Thursday, March 04, 2010

Courage > Confidence

Everyone talks about confidence. Mainstream dating talks about confidence. The community talks about confidence. The average man or woman on the street talks about the importance of having more confidence.

First of all, don't confuse confidence with competence. You may claim to want to be a more confident communicator or lover. But do you really? Wouldn't you rather just be a better communicator or lover? Wouldn't you rather simply be more skilled?

Confidence means: "belief in your own ability: self-assurance in your ability to succeed."

Competence means: "the ability to do something well, measured against a standard, especially ability acquired through experience or training."

There it is. Do you simply want belief in your ability, or do you want the actual ability?

Confidence can signal competence. But correlation is not causation. It is competence that breeds both success and confidence.

Confidence can be faked. False confidence -- delusional confidence -- looks the same as core confidence. This is the essence of "fake it until you make it." But competence -- actual skill -- cannot be faked.

Competence > Confidence

So how do you gain competence? Experience. Practice. Momentum.

So how do you gain experience and momentum? Courage.

Courage > Confidence

Confidence means: "belief in your own ability: self-assurance in your ability to succeed."

Courage means: "the ability to face difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action."

Once again, do you want belief in your ability, or do you want the actual ability?

Confidence is an attitude. Courage is an ability. It implies action.

Confidence means acting with some assurance of success. Courage means acting despite having no assurance whatsoever.

Confidence says "act as if," while courage says, "ACT ANYWAY."

The frustration of being a beginner at anything can elevate the desire to be confident. When you haven’t built up skill, a lack of success can be painful. The response is often a desire for more confidence. This is a bit misguided.

Confidence is overrated. The only way to succeed is to continue to try, while making adjustments from experience and feedback. The path toward experience and feedback is having the courage to take action.

Many guys try to shortcut the beginner's process by faking a greater level of confidence than their skill allows. Negative feedback starts to undermine the false confidence and it becomes difficult to sustain.

Worse, by assuming a level of confidence above your skill, you cut off opportunities to learn. Instead of recognizing feedback and calibrating from it, you ignore it. Eventually you give up because you refuse to learn from your mistakes.

It is confidence that has you trying to avoid failure. It is confidence that convinces you to ignore fear.

Courage embraces fear. Courage is recognizing that something else is more important than the fear. Courage is making a choice to take action IN SPITE of fear.

Futhermore, courage does not imply any particular skill level. We all need to practice courage with humility and remain open to the possibility of improvement.

It takes courage to open, courage to escalate, courage to be authentic. Not confidence.

Courage trumps confidence.



Blogger Jure Vrscaj said...

Awesome. This post should probably be read by every aspiring PUA. It takes more balls to actually open to what the girl(and the world) is telling you, than to ignore the signals completely, believing this is the true way of the Great Alpha Male..


March 07, 2010  
Blogger SMoKeLioN said...

Great posts these days.

I find that when I first started actively pursuing women, before I read any pickup material, I had very little confidence. I did however have A LOT of courage. I wasnt sure what to do, so I would just B-line it to them, regardless of any social circumstances (since I wasnt paying attention to them), and then improvise. Some girls thought I was rude, but others were enamored by this.

Years go by, and I seem to have lost the childlike courageousness I used to have. But! the confidence is now through the roof.

I think I should take a step back maybe...

March 09, 2010  
Anonymous Nilande said...

I love this, but I have something to add, I hope you don't mind.
"Confidence" can also be the confidence in your own ability or skills. Lots of people have skils and abilities but for various reasons they don't realize that they do, so they have a diminished confidence in their ability i.e. a a reduced perception of what they are able to do and to achieve.
Having said that, I totally agree: Courage beats confidence every time.
Question: Shouldn't courage generates confidence? The courage of facing mistakes makes us stronger.
@SmokeLion: you're so right. I'm more confident but less courageous. How did that happen?

April 20, 2010  

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