I got asked by an actor the other day, “How do you become more confident?”
I thought that was a good question, considering, like many things – we keep searching for the answers outside of us.
Confidence comes from the inside. It’s not gained by looking hot or having lots of credits or being famous or having a ton of money. The external is transitory and all conditions change. So if you try to keep making it happen from the outside, it will always elude you.
Confidence is an inner experience shared outwardly. And the inner experience is generated from passion. To be passionate – which comes from the Latin word meaning to suffer – is to share that which you’ve overcome in order to create. It’s not about getting stuck in your suffering and wallowing in it and then becoming paralyzed by it. It’s actually taking our challenges and then transmuting the suffering caused by them into service or storytelling or self-expression and then sharing that outwardly.
Confidence also comes from connection. A real, visceral connection with someone where you move beyond the ego identifications that create separations between ourselves and how we view others.
When we falsely perceive someone as having more power or influence than us; whether that be by being hugely successful or more attractive, we perceive them in relation to our own shortcomings and often defer our power to them.
If you can start to see that everyone is still struggling with the same stuff you are – inadequateness, insecurity, self-consciousness, fear of connection – even those people we perceive as being at a different level than us – you are more likely to live in your own power. That too breeds confidence.
How else? Practice! Just practice. There is no fast rule or magic pill to audition or work or grow as an artist. There are no shortcuts. Life is about doing and practicing and consequently as you do and practice, you become more confident and passionate because you also discover yourself through the practice of simply doing and practicing. Not to get it right. Not to be perfect. But simply for the art of practicing and doing for it’s own sake.
Fake it ’til you make it. You don’t do this because you’re too concerned with what you think other people are thinking and that you’ll be found out that you’re faking it. No one will ever notice, because the truth is – they’re too busy faking it themselves. Everyone is. Sometimes all the time. Sometimes a little every day. But everyone – at one level – along their journey is making something up. This is partly how we get to where we want to go. And doing so creates confidence.
So keep working on the inner. The outer will take care of itself.