Life

The Confidence Vortex: An SG Investigation

Confidence for men

By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Oct 2 2019

Hello! October is Confidence Month here at Style Girlfriend. All month long, we’re sharing personal stories, actionable tips, and boldness-boosting shortcuts on the theme.

The other day, I was explaining a theory of mine to a friend that I realized was worth capturing here on SG for you, too. As elusive as the Bermuda triangle, I call it the Confidence Vortex.

Here it is:

How you carry yourself (your composure) influences how you feel about yourself (your confidence), which influences how others see you (your perceived attractiveness).

Of course, each point in the triangle isn’t a beginning or end. They all bang into each other and collapse in on themselves to form an ongoing swirl of general “crushing it” (or lack thereof).

But! If you’re looking for a good place to start, let’s start with composure.

Why composure is important to confidence

How you carry yourself gives the people around you an indicator subconsciously, of how to treat you. Because how you carry yourself (cool and calm? anxious and antsy?) is ultimately a display of how you treat yourself.

You teach people how to treat you!

If you project a sense of control, others will absorb the lesson that you are in control.

And if, on the other hand, you give off a student who didn’t do the reading trying to slouch in his chair and not get called on vibe, that will be picked up by others, too.

And OF COURSE, there’s a lot more wrapped up here, as a woman postulating to men about their social standing in a patriarchal system that defers to men…but within that system, there’s still a hierarchy!

And I’m sure we all can conjure up in our minds examples of men who have very little composure.

Men with nervous tics, or a soft, uncertain speaking voice that makes them hard to hear. Or men who deliver equivocating responses to even the most mundane, uncontroversial question.

And then there are others who seem to calibrate the energy in the room just by their very presence. Bruce Springsteen possesses a superhuman sense of composure. I’d want to get stuck in an elevator with that dude, because you just know he’d know what to do.

Fear not, the Boss is here

How composure leads to confidence

So, how does it make you feel when you’re in control and others acknowledge that?

Confident, right?!

Confidence is not that much of a stretch once you’ve nailed composure. Confidence is defined as “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.”

When you live on an “I got this” wavelength, it’s no surprise that the feeling you give off is one of capability.

But my guys, it’s super crazy important to note that both composure and confidence are an inside job! Through a different for every person mix of a mastery of skills, meditation, positive self-talk, religious faith, and who knows what else goes into the pot, we come out with composure (and therefore confidence) or we don’t.

That’s all-l-l-l internal. All of the praise in the world can’t make an insecure person feel secure. You’ve got to do that work yourself.

How confidence leads to attractiveness

Contrary to what the internet would like you to believe, it is not fancy cars or expensive cigars that make a man attractive.

instagram.com/mens_confidence

Once you’re feeling composed and confident, you will start to see in the world displays of external…I’m not going to call it validation, but feedback.

When you’re in control and projecting confidence, others will react to that.

No matter your height, your weight, or that zit on your nose, when you project composed confidence, women will find you attractive.

Not all of them, but more than would have if you’d entered the room with your shoulders slumped and a speaking voice filled with fear.

Here’s an example of how confidence in yourself inspires attraction in others.

However you feel about her as a candidate, watch this clip of Elizabeth Warren explaining how it was after seeing him teach a class that she knew she wanted to marry her now-husband:

Being good at what you do and confident in your abilities is sexy, y’all!

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Composure < > Confidence < > Attractiveness

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So, how do you take the Confidence Vortex and make it work for you?

Confidence for Men Tip 1: Focus on posture-improving exercises

I’m not going to get into the science of it (because we’ve talked about it before!), but know that good posture does categorically improve your confidence. And that confidence, not big pecs or private jets, is the #1 trait that women are attracted to in a man.

Think of some of the less conventionally handsome guys out there with ramrod straight posture: Jason Statham, maybe, or Lester Holt.

…Hmm, that might be a good hack actually. Pretend you’re a movie star in action or newscaster delivering the day’s headlines. You never see those guys slouching!

As my pal Peter over at The Essential Man put it, “You don’t need to start with confidence to take action, you build confidence by taking small actions.”

And posture is a small thing that becomes a really big thing. Good posture leads to improved confidence and even overall health and wellness.

Wherever you decide to enter the Confidence Vortex, do it with your shoulders back and chest proud.

Confidence for Men Tip 2: Start noticing how you feel about others and investigate why

It’s easy to say, “Well of course that guy seems confident. He’s got [a ton of money, supermodel good looks, yada yada]. But why not take the time to really investigate that?

For the rich guy, for instance, did he raise venture capital at twenty-two for a startup he later sold based on one good idea and a killer presentation? That must have taken a supernatural amount of chutzpah. Where’d he get that? How did he develop his confidence and composure?

If it feels too hard to start with the folks who seem to have been born on third base, take a look at those around you without the easy-to-point-to attributes who nonetheless are killing it in the confidence game and figure out what makes them tick.

Usually, you’ll boil it down to an unshakeable sense of self that naturally flows to composure and confidence.

Confidence for Men Tip 3: Talk to yourself

Yes, really. In addition to the back fly’s you’re going to start doing at the gym, use mirrors to your advantage in more mental ways.

Look yourself square in the eye (in private, ideally) and say, “I am worthy of [insert desired feeling here].”

I am worthy of romantic love. I am worthy of financial security. I am worthy-full stop.

Say it with a smile. Say it emphatically.

You know I don’t believe in “fake it til you make it,” and this isn’t that. Even if you feel super un-worthy of romantic love/success/admiration, that’s just a thought.

And the good news about thoughts is that you can start thinking different thoughts that can wind up feeling just as true and that produce a much more positive outcome.

Because what is, “I’m a loser. Women don’t like me” but a thought you tell yourself?

Is it true just because your brain spits it out at you when you open Bumble to zero new matches? No, and could “I just haven’t met the right woman yet, but I am worthy of a romantic relationship” feel just as true? You bet.

The good thing about changing your thoughts is that they’ll change your sense of composure. You’ll put out new, more confident vibes! And the new vibes will encourage people to interact with you in new ways.

Think about if a wife or girlfriend has ever said, “I’m fat” to herself but in front of you. Did that make you more or less attracted to her? Probably less, right? And not because you thought, Dear god, she’s right! What am I doing here?! Let me go find a truly skinny woman to press her bony body into mine!

No, it’s because you felt exhausted by the thought of having to serve as her human bicycle pump, inflating her depleted sense of self-worth.

You want to be with someone who’s done the work of pumping themselves up. You want to be with the woman that maybe says, “Yeah, I could probably lose ten pounds if I stopped eating cheese and sugar, but also life would be worthless without those things so I guess Im just going to have to rock the curves I’ve got.” How sexy is that!

So be that person. Be the person that FEELS worthy and confident and attractive, and guess what? You’ll wind up appearing worthy and confident and attractive to others.

Et voila! The vortex.

Have thoughts? Head to Twitter and let’s talk about it!

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Ready to jump in and start feeling more confident? Talk to a member of Team SG about how to get your closet in confidence boost mode.