Irrationally, Irresponsibly, “Supremely” Confident
Posted by Michael Vacanti
Listen, what other people think about you is none of your business.
You need to disregard their opinions if you ever want to behave with absolute confidence. This is the key to being a genuine version of yourself – the best version of yourself.
Maybe you think Mike Tyson is a certified wackjob, a danger to society, an insane man or a reckless animal.
Maybe you think a 19 year-old Tyson is the best boxer of all time – with swagger and success that you find inspiring.
Guess what? Mike Tyson doesn’t care what you think. This guy was so focused on his goals and dreams that he didn’t have time to worry about being judged by others.
“…I’ve lost all my sensitivity for being embarrassed and being shy.”
“Can I tell you something? It doesn’t phase me what anyone says about me. It doesn’t matter what anyone says about me.”
-Mike Tyson (in vid below)
“You can’t sing. Your music sucks.”
I’d hear you if I cared what you were saying
“Your hair is gay. Do you even lift? You look like a chick.”
I’d hear you if you weren’t talking underwater
“Pull your pants up – you make-up wearing douche-bag.”
I’d hear you but you haters look so small from up here
Age 13 Bieber is belting Christian tunes on the steps of a church. In an era where glorifying God somehow makes you a “Bible thumper” and at an age when kids are most influenced by “cool” and “normal” – whatever allows them to “fit in” with their judgmental peers.
It sure as hell would have been easier to stay home and sing in the basement. He would have avoided the inevitable smirks and laughs from passersby – judgments of total strangers. Bieber didn’t care. The thoughts and opinions of others had no bearing on his decision to go sing in the busy public streets.
Had it not been for this video, and another half-dozen vids posted to youtube, Justin Bieber would not be the mega-successful, love-to-hate superstar he is today.
There were 1000s of reasons for Bieber to avoid posting those videos. Fear of hateful comments. Worry of the “dislike” button getting mashed. Kids at school surely mocking him.
He didn’t care. He utterly disregarded what other people thought about him.
Scooter Braun stumbled upon Bieber’s youtube videos, Braun introduced Bieber to Usher and the rest is history.
No One Cares
Before I say anything else, people really don’t care about you. I don’t mean that your mom doesn’t love you, she does. I mean most people are too wrapped up in themselves and their own insecurities to judge you.
Beyond that, they really don’t care about the things causing your insecurity.
- I just ate a huge meal – I can’t wear a swimsuit
- I have this big red zit on my forehead
- My hair is unshowered and gross
No one cares.
- No one can differentiate your carb-depleted abs and your I-just-ate-1500-calories abs.
- No one notices that zit. Or they see it and think nothing.
- No one cares about the amount of grease in your hair.
Well, maybe some girl-on-girl hair judgment, but that is outside of my expertise despite having four sisters. Did I just say “girl-on-girl” to the internet?
I DO Care What People Think Of Me – Why Is This Bad?
When you care what other people think of you, you are not being a genuine version of yourself. You are changing your behavior in an effort to control how you are perceived. This makes your words and actions disingenuous.
As you interact, you are judging and modifying your own words, body language and actions in an effort to control how they are received. This leads to weak, unassertive behavior. And it prevents you from connecting with others in a meaningful way.
It is unapologetic action and emotion from your heart that will project a clear, honest message and allow people to connect with you.
How YOU Can Utterly Disregard Other People’s Opinions
Step 1: Logic
Sit down in a quiet room and think for a minute. Grab a legal pad and take notes if you need to. Let’s analyze the upside and downside of a specific action.
Not just any action, an action that stirs up your stomach. An action that the mere thought of elicits nerves and anxiety.
This first example is a softball to write about because 99% of guys will never cold approach a female (sober) in their entire lives.
Example 1: You see a cute girl walking on the street. Do you go talk to her?
Downside: You walk over and say “Hi.” She completely blows you off. A random guy nearby sees the interaction and laughs.
You are never going to see either of these people again. She wasn’t receptive to your greeting. He laughed in a critical way secretly masking his jealousy for the balls it took you to act. You continue living your life unphased. Nothing is different than two minutes ago – except the fact that you pushed yourself to action in a difficult situation thus making it easier to repeat in the future.
Upside: You walk over and say “Hi.” She smiles and says “Hi” back to you. You chat for a while and she seems nice. You get her number. Maybe you go out on some dates. Maybe you hook up. Maybe you end up not really liking her. Maybe you marry this girl.
Given the possible outcomes, why do men shy away 99% of the time? Why do they let that voice in their head control them? They are afraid of what other people will think. And they haven’t thought through (and reinforced) the logic behind their decision for action vs. inaction.
Example 2: You don’t exercise, but part of you wants to begin. Do you replace one hour of television with one hour of gym time three nights per week?
You read up on a good training program. You go to the gym…
Downside: You have to miss some reruns of Millionaire Matchmaker. You feel like everyone is watching you and you are mocked by gym regulars (note: this doesn’t happen). You feel sore. You don’t see any visible change after 2 sessions, so you stop going.
Upside: You feel a bit awkward at first, but by your 5th visit you start to enjoy training. You feel yourself getting stronger and you notice less stomach fat when you look in the mirror. You are more energetic, healthier and more confident. Your physical change is creating an internal change – you look people in the eye and share your thoughts assertively. You notice increased functional strength while moving a couch. Your sleeves feel tighter but your pants waist feels looser. You think you catch your cute coworker staring at you with wide eyes; you confirm this when you meet an old friend for lunch “Damn! You look good! Do you work out five hours everyday or what?!” All of this motivates you to keep training harder.
Gym or TV? It seems by logical analysis that we have another no-brainer.
A no-brainer? Why then, Mr. Vacanti, do men not approach women and most people would rather watch Khloe Kardashian’s life unfold than exercise?
Because it is only a no-brainer in the comfort of your living room. But, when adrenaline is pumping and it is the time to act – when you see that cute girl and feel your stomach turn or you leave the office exhausted with no passion to workout – that is when it is impossible to rely on the logical part of your brain to induce action. Which is why step 2 is so important.
Step 2: Daily Reinforcement of Logic
You made a decision using logic. You are going to lift weights three days per week. You are going to say hi to pretty girls. You are going to [insert action].
Now you need to reinforce the choice you made. You need to be sure of this choice – so sure that you can smash that weak little voice in your head. The voice trying to rationalization inaction.
You: Man, I feel lazy and soft. I should start that program today.
Weak little voice: Actually.. I’ll start next week. Yeah, you can’t start a regimen unless it’s the beginning of a new month anyway!
You: Wow, look at that girl. She is cute. I should talk to her. . .
Weak little voice: Actually, she’s probably not my type.. Those boots are kinda weird too. Plus I see cute girls all the time. I’ll just talk to the next one I see!
Quit lying to yourself. Take a sledge hammer to that weak little voice in your head because every time you succumb to it’s rationalization you are becoming a worse version of yourself, and you never know how many more opportunities you will get.
What are specific reinforcement strategies? Listening to certain songs or motivational speeches can be helpful. (I’d like to think On The Regimen provides some motivational material). Words on paper or a photo folded up in your wallet can reinforce your decision. A note on your mirror or a picture on your wall.
Personally, I knew I didn’t want to be a corporate drone, but this notion didn’t seem normal to anyone I ever came in contact with over the age of 30. I made a decision using logic to save some cash and quit my job but needed many sources of reinforcement to remain committed to my logic in the face of doubters.
I taped the following picture below my computer monitor.
Every morning I’d wake up at 5am and grind. I’d look at this picture and it reminded me of the choice that I made. It reminded me that if I worked hard for a period of time, then I would be in a position for action. This was a symbol that it was OK to pursue my vision.
People are going to try to tell you how to live your life. This doesn’t necessarily make them haters – it might just be what they do. They judge others and give their unsolicited opinion as if it is God’s word.
This can be just as damaging as feedback from haters. You need to block this shit out. You need to be deaf to these people. You cannot let someone else’s opinion be a roadblock, or even a slight detour, on the quest to fulfill your vision.
Whether it’s a poster or picture, a movie, a note you keep in your wallet or a song you blast on repeat, find something. Find something to reinforce the decision that you made using logic. Make sure you reinforce this every single day.
Because when you utterly disregard what people think of you, the world opens up. It becomes a giant playground, and you will be excited about every day of your life.
Good tune with a high school emo flair – my reinforcement
KeeliThis hit so close to home! I am going through a lot right now (getting married/transitioning out of corp life into fitness) and I doubt myself all of the time. I am probably considered crazy for wanting to leave my desk job but I know I'll go crazy if I stay. This article just gave me the strength to keep pushing. Thank you!
October 6, 2015 at 3:30 pm |