I’ve become convinced that my crippling lack of confidence is becoming a bit of a hindrance. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve been told to be more confident (at least 9000 times a day). It’s something that has plagued me forever. Even as a kid, my school reports all said the same thing ‘needs more confidence’ as though they had been rubber stamped by every teacher, for every subject, for every year until I left. I’m now almost convinced that if I was more confident, I might kick-ass (but probably not).
Compared to how I used to be, I think I am pretty confident these days. At one point I was too scared to go out for a meal or drink in a bar, because the prospect of actually having to order food or drink from another person was completely terrifying. In the past few years there have been various little confidence hurdles I’ve (somehow) managed to get over, but others are a little trickier. What’s frustrating, is the way that people tell me to ‘just be more confident’ as if a) I’d never realised that before and b) there’s some kind of switch inside that just needs flicking on – releasing some kind of previously untapped super-confidence resource that’s just been lying dormant until now. I don’t think that switch exists, or if it does, it’s faulty and I keep flicking it on and off out of boredom. I don’t know how to be more confident and (hand on heart) I have tried.
The thing is, whenever I attempt to be more confident, I get stuck in an endless loop, because I hate cocky, over-confident knobheads. While I want to be confident, I don’t want to be a knobhead, and it is a scientific fact that there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance:
My problem (as with everything) is I try too hard. Whenever I attempt to be confident, I accidentally launch myself over that fine line, and end up talking like a cocky-know-it-all. Afterwards, I tend to despise myself for being a knobhead and thus, remind myself why it’s much better to just keep quiet and not speak at all. But then, not speaking at all reverts me back to my coy little ways, which in turn makes me feel like I’m missing out… It’s a vicious cycle. No. Really – here’s a diagram to prove the theory:
A perfect example of a vicious cycle – it’s super vicious. You just have to imagine it having really sharp teeth.
So, anyway, vicious cycle, endless loop whatever you want to call it – I can’t escape it. I’m pretty sure most other people manage to go through their daily lives without lurching from crippling shyness to cocky-knobheadedness, and if you are one of those people, then I feel I desperately need to know your secret. My question is: how do you become confident without becoming a knobhead?
PS. I’m not sure how you spell knobhead. ‘Knobhead’ and ‘nobhead’ are apparently both acceptable. I think.