Comedian Chris Hardwick theorizes that the essence of having confidence is having options. That is, confidence is knowing that if this one thing you really really want doesn’t work out, you’ve got a safety net. That net makes you less desperate for that one thing to happen, more chill and composed. Makes sense. But how does one create these options? Hardwick says you’ve got to get good at something you love–then everything else will be better.
When youâ€™re learning how to do something you enjoy and ultimately doing it well, that becomes mental currency that you can use as armor for a variety of seemingly unrelated situations, and therein lies the cool mind sorcery of it all: the options you create DO NOT have to relate to the situations in which you want to be confident. You donâ€™t have to be an ace with the ladies to pick up more ladiesâ€”you can excel at something entirely different and still get the action you so richly deserve. The key is for you to feel safe and comfortable.
This rings true to me. My line about this whole writing thing is “whatever, if it doesn’t work out I’ll go back to being a programmer.”
Of course, it’s not really “whatever.” I love writing and honestly pinch myself every day for the privilege of being able to pay the bills doing it. Still, I love programming too, and that option does give me confidence I wouldn’t have otherwise.
Speaking of Hardwick, a shameless plug for a friend: his new TV show Web Soup premiers this weekend on the G4 network. Set your TiVos, because this guy is funny.
Confidence Theory [Nerdist]