Ideas surrounding “confidence” shouldn’t be pigeonholed, but usually they are boxed around images of supermodels, Kanye West, CEOs, and Beyoncé.
While many of these individuals are as inspiring as hell, we don’t necessarily view them as normal folks like us. Often we separate ourselves from such role models, thinking their confidence is just something they were born with, along with their natural talents and incredible intelligence. But there is something else this group also has in common – an insane, ridiculous work ethic.
In an excerpt from her new book, Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling explains why the path of confidence begins with working your ass off.
When I think back to when I was at my most confident self, I am taken back to my junior year of undergrad. I felt on top of the world – successful, liked, and accomplished. What caused me to feel this way? It was no coincidence that leading up to this point, I had been working my hardest in countless ways. I pushed myself to new limits – I had become a Resident Assistant, began my first term as Vice President of my student body, spent hours on independent research for one of my favorite faculty members, and I even started tutoring. Was it challenging? Yes. Did I feel overwhelmed at times? Also yes. But, most importantly, I felt an intangible sense of fulfillment and confidence like never before.
That’s what so many of my positions delivered for me – the end feeling of accomplishment. When you are able to both balance and succeed in what you never thought you would have ever been able to, that is where confidence begins to grow.
As Mindy frames it, confidence is more or less entitlement. “But entitlement,” she writes, “in and of itself isn’t so bad. Entitlement is simply the belief that you deserve something. Which is great, the hard part is, you’d better make sure you deserve it.”
So, how did I make sure that I deserved it?
To answer that, I would like to quote from the Twitter bio of one of my favorite people, Kevin Hart. It reads:
My name is Kevin Hart and I WORK HARD!!! That pretty much sums me up!!! Everybody Wants To Be Famous But Nobody Wants To Do The Work!”
The theory isn’t new, but we forget about it, probably due to its lack of popularity as you know, it’s one where you actually have to do the work. True, knight armor-like confidence takes a hundred and ten percent of your potential. There is no fad diet version of confidence – people can always peer through the fake.
In one of my favorite interviews, when asked if he’s talented Will Smith responds explaining –
“I’ve never viewed myself as particularly talented. I’ve viewed myself as slightly above average in talent and where I excel is a ridiculous, sickening, work ethic. You know, while the other guy is sleeping I’m working, while the other guy is eating I’m working.”
It’s also during those moments of success, when we’re thriving in doing what we love, so much that we cannot help but feel confident (as Kanye West).
This theory reflects just as strongly in the world of attraction. When asked what we find most important in our partners and dates, the most common answer is: people who are passionate about something. This article points out, “when you take pride in what you do and kick ass at it—whatever it may be—I think that’s extremely attractive.” When we work hard and are successful at what we love, our confidence shows not only to us but to everyone, and it’s contagious!
Confidence will follow our hard work, no matter where we take it. All it comes down to is who wants to put in the work! As Mindy likes to say, “Confidence is like respect; you have to earn it.”
With that said, remember, you have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé. The same amount of hours to work your hardest, own your work, know you know what you’re talking about, and feel entitled to all of it! The world is your oyster (you know, figuratively)!
If you need a boost, check out the video below: