If You Don’t Seem Capable…You Aren’t
August 22, 2015
The way you hold your wine glass.
How leisurely you pour your words.
The conviction found in your fork, as you slowly and quite deliberately raise each bite to your mouth, as if rushes were for commoners and you hold the greatest secrets of the universe right there in between your forefinger and your thumb.
Maybe you do.
After all, there’s something about being the most confident person at the table that wreaks a healthy havoc in the minds of others.
It’s unlike any spell you could cast; any conversation you could hold. The confident person—the truly confident—who elegantly manages to know exactly who they are, while not being arrogant about it…those are the ones who we want to pay attention to.
Not because confidence is attractive (though it is undeniably that), but because confidence is a language of its own; a signless sign language that makes statements without having to say more than hello. Statements that have us all sitting on the edge of our $500 Aeron chairs. (Nice try, ergo dynamics.)
Confidence is a tug of the human psyche.
A way of communicating how, exactly, this is going to go.
And when done correctly, it’s more beautiful than watching the New York City ballet.
Speaking of New York, I’m on my way there now. I’ve got some interesting business activities to tend to earlier in the week (read: lions and tigers and lawyers, oh my) and, of course, some really fun business activities, too. Meeting with my favorite book agent. Dinner with my favorite Belgray. AND RIDING IN ALL THE UBERS, of course.
New York is the place where
the confident skin their knees.
It's a place where everything you’ve ever worked for culminates at the doorstep of a couple of street addresses, complete with an army of sticky, flattened little blackened gum balls guarding the front entrance.
Except there is no real army of soldiers, standing at attention. (Get the hell off my page, penis joke.)
In fact, no one's standing guard to your big New York success.
The obvious next line here would be, “You’re the only thing standing in the way of your success,” blah blah blah, but beyond being disgustingly cliché, I don’t know that that’s entirely true.
Sometimes we do give it our all. Sometimes we do fall flat on our faces trying to make things work. Sometimes we aren’t necessarily standing in our own way—we’re just doing what we can to stand.
But there’s an ugly truth about the human race, you know. And that ugly truth is this: It doesn’t matter how much you know, how much you try, or how much you want something.
If you don’t seem capable, you aren’t.
And in this way, confidence doesn’t just affect an outcome—it effects it.
Which is why growing yours is one of the best business moves you can make.
:: Look at the way confident people carry themselves.
:: Research charisma. (Here’s a book I dig. Tip: The audio version is nice.)
:: I like Steve’s tip for approaching someone you’re interested in talking to within 3 seconds—or else you’ll talk yourself out of it.
:: Try an improv class—they say this works wonders for raking together your confidence.
Remember: A person's perception of you IS the truth, no matter how much we want to throw pickle juice on that idea.
We hate that idea so much because it hijacks our control; makes us feel like we’re helpless.
But, you’re not.
You never are.
Because like all things, perception, too, is malleable.
That’s not to say that in a manipulative way; that’s to say that in an honest way.
The certainty with which you utter the first words out of your mouth—you bet it affects your odds.
The way your vocal cords vibrate, modulating the flow of air being expelled from your lungs. Not trivial.
How fast or slow you speak your peace. (Hint: slow = confidence; people who speak quickly are often afraid their opinions aren’t worth hearing.)
These things all matter. (And note: Not one of them is about what you say, but how you say it.)
So I guess the real question is:
How bad do you want it?
You’re either in, or you’re out.
You’re either going to raise your chin, or lower it.
And you’re either going to charge the steps of every NYC address, blackened gum balls and all, and blow the world away—
—or you’re going to cower in your living room, and let the world blow by you.
Like everything, it's always a choice.
And like everything, she's yours.