confidence

Confidence and Being Yourself

confidence1If you go around and ask women what is the one thing they want in a man you will get a myriad of different answers. But one answer that seems to always come through is this:

We want a confident man.

This may be more true in the Christian community than outside of it. Some Christian men for seem to think that being docile, nice Bible reading, preacher boys is going to get the girl of their dreams.

Hmmmm. And where did you learn this from?

Unfortunately there is a complication with being confident. Society has created a set of rules by which men are to abide. Men must like “manly things”. These things include but are not limited to sports, beer, and being macho. This is the man you should be according to society. Driven by basic needs like food, sex, and noise. Unsophisticated. With little desire for meaningful communication. Tough on the outside. Lacking substance on the inside.

Another stereotype is that men should dominate women. Men should be decision makers to the point of telling women what to do. Men should be respected simply because they are men. We have the authority and power. Feminism has done a good job of debunking some of this thinking (perhaps going too far in some cases). But it is still strong in some subgroups.

In an attempt to be “different” we now have a sub group of boys who have become effeminate (I’ve noticed a large number of these in Christian ministry). These men have attempted to relate to women by becoming like them (like their stereotype anyway) soft, sensitive, emotional, indecisive. Granted the attempt to be different and not except the socially norm in noble, except when you lose your manhood and yourself in the process.

So how do we find a balance? How do we be real man without losing who we really are? What in fact is a real man?

Defining a real man goes a bit beyond the scope of one blog post. So let’s stick to this simple definition:

A real man is a male who is confident being his best self.

Part of being a real man is being confident. But that is no nearly all of it. Because being confident in an area you have no business being confident in is just arrogant and honestly a turn off. Confidence is perhaps better understood in the context of leadership. A real man takes control of a situation that is floundering and makes a decision.

  • Six friends can’t decide where to go to dinner. The man says “let’s go here” (but he’s not going to force his will).
  • Several guys sit at a bar talking about the cute girl three seats down. A real man is talking to the girl (but he doesn’t need to talk to her just to feel validated).
  • Young adults often feel intimidated by their superiors who see things differently. A real man carefully weighs the facts and if upon consideration still deems the older gentleman wrong respectfully disagrees and moves on (but he does not feel the need for everyone to agree with him in order to be validated).
  • Boys in relationships will often wait till their girlfriend pressures them to take things to the next level, to make things official, before making a decision. A real man takes action before action is forced into his hand (but he is not afraid of taking the action “not now” and waiting).

Where does being yourself fit in? It doesn’t. Unless you are being your best self.

  • You and I both know what this means. Myself stays in bed for two hours watching YouTube videos of my favorite DJ’s. My best self gets out of bed and creates my own mix because I love the music so.
  • Myself walks into a room full of new people and finds comfort spending the evening at the side of the one person I know. My best self doesn’t care if I make a fool of myself by being the life of the party or engaging in a deep controversial conversation with strangers who may judge me.
  • Myself wants to be seen doing what society deems as acceptable. My best self deems what I feel is acceptable based on my morals and life goals. And then allows to society to either judge me or praise me with little to no impact on my decisions.
  • Myself wallows in the fact that I did not get what I wanted. My best self recognizes that reject and loss can be good things because they free me up to pursue that which is more important and people who I can share a deeper relationship with.

You see you can be outwardly confident being yourself. Being a jerk to everyone. Being overconfident. Being loud and alpha. But being inwardly confident is often more humble than anything. You realize you are not always right, not always the best at everything, not always going to get what you think you want. But you are ok with that. And true to yourself regardless of what other people think.

So where should your confidence come from?

Simply put, confidence should come from the fact that you have sought truth, you know who you are, and you are working hard to be your best self every day. If you constantly live a life doing things you believe are morally wrong you have no right being confident. If you consistently make bold choices that you have no desire to make other than to people please, you don’t have a good foundation for confidence.

 

Author: Jesse Leake

Personal questions or comments? Need advice? Email me thelovemanifesto@gmail.com

Check me out on Twitter @jesse_leake

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10 thoughts on “Confidence and Being Yourself

  1. I would generally agree. However, as someone who just took a class on Christian Thought, and read from a bunch of atheists to boot, I’d point out:

    1) “My best self deems what I feel is acceptable based on my morals and life goals. And then allows society to either judge me or praise me with little to no impact on my decisions.” Hitler did this (as did a host of other evil men).
    vs.
    2) “Simply put, confidence should come from the fact that you have sought truth, you know who you are, and you are working hard to be your best self every day.” Truth with a capital “T”?

    On what standards can we say one type of man is better than another? Or can we even say that a “real man” looks any different than a “real woman” other than physiologically? Saying that a real man seeks truth implies that there is truth to be known. Which implies that a person can be wrong, even if their “best self” deems they are correct.

    Not to pick hairs. I think confidence and being yourself (as opposed to a people-pleaser) are extremely important for anyone. Also, making a decision not because a woman pressures you, but out of a desire to move forward and be decisive, is a highly desirable trait. I guess I’d just rephrase it slightly to say a real man is one who is confident in who he is in Christ, and moves forward decisively into unknown situations, bringing order into chaos (whether relational or otherwise), based on his confidence in Christ.

  2. This right here!! Yes! “Simply put, confidence should come from the fact that you have sought truth, you know who you are, and you are working hard to be your best self every day.”

  3. This almost reminds me a little bit of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Confidence is a major win, and it is a turn off for me when I ask a guy where or what he would like to go/do and he has no opinion. I like a guy that can plan a date, show me something new and takes initiative, or else it feels like he’s a pushover and boring. So, the quiet, meek guys can definitely be overlooked.

    1. I hear the same thing from so many girls. A guy who cannot make a decision or does back and forth all the time is just not attractive. And it does not have to be anything spectacular. The guy just needs to make a decision. And show that he can take initiative if needed. Thanks for the comment.

      1. Yes, exactly. It sends the message that he knows what he wants/likes and isn’t just doing anything just because. That’s an attractive quality in friends and bosses as well. It means they are confident with their own decisions and who they are, and more likely to be a straight-shooter, and in some weird sub-conscious way: not be a cheater. Because they know what they want.

        1. I think when it comes to honesty and cheating, a man who is straightforward and confident is less likely to cheat because he is OK breaking up with someone when he realizes the relationship is over. He is not desperate to hold on to the past because he fears being alone. If he feels the relationship has run its course he will end it. Rather than running a side relationship behind the girls back.

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