On Confidence

There are 2 kinds of confidence: specific confidence and general confidence.

On Confidence
Photo by Jorick Roels

Confidence, power, and risk are all related.

To develop confidence, maximize power and minimize risk.

Confidence is a skill. When you develop the skills of confidence, you will believe that you will be good at something. There are 2 kinds of confidence. (1) Specific confidence and (2) general confidence.

Specific confidence is developed by practicing a certain skill. Take Steph Curry for example, He is very confident in his ability to play basketball because he has practiced a lot and has a history of playing well. Specific confidence only applies to the skill that has been practiced — Steph Curry may not be a good engineer, for example because he has not studied and practiced engineering.

General confidence is developed by being generally good at things. General confidence is much more important than specific confidence. The most important skilsl to develop are health, knowledge, relationships, and wealth.

Key takeaways:

  • Develop skills that are broadly applicable. (This is like a "working out" mental model—you do your big barbell exercises first because they work all the muscles but take the same amount of time). This will give you general confidence. The main areas to develop are health, knowledge, relationships, and wealth.
  • A part of your health regimen should be to develop physical confidence: strength, balance, coordination
  • Always tell the truth and follow through with what you say
  • How to make better decisions: Read a bunch of different subjects to develop a broad knowledge and mental models.

The best skills to develop to get confidence:

  • Ability to speak well
  • Meditation—get to the point where you don’t get anxious
  • Physical coordination (ability to run fast and far)
  • Physical Strength
  • Ability to fight
  • Decision making (read books, develop mental models)
  • Wealth (learn finance and invest)
  • Being able to develop meaningful relationships
  • Always tell the truth and follow through on your word

No one is born with these skills (except wealth, and even then you need to have some financial skills not to lose it). This means that no one is born with "luck."