Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Confidence doesn't look like confidence

  • "I got this, don't worry."
  • "Nothing's going to go wrong, trust me."
  • "Here, let me show you how to do that"
  • "What? You don't know what that is?"
These, along with many other, behaviors are how people have learned to hijack our brains and exude confidence.

In Bangladesh, when things used to be cheap, someone like me with a steady job in America had lots of money. And I have a few cousins with lots of business ideas. And they would exude confidence about their business idea. And at first, I fell for it, being very young, but soon I started seeing through it. 

They would give me guarantees, that was the red flag. I would tell them that "guarantees are impossible." And they would have no response. I would ask them what could go wrong, and they couldn't tell me, "Nothing's going to go wrong, trust me." I would ask them what they'd do, if this or that went wrong, "You wouldn't understand. But trust me, I know what I'm doing." And my reply, "No thanks, I can't help you with your business."

Here in America, people are better at business. But, for every truly confident, successful, businessman, there's an equally confident and success-exuding shyster.

Here's what real confidence looks like:
  • "I don't know, I'll find out."
  • "Hmmm... I wonder."
  • "Are you sure? What makes you so sure?"
  • "I've seen this before, and that happened. I think it's because of so and such. What do you think?"
  • "..." Silence. Listening.
Real confidence doesn't look like confidence.

Real confidence is knowing, and accepting that:
  • There's always a chance of something going wrong.
  • People are often innocently unfair and unjust. They are blind to being unfair, from not having thought about it. 
  • There are a few who know they're being unfair, and still continue and don't care to change. You will encounter these people. They will probably hold some position over you. People like that easily come into petty power.
  • Things take time. You must have patience.
  • Things will always change. Whatever you are doing now, won't matter so much later. 
  • Things ten tend to break apart with time. Your business, your relationship, your ideas, your body. If you don't want it to, you must prepare it fight against the gravity of time.
  • Everything worth doing is going to be hard. There is no easy way. The hard way is the easiest way in the long run.
  • Often, good intentions lead to bad consequences. And sometimes bad intentions lead to good outcomes. Time will tell. And often it's surprising.
  • Every action has both good AND bad consequences. The ratio of good:bad might be a way to rationalize it. Sometimes it's not.
  • There's most likely a better solution, but it will be hard to find, and it will take time.
People with real confidence, I've noticed, seem and look weak to those who don't have real confidence, which is unfortunately the majority of people. People with real confidence, but don't know how to also exude that confidence with a strong handshake and smile, don't pass job interviews easily. People with real confidence, who don't know how to compromise with idiots, piss of people who can't understand why they're asking so many "why?"s and "how come?"s, and don't hop on the bandwagon of their stupid, thoughtless, impatient ideas.

Real confidence causes people to be wary, to be careful, to slow down, to pause and think. They explore new ideas and ask questions about different ways something can be done. They reject old ideas that others hold onto, even though they don't make sense anymore. They're not afraid to do that, they have real confidence. Confident people are used to the unknown, and they've long ago built fortifications against being wrong about what they're doing. 

Why can't I do it this way?
I don't know if it's any better, and I won't know until I find out. You go off and do it the usual way, I'll let you know if this way works or not.
Yah, something can and most likely will go wrong. Yes, it won't be very easy. Yes, it might be impossible. Yes they might be laughing at me. Yes, I might get hurt, but I don't think I will too badly.
Who knows though right? I'd like to find out. Why? Cause I can see how everyone else is doing it, and I can see where they're going, and it looks fine where they end up. But, I'd like to see if I can go somewhere else.

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