How To Be Confident

A take on self-criticism, and why you’re better than the majority of the people.

Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

If you clicked on this article, it means that you have doubted yourself a few times before. I too, have often had my share of doubts whenever I wanted to do something daring. The “what if I’m not good enough?” mentality has stopped me from taking actions. But through a lot of thinking, I have gained an insight which helped me overcome this obstacle. And hopefully by the end I can convince you that your over-thinking and self-criticism is nonsensical.

One of the biggest fears that stopped me from ever thinking of getting a job was the fear of being inadequate. What if I am not competent enough to do that job? There are so many people better than me, why should they hire me? Or before I started my YouTube channel, I sat down for a week and contemplated this thing.

“There are so many better content creators out there, why should they watch my shitty videos?”

I didn’t have a quality camera, a microphone, and decent lighting. I didn’t know editing, I couldn’t even speak in English to begin with. It’s my third language, and plus, I had a really nasal voice. And you — the reader — surely have had these types of negative thoughts too.

Here is what I learned from deeply thinking about the subject. And which gave me a confidence boost:

“In every areas of life, the majority of the people are incompetent; meaning they’re doing their job half-heartedly.”

This is not a scientific study, but based on psychology. I can give you a couple of examples then you can start analyzing it yourself. I am sure you have had the same experiences with people at some point.

Recently I decided to give a shirt to my father as a gift. I had bought the clothe, and only the tailoring part was left. My mother insisted that I take it to a certain tailor to whom my father was a regular customer. Their tailor-shop was so far from our house that I told her that any of the nearby tailor-shops would do. She insisted that the mentioned tailor-shop “knew their job.” Meaning they were more competent than other tailors. I obliged and gave the shirt to them, and they told me to come after it a week later. A week later I got the shirt. I gave it to my mother to have a look at it. As she was examining it, I saw that her brows knit together as in a frown.

“They’ve ruined it!” she exclaimed. Then she showed me back side of the shirt, where three noticeable holes were visible, as if stabbed accidentally by a scissor. There were also loose threads from the hems of the shirt. If that was the work of the people who “knew their work,” I wondered how lackluster would be the work of the incompetent ones.

Another time I needed a passport-sized photo, so I went to a photography studio to take pictures. In the other parts of the world, people might take their pictures themselves, but here, people provide you that service since not all people have the equipment. Anyways, as I entered this big, luxurious studio; filled with expensive lighting, cameras, tripods, and green screens, I thought: “Surely these guys earn a lot of money. They might have clients pay them a hefty paycheck for their services.” And because I was unemployed, I began to wonder if they would hire me if I asked for a job. Then I thought, “There’s no way they would hire me, someone really professional is already working here. Why would they hire me? I have no experience with the camera, or any editing stuff.” They took my picture and then I told me to come tomorrow when it’s finished. I went home.

Photo by Math on Unsplash

The next day I went there to fetch the pictures. I got them, and headed home. Once there, I opened the packet, and started examining the pictures. They were awful! They had taken from different angles, and only one out of five pictures were fine. In two of the pictures, my eyes were half-closed, as I had blinked because of the blinding flash of the camera. In another, the tip of my head was out of the frame. And in all of them, my face looked like a fried onion. The contrasts and saturations were high, and overall the whole editing gave me an inkling of their knowledge about Photoshop. I could’ve done a better editing on my phone.

This was just a demonstration of the people’s abilities, and their work in society. I could go on all day ranting about how incompetent others are. There were many times I had bought a best-sellers book, and was excited to read. But after reading it, I was disappointed. I mean there literally memes about barbers f*cking up your hair.

What does these have to do with self confidence? Well, when you compare yourself with others; you put their skills on a pedestal and ignore your own. But having a first hand experience of their competency will make you realize how much better you’re than them. I’m sure if you think about your own experiences, you’ll have had similar experiences like these mentioned above. I’m grateful I didn’t let the self-doubts stop me from taking actions. My doubts about starting a YouTube channel seem stupid now that I see people with shitty mics, and low quality cameras, get thousands of views. It only proves my point about people doing their job half-heartedly. If you can try a little harder than them, you will immediately put yourself ahead of the competition. But you can’t start if you don’t realize this:

“People who are less competent than you — are achieving so much out there.”

And for those who still have their doubts after taking actions: having doubts about your work is actually a good sign about your skill level.

Self doubts as a sign of competency:

What if you do your work after giving all your best, and you’re still not satisfied with it?

“That means you’ve a high standard.”

Only the people who have seen “what’s good” can be doubtful about their work. Since they always compare their work to that standard. This is why dumb people tend to think that they’re better than others, since they’ve no standards to compare themselves with. But that doesn’t mean you should wait till your work/skill is perfect to display it to the world. Perfectionism is another debilitating disease for your creativity and work.

You are better than you think. Period. If you’re still doubtful, take a look around you. Have your ever wondered why the world has never seen a days peace since the dawn of civilization? Because the world is run by clowns. The biggest example is the modern educational system. It has kept it’s stupid teaching methods for two centuries now, and still no one has bothered to reform it. I’ll end this article with the saying of George Carlin:

“Bullshit is everywhere. Bullshit is rampant. Parents are full of shit; teachers are full of shit; clergymen are full of shit; law enforcement people are full of shit. The entire country is completely full of shit.”

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