Stop Crowdsourcing Your Confidence

Let’s be real for a second. How often does your mood and confidence depend on the number of likes you get on Facebook, Twitter, or any other place that has social currency?

Sadly, many of us trade social currency for confidence. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? I’ll like your dog pictures on Facebook. And you like my cool new profile picture with sunglasses while I’m looking away from the camera.

There’s one downside this exchange. It’s FAKE. And you know it!

People on Facebook don’t care about your diploma, promotion, dog, or even kids. They just press like so you like their stuff back. That’s what I call crowdsourcing confidence. And social media a self-sufficient business of trading likes.

But there’s another aspect of crowdsourcing confidence. What happens when no one likes the stuff we share? Yes, we feel like shit.

Why is that? Are we that shallow? 

And it’s not only on social media. A lot of people don’t have social media profiles at all. Instead, they trade compliments from their spouse, boss, friends, colleagues, for confidence.

You see, everybody does it. That’s why we feel better when someone tells us, “good job.”

It’s validation. We depend on it. For years, I’ve chased validation without even knowing it. It just creeps in your system.

As an entrepreneur, I worked hard to get validation from clients or prospects. If people didn’t like our products, I doubted myself. But when a client gave me a compliment the next day, I thought I was doing well.

And when I worked for a major corporation, it was the same. When my colleagues or boss acknowledged my work, I was happy with my job. And when people didn’t acknowledge my effort, it was the worst job in the world.

Sounds familiar?

It’s also true for relationships.

  • “He didn’t even notice my new haircut.”
  • “She never mentions anything about my progress in the gym.”
  • “I was always there to support him. Now he doesn’t call me anymore.”

This might be difficult to hear: No one cares.

Well, they do, but they also don’t. Do you get it? What I’m trying to say is that it’s not people’s job to make YOU feel good. And yet, we expect others to like our posts, tell us we’re amazing, pretty, or whatever we want to hear.

That type of behavior fucks up relationships, and more importantly: Yourself.

“But why should I do anything? I mean, why do people work? Or why would you even be nice?”

C’mon, really? Are you only chasing compliments or likes? That’s not good motivation because it depends on external things.

Do things for yourself. Not in a selfish way. You’re here for a limited time so you might as well enjoy it. And stop worrying about what other people think about you.

Also, respect that people have lives of their own. Not everyone is sitting and waiting for you to do something so they can say: “You’re awesome!”

Once you stop trying so hard, you will get the acknowledgment you want. Be confident. Always. Don’t rely on outside sources like compliments or attention.

People don’t like to be around attention-seekers. Instead, people like to be around confident people because it’s a trait that inspires others.

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” — Norman Vincent Peale

“How do I become confident if I can’t crowdsource it?”

Hang out with enough confident people and you will become confident yourself.

Have you heard of Mirror Neurons? In the 80s, neuroscientists in Italy found that primates have neurons in their brain that are responsible for imitative behavior.

In simple words: We copy each other’s behavior. That’s how I also learned to stop searching for validation. From my mentors.

Confidence starts with a belief. It’s something you can create instantly withing yourself. Instead of believing that you can’t you start believing that you can. It’s not complicated stuff.

Next, your body follows. Instead of sitting hunched, with your shoulders pointing towards the ground, you straighten up, open up your chest, and breathe through your nose.

Think it. Feel it. Do it. Believe it. 

I have several mentors, and they all work hard for themselves. But at the same time, they also provide value for other people.

Because they don’t worry about what other people think of them, they can spend their time on their own business.

“I work hard for the audience. It’s entertainment. I don’t need validation.” — Denzel Washington

And the best thing about stopping to crowdsource your confidence is that you can focus on what matters. At the end of the day, you’re not defined by how many likes, compliments, or pats on the back you receive.

You are your actions. As Aristotle put it:

“We are what we repeatedly do.”

Actions are the only tangible thing we have in this world. It’s not our word that counts. And if you act right, you will ultimately become more confident.

You have more capabilities than you think. You just have to look inside yourself, not outside.

 

 

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20 comments

  1. Brilliant article! I totally agree, we are constantly looking for approval and even more, since the digital era has burst into our lives.
    “What I’m trying to say is that it’s not people’s job to make YOU feel good” That’s the key to understanding the point and managing our feelings.

    Thanks for the article, Darius!
    Keep them coming 🙂

  2. That was a very good Article, I really needed it. I used to depend on that a lot.

    Funny about the gym part, iv always thought in my head, I work so hard in the gym & wife never notices or make a nice comment about my body.

    Thank u, really helped.

  3. “No one cares.”

    I can’t agree with this any more, Darius.

    Related to this post; I always find people posting the happiest, best pictures of themselves. But on the backend of those photos is typically (not always) just the opposite. We feel the need to show ourselves off as perfect, for what? For people to think we are doing well and avoid the real issues we need to fix? What’s the point…

    I think the statement “No one cares.” needs to hit home for more people; because although obviously family and good friends care about your well being, even then it only goes so far.

    Life is about you (again, in a non-selfish way), and you must do what makes you happy without relying on likes, comments, and basically in essence small talk to boost your standards of mindset.

    Epic post once again, loving it! 🙂

  4. It was so much suitable for me as I am an attention seeker girl, knowing that it’s wrong.
    You explained the whole thing very clearly and stated where to hit to fix the problem of searching compliments of others. Whoa!Seriously, no one cares. People have their own work and they aren’t looking for me doing something worth giving compliments. Running after it is like running after mirage and losing the path leading to our dreams.
    Your articles are always fascinating, this is not exceptional. Thanks for providing this well organized useful article. Love you always!

  5. You’ve made my day with this post – it felt like somebody finally said it loud about social media, what everybody have been aware of for a very long time. You’ve just got yourself a new reader! Keep up!

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