Probably my aura of calm self-assuredness that I’ve developed over the years to hide my crippling self doubt and overwhelming inescapable anxiety that makes my skin feel like it‘s vibrating.
Edit: Damn. Seems like anxiety is a huge issue for men. And so is self-confidence. It breaks my heart. Thanks for all the upvotes. I’m glad I’m not the only one who manages to feign confidence this way. But the comment above was a bit sarcastic. This coping strategy can make you look brooding, unhappy, and generally unenjoyable to be around if you can’t find a way to interact with people in a positive fashion or live in the moment.
Since for some reason people think I’m now someone to take advice from (which I’m not) I’ll do my best with advise from my own experience: The only way I’ve been able to eliminate the need for this coping strategy for anxiety is to develop a good routine for sleep and exercise, exercising 3-4 times a week lifting weights and cardio, and going to bed at the same time every night so that I try to get 7 hours minimum of sleep every night. Preferably eight and if I’m really working hard at the gym, I’ll try to do 9. Chamomile tea helps me fall asleep, and having my phone across the room so I’m not tempted to look at it. That and not eating shit. And staying hydrated. A lot can be fixed in a pretty short time through lifestyle. But it’s not a one and done, it’s a life style. But through this I’ve managed to be able to live as I am rather than with a constant facade hiding my internal turmoil. It calms the storm. I’ve fallen off the last 6 months due to a bad relationship, but I’m getting back on the train again to build myself back up. Such is life.
I’ve become convinced that for me, anxiety is a result of moments of trauma in my life where I felt physically like I had no control over the situation and physically overpowered. Primally, when I am out of shape and/or unhealthy or with a lack of sleep, my body recognizes it is at a disadvantage inside what it’s identified as a hostile world. Bosses, authority, attractive women, hyper competitive men, all create an adrenaline response within me.
Creating a strong body and a clear head with good sleep tells my body it is strong enough to resist threats and my anxiety decreases. And after a while I can interact with people without the adrenaline surge in the way. And it builds internal confidence. Also, people can see right through feigned confidence typically after a bit. And feigned confidence makes you look arrogant and cocky. When that confidence is truly developed internally, people can see this as well, and typically you gain more respect from the outset because of it. But I still find that being slow to anger and slow to speak is still the most respectful method, even if I am feeling confident. Otherwise I’m overshooting. The hard part is taking the first step in developing the routines and not overthinking the strategy to get there. My best success has been to just stop thinking and do it. Just go to the gym. Figure it out while you’re there. And then do it again and again and modify from there rather than trying to plan the whole thing out from the onset.
Concerning the construction of positive habits:
You can start with a habit tracker (I use Hapit. It’s minimalist so I don’t get overwhelmed with too many features) and start with three habits. Any more than this, and you could be setting yourself up for failure. Wait until you feel like you’ve got a good handle on those three until adding another one. Particularly at the beginning, I would wait at least a month. Start with “keystone habits” These are the habits that are integral to the integrity of the framework of your better life, the foundation of your best self. Things like working out, eating better, getting enough sleep by going to bed on time, and meditation for 10 min a day. (I’ve found that working out 4-5x a week is my sweet spot. I have one healthy staple recipe that is cheap and healthy that I meal prep. It’s just chicken breast, rice, beans, spinach, and mixed veggies. Having one recipe eliminates decision fatigue and when I’m lazy I can just grab a frozen meal out of the freezer instead of processed bullshit. I’ve since started doing other recipes, but this one is the cheapest and easiest to make.
There’s also negative habits. Eliminating smoking, porn, etc. You should be telling yourself no to things.
But Do not over do it. Start small. Build with time. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to everyone else. Give yourself room for failure. That being said, failure will be omnipresent anyway; you’ll have to get used to it. If you miss a day, don’t try to “make up for it” by doing more. You’ll burn out. Recognize that it happened, try to understand why, and move on with your routine as if nothing happened. Don’t get consumed with trying to figure out why you missed a day or messed up. Just do the thing.
Be kind to yourself. Don’t berate yourself. Talk to yourself like a good coach would and build yourself up. Treat your negative thoughts about yourself like demons and cast them aside. Everyone has potential, you just have to align yourself with it. You can get better if you tell yourself you can, but if you give into doubt, it will be like swimming against a riptide.
Also goals and habits are different but equally important. For instance if I want to have a habit of working out, I need a goal to help motivate me. Okay so I want to be 180lbs at 13% body fat. Cool now I have a marker to work toward. The goal is the destination. The habit is the work to get there.
For workout apps, I prefer nSuns 531.
TLDR: There’s confidence and faux-confidence. Be someone that builds the former within yourself through discipline and positive habits. Also, alcohol makes the mind weak.
Note: I have a sexual sadism disorder. Diagnosed. I’m not a therapist. These are my own coping strategies. These are my own theories. If you have issues talk to a therapist and get help.