How To Be Confident
Posted by Michael Vacanti
Dude, that cute girl who is a fan of yours is here.
I pretend not to hear.
“She is on the ladder machine. You should definitely go say hi.”
A girl at the gym recognized me from the Internet once. Apparently she is here.
I lay the 40 pound dumbbells by my feet and remove an earbud.
“I don’t know man, she probably thought I was someone else. Like, Steve Cook, maybe.”
Roman’s face relaxes and his jaw drops slightly, he pauses to make sure I’m serious, then, dumbstruck, he firmly states:
You look nothing like Steve Cook.
As a fight or flight sensation rises from my stomach to my throat, I wordlessly turn away from my very good friend and pretend to stretch my hamstrings.
Well, I guess I wasn’t pretending. I did actually stretch my hamstrings.
Roman’s inner Dumbledore led him back to the pull up bar for another set, as the morning sun beats down on us.
Then, from a forward bend with my arms dangling at my feet, I see the universe slap me in the face for being so damn insecure: the brunette Gold’s Venice regular is fast approaching.
She must be done on the ladder machine.
Hi! You might not remember me. But I recognized you here a while back from YouTube.
“I remember.” I tell her with a sheepish smile.
“Well, I just wanted to tell you that I absolutely loved your last video, the one about fitness for elderly people. It was amazing. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in… this.”
She gestures at her body.
“So, yeah, it was really good.. What are you doing in town?”
We chat for a few minutes about biceps and blizzards before she bids me farewell to catch her 10:00am spin class.
Roman saunters over and I grin at him.
Then, with a would-you-please-just-believe-in-yourself-god-damnit undertone, he says:
“Yeah, Steve fucking Cook bro.”
So, clearly, I’m no “expert” in confidence.
I could have fabricated some alpha male story to “establish credibility,” but that’s just not me.
I’m not always confident.
However, my confidence is vastly different now than it was just a few years ago.
And because you guys ask me daily “where my confidence comes from” — I’m going to take a shot.
How Do You Have The Confidence To Shoot Videos In Public?
There are infinite factors at play here — how to be confident is a stupidly vague title.
But what I think you want to know is how do you do the things you intuitively want or know you should do without feeling shame or embarrassment.
How can I talk about Gluconeogenesis on Park Ave during a Monday lunch hour?
How can I snapchat a workout from a South Florida LA Fitness where every single member, none of whom are under 70 years old, is staring at me thinking I’m a narcissistic, self-entitled, millennial piece of shit?
Two Keys To Confidence
- Do Things
- Surround Yourself With People Who Lift You Up
Literally, do anything.
I don’t care even what you do.
Just do it.
Yeah, yeah.. “work smart.”
But first you have to start working.
Then you can work smart.
And I’m not talking about “work” in the traditional sense – making money, or whatever.
Work = taking action.
“Do things” means go for a walk, smile at strangers, try barbell hip thrusts even though you’re embarrassed, and chug a glass of water instead of lying on the couch.
Literally, do anything.
We gain momentum when we do things.
Objects in motion stay in motion.
You can’t think yourself into action.
You can’t strategize a perfect plan.
You just have to start.
Do it. Do anything. Right now.
This momentum will stretch you outside your comfort zone, and your world will expand.
Put a video on youtube even if it sucks – because you will get better, I promise.
Spend Time With People Who Lift You Up
Who do you hang out with?
- Do they give backhanded compliments?
- Do they caution you against nonexistent fears?
- Do they imply logging food and lifting weights is obsessive?
Or… are you spending time with people who energize you, motivate you, and make you feel good?
We are all filled with doubts and insecurities.
Little voices in our heads tell us we can’t or we shouldn’t or we aren’t good enough.
Why allow more negativity from the people in our lives?
I don’t care if you share blood.
This rule applies to family and friends.
Just because someone grew up in walking distance of your house or shows up on your lineage tree does not mandate you let them influence you.
And I get it: that whole “surround yourself with the right people” concept is pretty cliche and beaten to death in shitty 300 word articles all over the internet.
But how many of us actually execute?
Can you emotionally disconnect from someone who makes you feel bad about yourself?
Or, will you continue drifting down that same path because it’s easier.
What SnapChat taught me about confidence
In less than one month, over 100 people have said my snapping is helping them every day.
And there is only one reason I’m on snapchat: Garyvee gave me permission.
He made me go on youtube 18 months ago, where I cultivated the ability to speak on camera.
Then, on 12/31/2015, he told me:
you can be THE fitness guy on snapchat.
Something I never would have believed myself.
On a platform used for #happyhour drink pictures and silent 10 second panoramic beach vacation videos, I had permission to be abnormal.
Permission to vlog my whole life.
Permission to win.
It’s not like I didn’t know this before he told me.
Put content in a place where attention exists and reach more people.
Not that hard.
But we don’t always follow our intuition. It’s hard walking the untrodden path.
Having someone close to us who can be a massively positive influence is often what we need.
To overcome the little voices our head:
that’s not how people use snapchat
people will think you’re weird
cool it on the shirtless pictures
I have ten times the story views I had last month.
And it’s because:
- I actively try to surround myself with people who lift me up
- I keep doing things
As for the brunette… part of me is still pretty sure she’s mixing me up with Scott Herman or something ?
You asked me to share my thoughts on confidence, that doesn’t make me Casanova.
If you haven’t picked up my Free Beginner’s Fitness Guide, that would be a good idea right now ? Get it here.
NelsonVery entertaining article. By the way, my wife calls you Captain America so I think the girl at Golds gym knew who she was interested in. ?
January 30, 2016 at 9:00 pm |