation.
- Single men: approach 5 strangers this week and practice your game- every alpha needs his A-game and this means in singledom too. Not only will it push the comfort zone, but it will infinitely help you improve your game. Pay attention and learn from any failures.
- Taken men: approach 5 people that could make your life better in some way- this could be with anything such as a business partnership or an acquaintance that you know is great with kids so you and the other half can enjoy some quality time, but get outside your comfort zone and start making shit happen.
- Jump out of a plane- self explanatory this one. If that’s something that scares you, it’s outside your zone, so go do it.
- Even go as mundane as getting off the comfortable couch and doing 10-20 minutes of mobility work each night. You’ll benefit in so many ways!
It might sound scary or make you feel uneasy, but that’s the whole point!
These are just guidelines and you can of course make up your own, but set yourself 3 of these for the next week. Put something on them if you achieve them or not, share them with someone and make them happen.
Check back in here once they’re done and let me know the outcomes and how you feel. Doing this kind of thing regularly will allow your confidence to sore, you will see all sorts of positive changes start to take shape in your life and you will actively start striving for bigger and better things for yourself.
It’s time to start doing the things you avoid in order to be able to do the things you love. Every man needs to be strong in will as well as ze muscles. Work that confidence muscle and unleash your alpha!
Plus, as I eventually found out when I put the beers away – chicks dig confidence, am I right single ladies?