3 Doses of Confidence

Imani Simpson
4 min readAug 30, 2021

It’s not about appearing confident, it’s about reflecting truth.

Photo by Lucas Alves from Pexels

“Not giving a f*ck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different.” — Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F —

The other day I read an article around approval seeking behavior. Apparently this starts in children who first learn to seek approval from their parents. Then over time children are conditioned to seek approval from others. As an ambivert, I understand the balance of seeking approval and not giving a f*ck.

3 ideas to keep in mind when feeling uncertain.

1. Stay Seated

You may have heard this term at a yoga class, cycle class, meditation, or in grade school “stay in your seat”. The teacher usually says this when the students have become restless. You move, wiggle, looking for something to distract yourself because it hurts to stay still. Few people have moved into a space in life where they are comfortable being alone, with their own thoughts.

These days there’s a constant urge to be validated, seen, heard. We’ve evolved our core desires from a daily feed me to a daily look at me, talk to me, listen to me. Our core then has become weak because it requires external validation. The question begs why can’t you validate yourself?

As an ambivert I’m very comfortable with being alone. I often travel alone, or take myself on dates to the movies, a favorite restaurant, or the pool. I am also comfortable doing this with a person/people but have found that most people aren’t a fit. Sometimes I want to watch a movie alone without subtitles from a friend. Or eat tacos but my friend wants burgers and wont bargain. Or I’d rather just read at the pool but maybe my friend just wants to take pics. Learning your preferences helps.

You become certain from simply understanding what you prefer. Why? Choice. You develop the ability to choose what you want and don’t want to do. When practicing this it will become easier to identify places, people, and experiences that are worth your time.

2. The Same Emotions Exist At Every Level

Since 18, I’ve lived in several big cities as a single woman. City life brings many experiences and simple survival has required me to observe. In the beginning I operated on intuition and feelings (still do). Then I began seeing patterns and synonymity think Law of Similarity.

Also, collecting various experiences gives you confidence in that your senses become heightened in a “I’ve seen, felt, or heard this before” kind of way. Your awareness rises with more experience so you’re confident in your decisions to navigate through them should they reoccur. Think compare and contrast — Law of Contrast.

On both sides I’ve witnessed the same core emotions. Fear and greed.

To know that you have basic emotions like fear and greed is to know that the homeless person on the street also has greed. It’s to know that someone like Jeff Bezos has fear. People tend to think the poor are fearful and the rich greedy, but the inverse is also true. Both emotions exist in them, me, and you.

We all want the same thing more or less, we just go about achieving it differently. Understanding that fundamental truth is comforting. When you step out alone, you see just how similar we truly are.

3. You Can’t Purchase Confidence

Society can demand some pretty high standards for you to feel relevant in life. You must make 6–8 figures, be in shape, dress well, have clear skin, perfect teeth, speak clearly, have a strong sense of self (but not to strong), manage relationships, & obtain 100,000+ followers on Instagram. All before 30.

Why? So a person can feel validated by a society that judges them based on subjective byproducts of “success”. Mhm, sounds like bullshit. What I’m hearing is speculators speculating. Everyone is unique enough that it’s silly to put anyone on a pedestal. You’d have to factor in everything it took, or didn’t take for them to feel that confidence. Often it’s a false confidence, especially when someone is signaling with stuff. Many times we buy things to hide.

The truth is all of us operate on survival mode using our monkey brain. Many don’t take risks because hello we want to survive. So then it’s easy to go out and buy shit to make us appear better than we feel. It requires more energy to take risks, to introspect and to really learn about the self and reality as it is. The reward from introspecting is much higher though. We build certainty into our decisions in our world and that helps us better understand reality.

That’s confidence.