Bullet proof confidence sounds good, right?
Take everything life throws at you and shrug it off. All those people taking shots at you, and you don’t give a flying fuck. All the naysayers, critics and judgmental ass-hats no longer get to you.
Thanks to your bullet-proof confidence, you’re unassailable.
Great. Apart from 3 huge problems…
1. You’re human
Nobody is bullet-proof, and neither is your confidence. Life will always have something up it’s sleeve ready to surprise you. There’s always the chance that the rug will get pulled out from under you. That’s life.
Being hurt, feeling low or finding yourself lost is not a weakness to be fixed. It’s not a sign you’re broken or less than.
It’s a sign that you’re human.
Aiming for bullet-proof confidence is just a way to not get hurt. But that’s being closed and blinkered, and that’s not what confidence is.
2. You’re allowed to shake in your boots
The flipside of the desire to have bullet proof confidence is the notion that you’re a wimp if you’re shaking in your boots in the face of a challenge.
Let me call bullshit on that. Being scared doesn’t mean you’re not confident. It means you’re someplace new, faced with something you’ve never done before.
It’s okay to be scared in the face of that. It would be arrogant or complacent not to be.
Confidence is the thing that allows you to find a kernel of strength or peace or truth that allows you to take that next step, no matter how shakily you take it.
3. You need to be scathed
If you had bullet-proof confidence you could walk through a bullet storm and be unscathed. Not a scratch on you.
But I want to be scathed. I want the marks that show where I’ve come from and what I’ve been through. They don’t define me, but they sure as hell are part of me.
Fuck being smooth and perfect and unsacthed by life. It’s the edges and marks that are most interesting and beautiful.
It’s on the inside…
Being bullet-proof is all about having a hard shell that makes it impossible for those pesky bullets to get to you.
But it’s what you have on the inside, not the shell you construct on the outside, that fuels natural confidence.
Your values, for example. The things in yourself, others and out there in the world that are most important to you. They’re the foundations, cornerstones and bedrock for who you are. They’re the reasons that the most compelling or meaningful moments in your life have been so compelling and meaningful—because you’ve been honoring, expressing or demonstrating one of your values.
Your strengths. The combination of your experience, skills and talents that you can apply and that leave you feeling strengthened.
How you are when you’re at your best—that feeling of firing on all cylinders, being in flow and being at the top of your game. Which is also a place where you never even question whether you’re confident enough or good enough to do something. You just do it.
These things are hard-wired into you. They’re not going anywhere. You can always trust them.
The more you chase it, the more trying to be bullet-proof will hurt you.
So strangely, the key to having bullet-proof confidence (or its natural equivalent) is by practicing vulnerability.
Are you up for the challenge?