Robert Cialdini’s six principles of influence affect your confidence.
His book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, details how these principles encourage people to take certain actions or have particular thoughts. The book’s popularity owes to the subtlety of the principles; a skillful marketer or politician can apply the principles almost invisibly, or in such a way that it becomes impossible to refuse their influence (even if the ‘victim’ has full awareness of the trick at hand). This article will briefly summarise those principles, then extend on them in the context of confidence, and conclude with some practical advice on how to deal with them. Read more
Running out of things to say can make you lack confidence, and vice versa.
Most people do not cope well with sudden silence in the middle of a conversation. We become self-conscious about our social skills and personality, and assume that the other person is expecting us to start the conversation again. (The reality is generally that they’re feeling exactly the same way and are worried you will judge them for being boring.) The longer the silence persists, the harder it becomes to break it and awkwardly pretend it never occurred in the first place. Read more
Here’s a simple reframe I used today to boost my confidence.
I’m taking a class on computational physics this semester, the kind used to model stars and galaxies with differential equations. We’ll be using a Linux based operating system and programming in C… neither of which are famliar to me. As others in the class mentioned their past experience with Linux and C, I felt a very slight twinge of nervousness – would I get left behind in this class? Did I come unprepared? Should I take a more foundational class first? Read more
I went to two toga parties over two days. Here are some related musings.
A group of girls brought drinks into the mosh pit and got angry when the drinks inevitably got spilled and knocked out of their hands. The mosh pit had been very physical all night, and the girls were pretty close to the stage; they surely knew what to expect, but they chose to put themselves in a situation they knew would make them unhappy anyway. I suspect they had ‘principled tunnel vision’, where they focused on how the world ought to behave to the exclusion of adapting their behaviour around how it actually is. Read more
After a wasted day, you might find yourself become suddenly motivated before sleep.
Most people naturally recap their day while lying in bed, particularly experiences they were emotionally invested in. (Try getting to sleep after getting fired, for example!) If you’re interested in personal development but wasted an entire day, you will dwell on it and envision how productive your day might have been instead. Suddenly, your mind surges with motivation and discipline and concrete plans. Tomorrow, you resolve, will be different.
This product generates a kickass challengefrom100+ possible activities, split across six fundamental regions of personal development – Cleanliness, Discipline, Education, Fitness, Social, and Wealth. With a single mouseclick, the program plans your next challenge for you; all you have to do is go out and get it done. You’ll kick ass, have fun, and save a hell of a lot of time and energy… but this opportunity won’t last long. There are only 50 free copies before this goes back into development, so get your hands on it ASAP if you haven’t already. Read more
Self-esteem can be envisioned as a landscape of possible values.
Each potential altitude within this landscape represents a different level of confidence; a peak represents good emotions, while a valley represents negative emotions. Horizontal movement across the landscape is the result of changing knowledge, beliefs, thoughts, and actions. This landscape is constructed from each individual’s worldview and experiences; accordingly, everyone’s landscape will be unique to them. Since human psychology is not totally random, however, there will be some common features across these terrains that we can draw lessons from. Read more
A “black and white” perspective can be more useful than a nuanced one.
Deep thought and extensive reasoning are valuable for forming a more valuable or accurate worldview, but they often aren’t particularly motivating. Framing your options as a stark contrast between an ideal course of action and total ruination can persuade you to take a path you knew was right all along, but was obfuscated or mired in muck by various shades of grey, making you hesitant to take the first step. Even if such dichotomies are false, they can nevertheless be useful, and are valuable practice at reframing a situation in a more positive light. Read more
This tool allows you to create a random bodyweight workout.
Bodyweight exercises have a number of inherent advantages over other forms of exercise or resistance training; they can be performed virtually anywhere, are relatively low-impact for your joints, and naturally translate to real world skills like climbing a ledge. You don’t have to work around gym opening hours, or kettlebell weights, or nearby running tracks; the time and place of a bodyweight workout is almost entirely within your control. Read more
Confidence can be built by learning how to always be happy.
In Part 4 of this series, I told you how the previous three parts (regarding planning, self-improvement, and self-acceptance) support the creation of a strong identity. These concepts are vital for developing self-esteem, but also somewhat insular and egocentric; the focus was constantly on how I could improve myself, or accept myself, or plan better. We’re going to end this series by discussing 5 Principles of Detachment that focus a little more on the outside world, and that allow you to unhook your confidence from any particular outcome or state. The more you practice these principles, the happier you will be.