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Faked Confidence Revisited

DR. DENNIS NEDER AND KYLIEDr. Dennis Neder, Author: "Being a Man in a Woman's World"

No man is going to opt for a sexless relationship, leading to a sexless marriage. All you're doing is proving to him that's what he can expect with you."

Hey Doc,
You say that with confidence, you can fake it on the outside and in turn build it on the inside. I have always accepted this belief, and have practiced it.

However, I was thinking deeply and came to a couple of realizations. What I realized is that authentic confidence comes from acknowledging, accepting, and working through your feelings. It is about respecting reality. It is about assessing your innermost wants and needs, and going for them. It's about setting realistic and intrinsically valuable goals for yourself. And most importantly, authentic confidence has to do with not being in denial about anything about yourself or the outside world, whether it is good or bad.

This said, when you fake confidence, it seems as if you are just pushing those nervous feelings away, trying to fight the reality that you don’t have much confidence. It seems as if you are building a “pseudo-confidence”, rather than an authentic confidence.

I understand your philosophy that by practicing confident behaviors, you reinforce those behaviors. But I only see this as a cover up for what is really going on in side of you. Sure, you will APPEAR more poised and in control, from other peoples' perspectives, but if you never address those feelings inside of you and work on self-esteem from the inside, you will just feel like an impostor waiting to be figured out. You will never be truly comfortable, because you know that you are just acting.

So my question is, instead of teaching people to fake confidence, why don’t you just teach them to build confidence through actions that reinforce confidence? Such actions would be internally generated... that is; they would come from your innermost convictions.

This just seems like a far better approach than just teaching people to fake the mannerisms of a confident person, because that really has no true intrinsic value, and will leave the person still feeling empty on the outside even after they have mastered the confident mannerisms on the outside.
Thank you

Hello!
You make some very good, well-established points here. May I offer you a different perspective?

Try this experiment with me - don't cheat, it is a valuable exercise and really illustrates these points:

After you read this paragraph, close your eyes and imagine a lemon. Try to imagine everything about it and actually see it, feel it, etc. Imagine it's bright yellow color; it's shape, the little dimples all over it, how it smells, etc. Note that it has a stem scar on one end. Now, imagine taking a really sharp knife and cutting the lemon in half (don't cut yourself!) Put one half down and place the other half - stem side down - in your palm. Imagine the juice leaking out of the lemon. See the bright white skin inside and see the pulp. Next, bring the lemon up to your nose (in your mind) and smell it. Imagine the pungent, sharp smell of the fruit. Next, imagine sinking your front teeth into the lemon and having that sour juice squirt into your mouth and all over your tongue.

Go ahead, try this and don't read on until you do.

Did you do it? If not, do it now before you read on - it's an important exercise.

Ok, now, let me ask you a question: are you salivating? If you've done this exercise, you no doubt are. This is a natural human response, and all people will start salivating just by imaging this in real detail.

What's really important here however is this: you created something physical ("real") by just thinking about it! You didn't have a real lemon, you just thought about one. By just imagining something in detail, you can create real outcomes that affect yourself - and your world. In short, your subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between something that is real, and something that is imagined with complete clarity!!!

So let me ask you this: if the lemon isn't "real" how can your physical manifestations of it be "real"? Like I said, it's all about how your subconscious mind works. It doesn't need to have "real" events to produce "real" outcomes. In fact, this actually goes much further - what is "real" in the first place?

Science has come to believe that "real" is only more imagination. For example, they keys of the keyboard under your fingers feel solid, but in fact, are more than 99% empty space! Your mind "perceives" them as real only because it works for you and helps you keep from getting eaten by bears and stepping in bear shit.

Many men's perceptions about women are like this too. They believe that by doing the things that men would like to have women do, that women will respond as men would. The fact is, women think differently than men because they are wired differently than men. I spent 14 years researching this very subject for my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World".

Your points about working on the self-image first are excellent ones. The only problem is that you're coming (obviously) from the standpoint of a person WITH a good self-image, but frankly my brother, most people don't.

The entire child-rearing process is one where this self-image is first broken down and (hopefully) built back up. Example: little Johnny is running through the house and mom yells at him to stop or he'll break something. Then, he accidentally kicks a lamp cord and the lamp falls and breaks. Now, mom has to step in and "punish" Johnny for misbehaving. Of course, Johnny doesn't understand that the lamp ISN'T more important than he is. Mom is just concerned for Johnny's safety that the safety of all of the lamps in the house.

This is where much of the beginnings of poor self-image and self-esteem begin. Of course, the next process is supposed to be when Johnny brings home an "A" from school, or walks in the door right on time like he promised, and mom gives him the deserved attention and praise. The challenge is that parents are busy people and often forget this part of the education.

So, as adults, we can supplement these lessons that we didn't learn from mom and dad on our own. However, what most people do is spend huge amounts of valuable time comparing their worst attributes against other people's best. So, Johnny grows up focusing on his weaknesses and seeing others that possess these skills in abundance, further eroding his confidence. In short, he is working against his own autopilot - he is using these same rules of the subconscious mind against himself instead of for his benefit.

What if he could start building, brick by brick, the confidence, and therefore the skills to actually BE a confident person? This works just like the lemon trick. By "faking" confidence, and actually going out to test it, a person is going to experience some success. How do I know this? Because of a simple law of nature: nobody is so special as to fail every single time!

By focusing on confidence, you are already programming the mind to start looking for successes because of it. When these come, the subconscious mind simply says, "Oh, that's right - I'm confident now and that must be why things are working." This in turn, begets more confidence, which creates more success, which builds more confidence, etc., etc.

Sneaky? You bet! But, it works! It just makes use of exactly how the mind is already designed, against its natural tendencies.

This in no way contradicts your points. People with good self-images find a much more direct path to success, and hopefully take it. That's how Presidents, Mother's Of The Year, and Game Show Hosts are built. But, it doesn't mean that others have only the one path to follow. For the vast majority of people, the "faked confidence" method is a better choice, and in fact, it will work for anyone. It just plays on the systems that nature already has in place.

Thanks for such a great question!

Best regards...
Dr. Dennis Neder

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Have a love, relationship or man/woman question? I answer all email. You can write to me at dwneder@remingtonpublications.com for answers.
For more information about my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", visit: www.beingaman.com

Copyright (c) Dr. Dennis W. Neder All rights reserved.
Dr. Dennis W. Neder
Author of: Being a Man in a Woman's World
Dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of relationships.
Start having the relationships YOU deserve!
Got a love, relationship or man/woman question? I answer all letters. You can write to me at dwneder@remingtonpublications.com for answers. For more information about my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", visit: www.remingtonpublications.com 

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