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All confidence comes from “knowledge”

What does it mean to be confident, or feel confident, or have confidence?

There seem to be so many contexts.

I had the insight recently that confidence is in how much knowledge your brain thinks it has of what will happen in the future.

In other words, “I know this is what will happen” or “I know this is the truth we will discover” is the only, fundamental source of all kinds of confidence.

You feel unconfident about driving a car in the mountains, or about going up to a beautiful girl in the subway and saying hi, or about a martial arts competition, because you don’t know what will happen. The more you know or think you know, the more confident you feel.

“I will steer the car and it will stay in control and I will get through the mountains without issue.”

“I will walk up to my opponent, and I’m most likely going to beat them because of X or Y.”

“I will say hi to that girl and we will have a lovely interaction; at worst, nothing bad will happen to me, I will feel safe and happy throughout the day.”

The different effective ways of acquiring confidence, whether it’s to manipulate your brain using visualizations and affirmations, or through sheer action and collecting practical experience, or through diligent study and preparation, all have the same basis.

They give you the sense that you can predict the future in that area. It also goes to show why confidence is so subjective. Nobody can be confident about everything.

You may be confident about going on dates women but not about picking stocks (or vice-versa), because with one you can predict the likely outcome, but not with the other.

You can become confident in your ability to do anything, by keeping your promises to yourself everyday. Over time, your brain thinks it has knowledge of the future: that what you say you’ll do will get done.

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