One of my geeky hobbies is studying people’s confidence levels. When I meet someone who seems to be very confident, I want to learn how they got that way. I also want to know what balances their personality, what part of their persona is less confident. And I am curious if they were less confident at some point in their life. Does a person’s outward confidence sometimes mask inward insecurity?
Do you ever think this way? Do you look at confident people as role models for any part of your own personality? How confident are you in various aspects of your life?
I am highly confident in most of what makes me me, but that comes as a result of decades of study, thought and intentional behavior and attitude changes. I was quite the bundle of insecurity in my youth. My parents were generally supportive but one thing they taught me, curiosity, also led me to question many of their beliefs and expectations. As a result I often experienced conflict between charting my own path and living up to the expectations other people had of what my paths should be. I considered myself odd, in a negative way; now I celebrate my oddness. I am not all that odd but I still chart my own path for the most part and I usually have the confidence to do so.
Lists and charts appeal to me so I have a mental (and sometimes written) graphic of my confidence progress from then till now. Geeky, yes! Damn proud of that! Some examples, using a scale from 1 (insecure) to 5 (confident): comfort in small social settings (then 1, now 4s), appeal to women (then 1, now 3.5), taking career risks (then 1, now 4), photography (then 1, now 4.5), writing for work (then 1, now 4s and 5s), writing unrelated to work (then 1, now 4), sex (then 1, now 3s or 4), public speaking without notes (then 1, now 3.5), public speaking with notes (then 2, now high 4s), trying new things (then 1, now 3s and 4s), the total package of what I do for a living (then 1s and 2s, now 5).
Funny thing is this: I have always had high confidence in problem solving and in the ability to get myself out of any mess I get myself into. I give myself 5s in both of those, then and now.
What about you? Think about your own confidence levels and give yourself scores in some of these areas. Feel free to write about it in the comments section. If you know me in real life, email your thoughts to me; because if you know me you know I am insatiably curious about you. And I’m confident that I can make you comfortable sharing your inner thoughts and feelings with me.